After Peyton Manning agreed to a deal with the Denver Broncos, expectations began to soar for the defending AFC West Champions. In Las Vegas, Denver’s Super Bowl odds skyrocketed from 30-1 to 10-1 within minutes of the Manning news. While adding a Hall of Fame quarterback will make any fan base excited, Denver shouldn’t rush to print Super Bowl tickets just yet.

After going 8-8 last season, Denver fans have to assume Peyton can easily transform this team into a double digit winner. However, opponents outscored the Broncos by 81 points last season.¬†If you take away a few ‘Tebow miracles’, the Broncos were at best a 6-10 team. Adding a 37-year-old Manning should tilt the scoring edge in Denver’s favor, but the rust and newness with his arrival may prove to be a difficult transition.

Manning has primarily been a ‘dome quarterback’ and has never played the majority of his games outside. Manning’s record is just 62-44 in outdoor games. Add in the injury concerns and playing in the¬†volatile Denver climate may cause some issues. However, John Elway must have been convinced by Peyton’s workouts to know the weather won’t be an issue.

While the conditions will be cold, the opponents will be much tougher for the Broncos. In addition to its divisional opponents, the Broncos will face the AFC North, NFC South, Texans, and Patriots this season. Seven of the Broncos’ sixteen games will come against playoff teams while four more of those games will come from two teams who were as good (record-wise) as the Broncos were last season (Oakland, San Diego). Don’t sleep on the Chiefs, retooled Bucs, or upstart Panthers, either. All three teams have gotten better.

Denver’s main receivers (Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker) are very, very raw players, but Manning was able to turn Austin Collie into a household name. Manning will need more dependable targets and past team mate, Dallas Clark is available. In addition, long-time center, Jeff Saturday is expected to meet with the Broncos.

When I look at the Broncos, I don’t see a Super Bowl contender. Thomas and Decker are skilled play makers and defensive end, Von Miller is a dumb, yet special talent. This team just lacks the depth to get on par with the AFC’s elite.

Given their tough schedule and unfamiliarity with Peyton’s system, I don’t envision the Broncos being much better than their 8-8 record in 2012. Sure, a 10-6 record is attainable and could probably clinch the AFC West, but getting those ten wins won’t be easy. Signing Peyton Manning was the right move for the Bronco franchise. I just don’t see it paying off as handsomely as others do.