Originally posted on The Hair of the Dog Sports Blog  |  Last updated 3/26/12
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Contrary to popular belief, replacing Tim Tebow with Peyton Manning will not give John Elway another Super Bowl ring. In fact, the Denver Broncos will not even challenge for the Super Bowl next year.

The day after Peyton Manning signed with Denver, the Broncos Super Bowl odds improved from 50-1 to 10-1. I wonder if the odds-makers would reconsider after reading this. No? Well, here we go anyway.

Manning said the Broncos running game was a reason he signed with the team. The Broncos finished with the No. 1 rushing offense in the league last year, in large part to the type of offense they ran behind the now departed Tim Tebow. The Broncos starting running back, Willis McGahee is on the wrong side of 30, and has never been, what I would call, “durable.” His back up? Lance Ball. Yes. Lance Ball. Suddenly, I’m questioning that running game.

What about the receivers? Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and they just signed tight ends, Joel Dressen and, former Colt, Jacob Tamme. OK, but not exactly Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison and Dallas Clark.

What about this defense? I keep hearing how good this defense is. Is this the same defense that Footballoutsiders.com ranks 19th in the league in total team defense? Why yes, it is that same defense. Is this the same defense that gave up 40 points to the Buffalo Bills in Week 16, only a week after giving up 41 points at home to New England? It sure is. The same defense that gave up 45 points to the Patriots in the playoffs? Guilty as charged. Is this the same defense, whose leader, Brian Dawkins is close to 40 years old and struggled to stay on the field due to injuries late last season? Correct again.

Now hold on, Peyton Manning makes everyone on the team better, even the defense. True, a healthy Peyton Manning does cover up a lot of inefficiencies for your football team. This version of Payton Manning is 36 years old and coming off 4 neck operations in less than2 years. Oh, but we’ve all seen the cell phone camera footage of No. 18 throwing a couple passes at Duke University. Did you see any defense on the field? Any 300 pound defensive ends coming off the corners? Me neither. That could make a difference, don’t you think?

At his introductory press conference, Manning said he wasn’t 100% yet but could play the following Sunday. Yeah, he also said he could play in the Red Zone last year, and said he could play the last couple games for the Colts. Doctors disagreed with him. They’re funny like that.

You might take this as sour grapes from a Colts fan who will no longer have the pleasure of watching the all-time great, Peyton Manning, play for his team again. That’s fine. Just remember the things I brought up here, and try to be realistic with your expectations of this Broncos team with Manning as it’s QB. This was an 8-8 team last year with a subpar defense, a below average receiving corps, and an aging, injury-prone starting running back. They’ve added Peyton Manning and all the health questions that surround him. Waiting for them is the 2nd toughest schedule in the league this year.

Check us out on Facebook, Hair of the Dog Sports Blog. Follow me on Twitter @coldy4goldy.

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