Trying to find a comparison to this Broncos offense? This would be the best-case scenario: the 2007 Patriots. Fast tempo, loads of receiving options, a Hall of Fame QB. Mostly, the comparison works because of the production. These Broncos are averaging 45 points over their first two games. Those Patriots averaged 41.3 points over their first eight games - a crazy streak, really, and the Broncos have a long way to go before they deserve to be put on that tier. Strangely, Tom Brady's juggernaut also suffered a shocking loss in the previous playoffs. Peyton Manning's Colts upset the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. The '07 Patriots were helped by playing in an awful division. The Bills, Jets and Dolphins combined for 12 wins. In an improved AFC West, these Broncos won't have that luxury.
Sound bytes. Blogs. Highlights. Print, TV, radio, online. Super Bowl contenders. Here's one story that deserves more notice: Jack Del Rio's handiwork with the Broncos defense so far. Without Champ Bailey and Von Miller, the Denver defensive coordinator is building a defense that plays to the team's strength: the offense. Early in games, the defense plays it safer. With a lead, pass rushers attack the quarterback. There's star power, sure. Wesley Woodyard is earning the big contract I expect he will sign after this season. But four defensive backs were undrafted free agents. The linebackers mostly shuffled positions. Was the biggest move of the offseason one that wasn't made? Del Rio stayed in Denver.
Here's example No. 648 why we shouldn't make predictions based on the preseason. If there was one area of concern with the Broncos offense, it was the offensive line. J.D. Walton and Chris Kuper were injured, Ryan Clady was coming off shoulder surgery and the Broncos signed more centers than the Avalanche. After two weeks, here's the status of the doomed offensive line: Peyton Manning has been pressured on 23.9 percent of his pass attempts, according to Pro Football Focus. I'm no NFL scout, but that low number is good enough for second-best in the NFL. The next challenge is replacing Clady, one of the team's top five players, who is done for the season with a foot injury. Is Chris Clark the answer at left tackle? The Broncos signed him to a new two-year contract. "Stepping up into a role like this, it's not going to be hard for me to adjust," Clark said.