Another eventful offseason comes to a hopeful end

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The wait is finally over, but really, was it that long?

It's been quite an eventful eight months, what with the clumsy departure of Elvis Dumervil, Von Miller's escapades, the signing of Wes Welker, extension for Ryan Clady, release of Willis McGahee (remember him?), preseason emergence of Julius Thomas and Duke Ihenacho, and the musical chairs acts at center and middle linebacker.

We haven't had a dull offseason here in Broncos Land since at least 2008, and ever since John Elway took over, the team has been on a steady upward trajectory.

Only 29 months ago, the Broncos occupied an unfamiliar role among the league's laughingstocks, and held the #2 pick in the draft as a result.

Elway wisely selected the dominant Miller, added one of his GOAT brethren the next year, and this spring, he provided Peyton Manning with the gift of the league's greatest ever slot receiver.

Now, Denver enters the season as a formidable overdog for the first time in 15 years, which of course marks 15 years since Elway himself suited up in blue and predominantly orange.

Enjoy the ride, Broncos fans.

And of course, TYJE.

Broncos

As Lindsay Jones details, Elway and Manning have quite the mutual admiration society going.

Mike Klis says we shouldn't expect to see very much of Sylvester Williams tonight.

Denver's receiving corps has an opportunity to join some hallowed trios this season.

John Lynch says Welker and Orange Julius will provide an added dimension to Denver's passing attack.

Jeff Legwold reminds us we haven't yet seen Denver's real plans for Welker, and he expects Baltimore to go after Wesley Woodyard and Rahim Moore.

Ben Stockwell thinks Denver will have trouble pressuring Joe Flacco tonight, and he thinks Louis Vasquez and Welker will factor heavily.

Vance Johnson recalls how he, Mark Jackson, and Ricky Nattiel came to be known as the Three Amigos.

Ravens

Matt Bowen expects the Ravens to again rely upon their coverage more than their pass rush to contain Denver's passing offense. (h/t Ben)

Jeff Zrebiec thinks the Broncos will be too much for the Ravens to handle tonight.

News

Surveillance videos have been found placing Aaron Hernandez at the same nightclub as the two men he's suspected of killing in a 2012 Boston drive-by shooting.

There are apparently some in the Oakland organization who think the team would be better off with undrafted QB Matt McGloin than with Terrelle Pryor.

LOLJets owner Sticks Johnson incredibly laid the blame for Mark Sanchez's shoulder injury at the feet of...Mark Sanchez?!

The Oneida Indian Nation of New York has kicked off an ad campaign calling for a change to the Washington franchise's blatantly racist name.

Strange Quotes

Have-my-cake-and-eat-it-too Niners coach Jim Harbaugh is usually whining about something, and this time it's Packers defenders' talk about hitting QB Colin Kaepernick.

Retired LB Brian Urlacher says the Bears used to designate guys to feign injury in order to slow down fast-paced offenses. The Broncos clearly did something like this in a 2008 game at the Jets which I attended.

Panthers WR Steve Smith says former OC Rob Chudzinski called plays last year with an eye toward earning himself a head coaching job, and how exactly is an OC's success not in line with that of the team?

Analysis

Mike Tanier breaks down the NFCW and NFCS teams and offers an adult libation appropriate for fans of each NFL squad.

Charles Pierce says the NFL's real prize of the concussion settlement is silence.

Maths

PMFM is paid more each week than 60 current Broncos and Ravens will be paid all season long.

Neil Paine takes an interesting look at the impact of wide receivers on their quarterbacks, with several former Broncos atop the list.

Mostly Useless Predictions and Rankings

Woody, Klis, and Kiszla each predict an 11-5 finish for Denver, while Terry Frei thinks they'll underwhelm at 9-7.

Demaryius Thomas, Ryan Clady, and Matt Prater (?!?!) are among Chris Burke's and Doug Farrar's preseason All-Pros.

Bill Barnwell thinks the Broncos will fall short of the Chiefs in the AFCW but rebound to take home the Lombardi Trophy make the SB and lose to Seattle.

Mike Silver has Denver at #5 in his power rankings he doesn't like to call power rankings.

Of the Shutdown Corner guys, only Jay Busbee has Denver making the SB, but he has them beating Seattle for the trophy.

FO's DVOA projects another AFCW title for Denver, and gives them the second-best chance at winning the SB.

Scott Kacsmar foresees a rematch of SB 33 in New Jersey, and a similar result - a convincing win for Denver over Atlanta.

Gary Myers dreams of a Peyton-Eli SB matchup in the swamplands, sees Welker topping the century mark yet again, picks Montee Ball as his preseason ROY, and hedges his bets by taking the Seahawks over both the Broncos and Seahawks.

Three PFT guys predict a Denver loss in SB 48, while Mike Florio says they'll go the distance.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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