It's always a good idea as a television analyst to take a strong stance on a topic, and Tony Gonzalez is definitely doing that.
Gonzalez, who retired this offseason and took a job as a CBS studio analyst, said the Denver Broncos are going to go 19-0. That has never happened in NFL history, but Gonzalez told New York Newsday that Denver will go 16-0 in the regular season and unlike the 2007 Patriots, the only other team to go undefeated in a 16-game regular season, the Broncos will win the Super Bowl.
"Right now, Denver has a team built just like the New England Patriots back when they went undefeated [in the 2007 regular season],'' Gonzalez told Newsday. "In looking at Denver in the preseason and Peyton Manning's command of that offense, he'll pick up right where he left off last year. And defensively, they went out like good organizations do and addressed their weaknesses.''
Predicting any team to go 16-0 (or 0-16 for that matter) is usually foolish because the NFL is too good from top to bottom for that to be a realistic prediction. And even if the Broncos are the NFL's best team this year – and you could make that argument – the schedule won't allow them to come close to 19-0.
Denver doesn't play a team that had a losing record in 2013 until Week 10. The Broncos have 12 games against teams that were at least .500 last season. They have road games against the Seahawks, Patriots, Bengals, Chiefs and Chargers, all playoff teams in 2013. It's just not happening.
But Gonzalez's love for the 2014 Broncos might not be misplaced. He picks the Broncos to beat the Seahawks in the Super Bowl, even though Seattle won that matchup 43-8 this year. Denver added four impact free agents (cornerback Aqib Talib, safety T.J. Ward, end DeMarcus Ware and receiver Emmanuel Sanders) and get two All-Pros back from injury (outside linebacker Von Miller and offensive tackle Ryan Clady).
"If they can stay healthy, how do you beat this team?'' Gonzalez told Newsday. "They're balanced on both sides of the ball. They can run, they can pass, they can stop the run and they can stop the pass now on a consistent basis. It's going to be very, very tough to beat them."
They might even be better with a second tight end who had 859 yards and eight touchdowns last season. Gonzalez retired when he was still playing good football. He told Newsday he'd be "tempted" to come back to a contender late in the season if any called, but he's not thinking about a comeback right now.
"I've had teams ask me to come back and play for them,'' he said. "I won't name those teams, but I'm happily retired, so I'm not even thinking about it. I'm looking forward to getting to work with these guys from CBS.''
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