Tonight is the official kickoff for the 2014 NFL season, and I couldn’t be happier – even if it is the team that destroyed us in February. Oh if you don’t know me, ‘us’ is the Denver Broncos. I bleed orange and blue, and have since the mid-1980s. Two seasons ago my little orange and blue heart was broken in the double overtime loss to the Ravens in the playoffs. And last year what was left of my heart was shattered in the devastating Super Bowl loss, the only Super Bowl I have ever been to. But this season is our season! The Denver Broncos are better than ever!
The Broncos are even stronger this year because we are the same team, but with a stronger defense. The Denver Defense now includes safety TJ Ward, cornerback Aqib Talib, and my new favorite Bronco defensive end DeMarcus Ware – what an amazing, gorgeous smile! Von Miller has returned – no more injuries, suspensions or missed court dates. On the other side, the Broncos’ offense is also stronger. We still have Manning, both Thomas’ and we have Ryan Clady back and healthy. Having Clady back improves Denver’s offense even though we did lose Eric Decker. But the Broncos replaced Decker with two great wide receivers in Cody Latimer and Emmanuel Sanders. I loved watching Sanders in that third preseason game against the Texans. He had two amazing touchdowns, which he topped with a bow and a mile high salute. Welcome to Denver Emmanuel!
The only bad news is both Broncos’ Pro Bowl kicker and wide receiver are suspended for the first four games – games against the Colts, Chiefs, Seahawks and Cardinals. That is 1/4 of the season without two of Denver’s best players. This could be problemsome. Matt Prater, who just last season kicked the longest field goal in NFL history, is suspended for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. Prater has been in the NFL’s alcohol program since his DUI in 2011, and apparently he was caught drinking after last season. I don’t have a lot of faith in his replacement Brandon McManus, who has less followers on Twitter than I do. This doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a bad kicker, but if he was good, wouldn’t he be well known enough to have a lot of followers? McManus did miss a 52-yard field goal attempt in the last preseason game in Dallas. Already suffering from a concussion in the third preseason game (his third in 10 months), Wes Welker is also suspended for the first four games for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy when he tested positive for amphetamines. Welker lost the appeal claiming he has never knowingly taken any performance-enhancing drugs. Allegedly, Welker was at the Kentucky Derby in May and took Molly, which was cut with amphetamines. Not sure if that is any better?
Even with these two losses, I am very excited for this 2014 Denver Broncos season! I think we are going to be better than ever! I am even returning to the scene of the crime (ie MetLife stadium where the Super Bowl was) on October 12th to see my Broncos take on the Jets. I have a great seat just eight rows up from the field in the corner on the Broncos side near the tunnel. Follow me on Twitter @DeenasDays for all your Broncos news.