DENVER - The memories of his Super Bowl years had started to fade around these parts and John Elway could no longer use his arm and his feet to get his Broncos out of trouble.
It didn’t mean he couldn’t come to the rescue, though.
From one Hall of Fame quarterback to a future one, Elway handed faith, the football and millions of dollars to Peyton Manning last spring. As a result, it’s Orange Crush time once again in the Mile High City.
With Manning’s comeback from a missed season and multiple neck surgeries exceeding even the most optimistic projections, the Broncos are close to a consensus favourite with eight teams remaining in the NFL playoffs.
They have won 11 games in a row, riding an improved defence and a slightly weaker Manning arm to the top seed in the AFC. A win over the Baltimore Ravens at what is expected to be a frigid Sports Authority Field on Saturday afternoon would set up an AFC Championship at the same venue next week.