Over the next few weeks we will reveal a prediction involving an interesting player or team prediction leading into the 2014 NFL season.
Prediction: The Denver Broncos will win the Super Bowl
Oddsmakers and the public, which backed the favored Broncos to win over Seattle at greater than a 75% clip, may have been a season ahead of themselves. Though we loved Seattle to win
– in an upset by spread – over Denver in the Super Bowl in New York, the Broncos are favored in a rematch over the Seahawks in our most likely Super Bowl heading into the 2014 season. Denver should be just as potent throughout the season offensively as the losses of Knowshon Moreno and Eric Decker should be more than offset by the additions of Emmanuel Sanders and Cody Latimer, the health of Ryan Clady and the maturation of Montee Ball. The key to this team, however, will be improvements on defense where the Broncos now rank as having the second best secondary in the league after Aqib Talib and T.J. Ward were added to a defensive backfield that should also get Chris Harris back from injury. Add in a healthy Von Miller – a top three defensive player in the league when he plays – and the signing of DeMarcus Ware and this defense is scary.
The Broncos win the Super Bowl over Seattle, not the other way around. Last year at this time, we projected Denver winning 1.2 more games on average than any AFC team. This year, the Broncos win 1.9 more games than anyone else in the conference. In 50,000 simulations, the Broncos make the playoffs 88.3% of the time and win the Super Bowl a league-high 20.1% of the time. Going into 2013, we projected six teams with a 10%+ chance at winning it all. This year, we see just three such teams. Denver is followed by Seattle at 15.9% and New Orleans – an improved defensive team – at 13.4%.