After another huge victory by the Denver Broncos, we just have to start wondering; will this team go undefeated? The Broncos are led by a veteran head coach that has been there, done that, the defense is relentless, especially playing with a lead, and of course, Peyton Manning is the best in the business at cutting through opponents’ defenses like butter.
In the coming days and weeks, the question of whether the Broncos will go unbeaten will get beaten to death. That being the case, and largely since we’ve already addressed that question once here at TGS, I won’t get into the unbeaten talk just yet. In a couple of months, maybe, but not now.
Instead, I thought it would be a better brain exercise to consider how this season’s Broncos would fare against the 2007 Patriots.
For those of you that don’t remember, the 2007 Patriots ran through the NFL season, going 16-0. They breezed through the AFC side of the playoff bracket, but when they were pitted against the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII, the Giants won the game in the closing minute to drop the Patriots for the first time that year. New England finished with an 18-1 record, losing only the Super Bowl and the Lombardi Trophy.
Even though they lost the big game, that year’s Patriots squad is the measuring stick by which we measure any contemporary team with the label of “great.” Since that year, no team has actually been worthy of being compared to the 2007 Patriots, but this year, the Broncos look like one of the all-time greats.
In a head-to-head game, the Patriots and the Broncos would both have their hands full, but at face value, the Broncos have an advantage. The Patriots had possibly the best offense in the history of the game, but their defense was nothing special. Instead, the Patriots relied on their offense to build huge leads and let their defense capitalize on opponents’ desperation late in games.
This year’s Broncos play a similar game on offense, but even on an off day, their defense would probably keep them in any game. The Patriots, by contrast, never had what could be considered an “off day” in 2007, and that was fortunate for New England because against the right team, it would have been a tough loss.
Obviously, there’s no way to ever know which team is truly better. The 2007 Patriots will be forever considered one of the best teams in NFL history, even though they didn’t win the Super Bowl. That’s a trap the Broncos will be trying to avoid in early 2014, but right now, this Broncos team looks every bit as great as that Patriots squad. Are the Broncos the best team in NFL history? Maybe, but that debate is for another time. Would this year’s Broncos beat the 2007 Patriots? Who knows, but that’s one game I would pay my right leg just to see.