Photos: Top ten things we've learned so far about the 2013 Denver Broncos

As the Denver Broncos get ready to face the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday, there's no mistaking the fact that the team |(and QB Peyton Manning in particular) are off to one of the hottest starts in NFL history. They've scored 179 points over four wins (or 44.8 points per game), the most since the NFL merged with the AFL in 1970. On top of that, Manning has thrown for sixteen touchdowns, better than any quarterback through the first four games of a season -- ever. But beyond stats, what have we learned about this year's Broncos squad? Count down our top ten below. Number 10: Adam Gase is a perfect fit as new offensive coordinator That Gase is one of the NFL's five youngest offensive coordinators should be more exciting than it is worrisome. An understudy of Mike Martz, who was the coordinator during the St. Louis Rams's 1999 Super Bowl-winning "Greatest Show on Turf" season, Gase is comfortable with the type of aggressive play-calling required to close out resilient opponents and win late-season games.

"You have one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time," Gase told the Denver Post shortly after being promoted last January. "I'm excited. I'm thrilled to be able to have that opportunity. We're looking to go pedal to the metal, and play as fast as possible and be aggressive."

Now that's the spirit. It's about time this guy had his turn at being something other than a position coach.

Number 9: Champ Bailey is replaceable I love Champ. You probably love him, too. Still, that doesn't mean he should be an automatic for starting cornerback once he's healthy enough to play.

After fourteen seasons as one of the best in the league, Champ finally showed signs of slowing down late last year. The degeneration of Bailey's ability was most apparent in his playoff match-up against Raven's wide receiver Torrey Smith, whose 98 yards and two touchdown receptions helped put an end to the Broncos' Super Bowl hopes.

Bailey's replacement, Chris Harris, has had as many interceptions (two) through three games as Champ did over fifteen games in 2012. Harris has also defended one-third as many passes, and it's barely October. It's unpleasant to admit, but the Broncos may be better off with Champ on the sidelines even after he's ready to play again.

Continue to keep counting down the top ten things we've learned so far about the 2013 Denver Broncos.
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Nick Petrak
Contact: Nick Petrak

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