The Road To MetLife Stadium: History Shows Denver Broncos Will Likely Take Step Backward In 2014

The Road To MetLife Stadium did not end well for the Denver Broncos, resulting in a 43-8 Super Bowl XLVIII blowout at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks. After setting countless records on offense throughout the 2013 NFL season, the Broncos came out flat right from the start against the Seahawks, and they were never able to rebound. I wrote on Friday how difficult it is for the defending Super Bowl champs to repeat the following season. Unfortunately for the Broncos, it is even more rare for a team who lost the previous Super Bowl to hoist the Lombardi Trophy the following season. Furthermore, history not only suggests that the Broncos will not win Super Bowl XLIX, but that they will likely fall short and take a step backward in 2014. Of course, to be kind, anything of a return trip to the Super Bowl will be seen as a step backward for Denver.

In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’m working as part of the Road to MetLife Stadium Preferred Blogger Program. Throughout the year I’ll be receiving special access to MetLife events and be conducting reader giveaways, with prizes provided by MetLife and Sony Electronics. However, no payment was given or expected for posting about the program, and as always, all opinions given here are fully my own.

The Buffalo Bills were the last team to lose a Super Bowl one year and then return to the big game the next season. That has not happened in over 20 years. The Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys are the only two teams to lose one Super Bowl and then win it the following season. Those both occurred over 40 years ago. With that being said, the Broncos could be in for a disappointment in 2014. After all, the calendar year already started out rather poorly for the team who will go down as one of the greatest regular season teams to come up short in the Super Bowl, joining the ranks of the 2007 New England Patriots and 1998 Minnesota Vikings.

Denver has a lot of questions to answer over the next few months before they even begin to think about a return trip to the Super Bowl in 2015. What do the Broncos do with Eric Decker? Judging by how much money NFL teams generally throw at free agent wide receivers, Decker will likely be wearing a different uniform in 2014. The same could be true for Knowshon Moreno, although he will not receive nearly as much money on the open market as Decker. What about Champ Bailey? Or Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie? Or Shaun Phillips and Zane Beadles? The Broncos need to worry about players such as Von Miller and Demaryius Thomas, who are entering their contract years, so they will need to plan accordingly.

With a brutal schedule and many questions to answer on both sides of the ball, lofty expectations in The Mile High City may be difficult to live up to for the Broncos in 2014. I am not saying that Denver will fall off the map, but the fans may want to brace themselves.

Of course, all of this is a moot point if Peyton Manning is forced to retire by his medical team. If that is the case, all bets are off, as the Broncos would be lucky to finish next season with a winning record.

I hope that you have enjoyed the coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII as well as all of the story lines leading up to The Road To MetLife Stadium. Make sure to stay tuned to Boston Super Blog for more coverage and recaps as well as analysis of last night’s game in MetLife Stadium, as well as a look ahead to where the Broncos and Seahawks will go from here.

Finally, in case you have not yet seen the video of NFL players – both past and present – signing a collaborative version of the National Anthem, then what are you waiting for? I must admit that I went into it expecting to have some laughs, but these guys were pretty impressive. Current players such as Justin Tuck and Josh Brown of the New York Giants, Greg Jennings of the Minnesota Vikings and Nick Mangold of the New York Jets, as well as former stars including Emmitt Smith and Eddie George all got together to put out quite an impressive rendition of the National Anthem. If you have not yet seen it, make sure to check it out by clicking here.

Make sure to follow all of the latest on Twitter by using the #Road2MetLifeStadium and tag @MetLifeCentral, as well as checking back early and often to Boston Super Blog for all of the latest information regarding Super Bowl XLVIII in MetLife Stadium between the Broncos and Seahawks!


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About the author

Rob Kelley

Rob Kelley is a sports reporter for various newspapers in Florida, and is trying to break back into the sports writing game after a brief hiatus following the publishing of his first book, I'm Not a Quitter. He recently resigned as Editor-in-Chief and lead writer for The South Shore Magazine to pursue better opportunities. You can follow him on Twitter @RobKelley24.