The Denver Broncos are the NFL storyline at the quarter mark of the 2013 season. Not the destitute 0-4 Giants or the red zone-challenged 1-3 Falcons and certainly not the imploding 0-4 Buccaneers.
Four wins, no losses. The Broncos have scored 179 points already, or 50 more than any other team; 70 more than any other AFC team. Peyton Manning has been otherworldly – 16 touchdowns and zero interceptions – and is poised to obliterate all those gaudy records Tom Brady posted in 2007 when the Patriots peeled off a 16-0 regular season.
Mercury Morris and members of the ’72 Dolphins will probably start fielding calls this week from anxious media members.
Special teams? Check. Trindon Holliday has punt and kick return scores already. Denver hasn’t lost a regular season game with Holliday on the team.
Best receiving trio in the NFL? Check. Thomas, Welker and Decker need to steal the Law Firm nickname from the struggling, unworthy BenJarvus Green-Ellis; they’re far too much for any secondary to handle.
When the Broncos get into the red zone, fuggetaboutit – 13 touchdowns in 16 trips.
According to Vegas Insider, Denver was -3.5 at Dallas to start the season; the line opened at 7.5 this week. It’s a perfect storm for the Broncos: The NFC East is the worst division in football through four games, Dallas just lost on the road to choke-happy San Diego, and Phil Rivers shredded the Cowboys (35-of-42, 401 yards, three TDs). So Peyton will go 40-of-41, 502 yards, five TDs, right?
Why I think Dallas has a
very good decent chance this week:
1) Terrific defensive line that plays best at home. The Cowboys are tied for 3rd in the NFL with 14 sacks, and nine have come at home. [Counter: Their two wins? Giants and Rams.]
2) High-powered offense with an elite WR (Dez Bryant), top-flight running back (DeMarco Murray) and chains-moving TE (Jason Witten). [Counter: So why are they 21st passing and 19th rushing?]
3) Do I need to come up with a third reason? Is that absolutely necessary? Because I can’t think of one. And my mind keeps coming back to this Chiefs/Giants post last week … dammit.
It gets worse: The NFL still hasn’t seen the best the Broncos have to offer – top cornerback Champ Bailey has missed the last two games, and attempted urine-dodger Von Miller hasn’t played a down yet.
If the Cowboys don’t get ’em, Jacksonville definitely won’t the following week (early spread? -28, an NFL record). After that, Peyton returns home to face Andrew Luck, and then RG3 visits Denver before the bye week. Trips to New England and Houston in the second half are the only remaining speedbumps on the way to 16-0.