The Denver Broncos are slowly starting to gain national media attention. It’s not quite 2016 but the Broncos are on the minds of many after a perfect start to the season. Vic Fangio’s men extended their win streak after destroying the hapless New York Jets in Week 3, taking their record to 3-0.
Cream of the AFC
Denver sit atop the AFC West and are one of just five NFL teams still undefeated. AFC West rivals Las Vegas joined Denver as the only two teams without a loss in the American Football Conference. Bitter rivals Kansas City dwell at the bottom of the West in what makes the start to the season so much sweeter. As if that wasn’t joyous enough, Broncos Country have more motives to smile, particularly after comments made by Tony Dungy and Drew Brees on NBC’s Football Night In America.
Former Super Bowl winning coach Dungy admitted the Broncos start was “surprising, but they’re playing very good football.”
‘What about their opponents’ combined 0-9 records?!’ – Kansas City fans screaming from the bottom of the AFC West, probably. In all seriousness, that statistic is a club the Broncos’ have been beaten with since the final down in Mile High on Sunday. There’s no escaping reality, it is a fact. Though Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio has an answer to anyone taking credence in such skepticism.
“A lot of people are saying ‘well their three victories have come against teams that are a combined 0-9,’ Florio said on Football Night In America, September 26. “In past years those teams wouldn’t have been 0-9 because they’d have beaten the Broncos! So, they’re winning the games they’re supposed to win, it’s going to be interesting to see what happens when they come up against a team that they’re not supposed to beat and if they can pull that one off.”
Bridge to Success
One man critical to the Broncos overcoming ghosts of seasons past is Theodore Edmond Bridgewater Jr. The 28-year-old, who went 5-1 as a starter in New Orleans, has been sensational since taking the reins from Drew Lock. The quarterback controversy of the offseason seems a world away and with good reason. Bridgewater leads the league in completion percentage (76.8%) and has the 5th highest quarterback rating, 116.4. Former teammate Drew Brees explained why the Broncos are so dangerous with Bridgewater under centre.
“They have a formula,” Brees said. “That defense is healthy and they’re playing well. They’ve got a quarterback who has moxie, has leadership ability, has a skill set that can get the ball to these young guys, bring guys together, create some outside the pocket creative type plays because he’s that type of player. I think that was a great pickup for them and I see them just playing with a lot of confidence right now.”
Dungy echoed Brees’ sentiments, highlighting just how big Bridgewater’s addition has been. “Teddy Bridgewater has been a breath of fresh air,” Dungy said. “Ever since Peyton Manning they’ve been looking for quarterback play and they finally got it.”
As Matthew Stafford’s time in Detroit attests, statistics are great but wins and losses are all that matter. Right now, Bridgewater is hitting in both of those categories and will need to keep it moving if they are to stay atop of the AFC West for the weeks and months ahead.
Follow Patrick Djordjevic on Twitter: @Patdjordjevic