Denver-Broncos-Offensive-LineFor the Denver Broncos, it is Super Bowl or bust this year.

Peyton Manning is entering his second season in Denver, the team signed Wes Welker in free agency and the Broncos defense (which was already good last season) appears to be even better this year.

The Broncos have just as much, if not more talent, on both sides of the ball as any team in the league. But their season is going to depend on how one unit plays: the offensive line.

It doesn’t matter how good a team’s quarterback is if he doesn’t have anytime to survey the field and throw the ball. Just ask Phillip Rivers and Jay Cutler how much fun it is to play behind an abysmal offensive line.

When healthy, the Broncos offensive line is one of the best lines in the league. However, they can’t seem to stay healthy.

The team's starting center, J.D. Walton, injured his ankle last season and was supposed to be back playing again. Unfortunately, he suffered a set back during his rehab and needed another surgery. He’ll be out out until at least the beginning of November.

Denver brought back Dan Koppen on a one-year, $940,000 deal to play center until Walton returned. Koppen played some center last year for the team, but tore his ACL in practice yesterday and will be forced to miss the entire season. The Broncos signed free agent Steve Vallos yesterday to replace Koppen. The Broncos also brought in the former San Diego Chargers guard Louis Vasquez this offseason to play right guard.

The Broncos hope Ryan Clady will be at 100-percent this year to protect Peyton’s blind side. Clady is one of the most talented tackles in the league. He is coming off rotator cuff surgery though, and who knows if he’ll be fully healthy by the start of the season.

Offensive line is already one of the toughest positions, but playing offensive line with Peyton Manning as your quarterback is ten times harder. Manning is constantly changing up the blocking schemes, the play calls and calls more audibles than any other quarterback in the league.

It takes time for his offensive linemen and him to get on the same page, and the only way to build that chemistry is by playing together. With so many injuries to the Broncos offensive line, it could be a while before Manning and his first team linemen get to take some snaps together.

The Broncos have all the talent in the world, but if the team’s offensive line doesn’t play well, don’t expect to see Denver playing in February.

[Mike Lucas Sports]


Low price, available in multiple styles and colors!