Alright Bronco fans, you may hit enter on that Google search for Super Bowl flights and accommodations now.
Denver's offseason and training camps were loaded with hype, huge expectations and big prophecies about the postseason for this franchise. The way the first five games played out for the Broncos, it appeared as if all of that buildup was for nothing, and Denver was on its way to a mediocre season.
Enter the San Diego Chargers on the big stage for Monday Night Football. The amazing comeback by Denver after trailing 24-0 at the half ignited a spark in the Broncos that has the potential to carry them all the way to New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII.
Denver has a very realistic chance to be the ones to hoist up that Vince Lombardi trophy in February, and here's a look at why.
Cake Division and Schedule
While the Broncos took it on the chin with a tough schedule out of the gate this season, the latter half of their schedule looks to be a clear path to the playoffs for this Denver team.
There is only one team on Denver's remaining schedule with a winning record: the Ravens at 5-2. Baltimore's level of play has not been solid or consistent at all this season and significant injuries to the defense have weakened this once AFC favorite.
The bulk of the remaining teams on the Broncos' schedule have been playing like they're more concerned with their 2013 draft position than their overall record this season. Four of the nine remaining Broncos games are against teams in their weak AFC West division, with two versus basement-dweller Kansas City and one each against the Raiders and Chargers.
Barring catastrophic injury to several members of the Broncos, the path to the AFC West title is as clear as an eight-lane highway at 3 a.m.
Beyond Denver's immediate division, the AFC as a whole is pretty weak. Realistically, the only teams that could stand in the Broncos' way of playing in the Super Bowl are the Texans and Patriots with the Steelers and Ravens having a small outside shot as well.
That's right, the Denver Broncos have depth.
Coming into this season, the shallowness of the Broncos' roster was of concern, as it could be a potential playoff inhibitor. After their last two performances on the field, it is obvious that Denver finally has the depth they need to make that playoff run.
Guys like Chris Harris, Tony Carter and Wesley Woodyard have stepped up and played lights-out defense when they are put in the lineup in place of injured and suspended teammates. They have become an integral part of the Broncos and have provided a good problem for the coaching staff to have.
On the offensive side of the ball, Peyton Manning has developed great chemistry with his entire receiving corps that will only grow stronger as the season moves forward. He has connected with 12 different Broncos this season all over the field for 2,113 yards and 17 touchdowns.
There is still a great deal of football to be played and many variables to consider before I would suggest Bronco fans actually book that trip to New Orleans.
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