For those NFL viewers who saw the season opener; you can all attest that Peyton Manning more or less shredded the Baltimore Ravens defense for seven touchdowns, which tied the all-time record for a single game. Then in week 2, the Manning Bowl, he shredded the Giants with 307 yards and two touchdowns.
But, with Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker, and the breakout tight end Julius Thomas, it is clear that the Denver Broncos boast an offense that could make the 2007 New England Patriots look like their 1990 counterpart—look it up.
So, in honor of Manning’s nine touchdown effort in the first two weeks of the season, here are six teams that Peyton Manning could beat down worse than the two reigning Super Bowl champions.
6. New England Patriots
Week 12, November 24th at 4:30PM ET
Call it a Wes Welker vendetta, call it an improving—but still mediocre—Patriots defense, but the Broncos have an opportunity to shred the Patriots defense in Week 12.
To break this down, the Patriots’ week 1 matchup against the Buffalo Bills was a close affair—one that required the typical heroics of Tom Brady to emerge victoriously.
Manuel’s stats against the Patriots were—for a first-game rookie—very good, with a 66.7 completion percentage and 2 passing touchdowns.
And, last season, the Patriots defense surrendered 74 plays of 20 of more yards via the air. Moreover the average number of yards that they surrendered through the air was 12.3, which was .2 percent greater than Tom Brady’s average.
Expect this game to be a shootout, because neither team’s defense is going to be able to slow down their opponents’ offense.
5. Tennessee Titans
Week 14, December 8th at 12:05PM ET
Yes, the Titans were stifling in their Week 1 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers. But, that was against the Pittsburgh Steelers—a team that lost their top target, Mike Wallace, has a weak offensive line, and has no answer on the ground.
Needless to say, the Denver Broncos are going to be a whole different beast—one that may bring about the Titans’ 2012 defense.
The Titans surrendered over 4,000 yards through the air in 2012, and they gave up 55 plays of 20 or more yards.
Their defense is young, and they have some great pieces in place. But, the Broncos’ firepower might be too much for the Titan’s defense to account for, and they may end up spreading their defensive back roster thin with their different options at receiver.
4. Dallas Cowboys
Week 5, October 6th at 12:25PM ET
The Cowboys have a revamped 4-3 defense, and they had 3 interceptions against Peyton Manning’s younger brother in Week 1. But, inversely, the Cowboys allowed 428 yards through the air, 4 touchdowns, and a 70- yard bomb to Victor Cruz.
Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne may be able to slow down Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. But, Welker in the slot could create nightmares for the Cowboys defense and their third cornerback, Orlando Scandrick. Also, their linebackers and safeties are going to have to worry about Julius Thomas.
Best of luck ‘Boys, you’re going to be dealing with Manning the Greater.
3. San Diego Chargers
Week 10, November 10th at 12:25PM ET
If football was a 30-minute game, then the San Diego Chargers could have a chance at going 16-0 this season. Unfortunately, there is a second set of 30 minutes that must be played after the first 30 minutes.
In the first half of their first game, the Chargers were laying a smackdown on the Houston Texans. Then the Texans remembered that they have Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels, and the rookie, Deandre Hopkins; players that had 146 yards, 67, and 66 receiving yards, respectively.
Moreover, after a blunder-filled first half, Schaub finished the game with a 75.6 completion percentage, 346 passing yards, and 3 touchdowns.
The Broncos have more weapons and a better quarterback—with respect to Schaub’s commendable ability. Good luck, San Diego.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 6, October 13th at 12:05PM ET
Here’s the thing with the Jaguars: they stink.
Yes, Gus Bradley is now their head coach—the defensive guru who was the architect of the Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom”.
But, the problem with the Jaguars isn’t their defense—a unit that, despite the team’s overall performance, isn’t horrific. In their game against the Chiefs, the unit only surrendered 171 passing yards.
Rather, the issue is their abysmal offense—one that couldn’t muster any points against the Chiefs defense. An anemic offense will equate to quick three and outs and a tired defense.
1. Oakland Raiders
Week 17, December 29th at 12:25PM ET
Nnamdi Asomugha left a few years back, and has since lost his status as an elite cornerback in the NFL. Moreover, their defensive roster is young, and has potential—filled prospects like D.J Hayden.
But, the team is still inexperienced. In 2012, the Raiders’ defense allowed 56 pass plays of 20 or more yards and nearly 4,000 receiving yards.
It gets worse. Like the Chargers, they have to play see Peyton Manning twice in 2013.