America’s New Favorite Team: The Denver Broncos

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The people have spoken, and there is a new “America’s team.” According to the Harris Poll, the Denver Broncos have taken over the honor of being America’s favorite team. They replace the Dallas Cowboys, who had been voted as America’s favorite team the last six times the poll was conducted. The poll, which was conducted online from September 10 through September 17, reached 2,543 adults, 1,275 of whom said that they follow professional football. Here is a look at the top 10 teams in the poll:

  1. Denver Broncos
  2. New York Giants
  3. Green Bay Packers
  4. Dallas Cowboys
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers
  6. Seattle Seahawks
  7. San Francisco 49ers
  8. New England Patriots
  9. Chicago Bears
  10. New Orleans Saints

On an interesting side note, the Denver Broncos hadn’t cracked the top 10 in the poll since 2005. The arrival of Peyton Manning as the team’s quarterback and John Elway as the team’s general manager seem to have paid major dividends for the team hailing from the Mile-High City.

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Why Denver?

From day one, Manning has been nothing short of spectacular for the Broncos. In 2012, his first season in Denver, he led the Broncos to an AFC West title and the top seed in the AFC playoffs. In 2013, he was even better. All he did was helm a Broncos offense that was statistically the best in NFL history, break single-season records for passing yardage and passing touchdowns, and lead the Broncos to an AFC Championship and a trip to Super Bowl XLVIII.

Elway has proven to be one of the few former players who have truly excelled in a front office role in the NFL. The Hall of Fame quarterback returned to the front office of the team that he led to Super Bowl titles in 1997 and 1998, and has built the Broncos into a team that on paper looks like potentially the best NFL squad ever assembled.

The Broncos’ offense is likely the reason for their selection as America’s favorite team. Aside from Manning, their offense boasts the best group of pass catchers in the NFL, with Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Wes Welker, and Julius Thomas all being Pro Bowl-caliber players. An explosive offense is exciting to watch, and there isn’t another offense that can explode the way the Denver Broncos can.

While the offense may cause fans to tune into Broncos games every week, their defense is also loaded with All-Pro talent. Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, Terrence Knighton, Aqib Talib, Chris Harris Jr., and T.J. Ward are all All-Pro caliber talent. For fans of defensive football, the Broncos offer one of the best products in the NFL on that side of the ball as well.

A franchise with the star power of the Denver Broncos is an ideal team to play its games during prime time. Since 2012, the Broncos have been among the league leaders in games played during prime time. Throw in a Super Bowl run in 2013, and the Broncos are arguably the most visible franchise in the NFL.

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A Super Bowl rematch?

The Harris Poll went a little more in depth than just finding out which squad was America’s favorite team. They went on to poll the 1,275 respondents who said they follow professional football to see who they thought would win Super Bowl XLIX regardless of who their favorite team is. Here are the results:

  1. Seattle Seahawks, 28%
  2. Denver Broncos, 19%
  3. San Francisco 49ers, 9%
  4. New England Patriots, 7%
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers, 5%
  6. Green Bay Packers, 4%
  7. New Orleans Saints, 4%
  8. New York Giants, 3%

America seems to think Super Bowl XLIX will be a rematch of Super Bowl XLVIII, and those results stack up pretty favorably to the odds being offered by Vegas sportsbooks. Here are the six favorites to win Super Bowl XLIX, according to Bovada.net.

  1. Denver Broncos, 4-1
  2. Seattle Seahawks, 6-1
  3. San Diego Chargers, 9-1
  4. San Francisco 49ers, 9-1
  5. Green Bay Packers, 11-1
  6. New England Patriots, 11-1

The “experts” and the fans are pretty close to being on the same page on this topic.