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Peyton Manning Key For Broncos To Make NFL Playoffs

The Denver Broncos made the NFL playoffs last season after winning out on tiebreakers since they finished in a three-way tie with an 8-8 record. Tebow Time fueled part of that, but the end-of-season struggles made it a shaky proposition to make the playoffs. But things should be different with Peyton Manning under center this time around.

Over at SB Nation, NFL editor Joel Thorman predictably offers Manning as the reason the Broncos will make the playoffs during the 2012 season:

Peyton Manning? is that the right answer? The Broncos addition of Manning was the biggest free agent move all year and perhaps in the last few years. He's a major difference maker and adding him to a team that already went to the divisional round of the playoffs last year means a playoff appearance will be easier in 2012.

The caveat, of course, being that Manning is healthy for the entire season. Manning's neck is seemingly fine, but his arm strength is still affected by nerve pain. If Manning goes down, the Broncos' alternatives are likely Caleb Hanie and rookie Brock Osweiler. That's scary.

For more on the Broncos, check out Mile High Report. Head over to SB Nation NFL for more news and notes as we go through training camp.

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