6. Denver Broncos /AFC West (and Defending World Champions)
Feb 9, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos general manager John Elway (left) talks with radio host Dave Logan during the Super Bowl 50 championship parade celebration at Civic Center Park. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Want to know why the Broncos aren’t higher on this list?
Last year when they won the Super Bowl, their starting QB was Peyton Manning, who just recently retired.
As of this moment, the Broncos’ starting QB in 2016 is……… MARK SANCHEZ ???
The 2015 Denver Broncos joined the 1985 Bears, the 2000 Ravens and the 2002 Buccaneers as champions whose “elite” defense literally CARRIED their mediocre offense on their backs, to a World Title.
None of those teams ever repeated.
It’s no secret that Peyton Manning had what was probably THE worst season of his future Hall of Fame career in 2015, yet he was good enough not to lose the game for the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50.
And now with Manning’s retirement, it begs the question: can the Broncos repeat with a barely “average” quarterback?
Will they be a Playoff team? Sure. But — repeating as Super Bowl champions? I don’t see how.
The Broncos need to find a guy that is more than just “average”. The only option in 2016 that appears to have the potential for Denver to make a Super Bowl run with would be 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick — who has demanded that San Francisco trade him after the ridiculous amount of money that they signed him for 2 years ago.
He was a single pass away from winning the Super Bowl just four years ago (in Super Bowl XLVI), but his fall from grace would make him no guaranteed option should the Broncos decide to make a deal to bring him in . As of this writing, it appears that a deal between the Broncos and the 49ers for Kaepernick is imminent.
Looking at history, here is a short list of “average” quarterbacks to have won Super Bowls.
"Jim McMahon, Chicago Bears 1985 Jeff Hostetler, New York Giants 1990 Mark Rypien, Washington Redskins 1991 Trent Dilfer, Baltimore Ravens 2000 Brad Johnson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2002"
All of those quarterbacks had amazing defenses the year they won, but none of those teams were able to repeat as Super Bowl champions. The repeats seem to be reserved for teams with Hall of Fame quarterbacks, so we’ll just have to see if John Elway can pull off another comeback as the Broncos President and GM, to put the Broncos into contention again in 2016.
One thing I can promise you: it doesn’t matter how good Denver’s defense is, they’re not getting back to the Super Bowl with Mark Sanchez as their starting QB.
With the Saints playing the Broncos in the Superdome for the first time since 2008, this will be a game that the Saints should actually have a chance to escape with a close win.
Next: Black and Gold vs. Silver and Black