It seems a long time ago that the Denver Bronco’s won the Superbowl. Much of the personnel both on and off the field has changed including the whole quarterback room and most of the coaching staff. John Elway is still holding firm but there are question marks over his ability to bring in the right players.
Reasons to be cheerful?
I am a little bit giddy about watching the Denver pass rush. I liked the look of Bradley Chubb during the draft process and was excited about the thought of him being paired with Myles Garrett in Cleveland. The Browns passed on Chubb though and Denver stepped in to pair him with Von Miller.
The passing attack suffered under inept quarterback play in 2017 but I hope to see things get better in 2018 and have Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders get back to their best. Joining them will be Courtland Sutton, a second pick in the draft. He combines size with speed and ludicrous athletic ability. Another rookie, Royce Freeman will hopefully add some impetus to a lacklustre running game. With CJ Anderson gone, Freeman will need to be at his best to adequately replace him.
Reasons to be fearful?
The quarterback is better, Case Keenum is better than anything that the Broncos have had under centre since Peyton Manning. But he’s not elite. He benefited from a quick passing game in Minnesota which made him look good. If the Broncos want to replicate that success then they need replicate the game plan that Minnesota used, they have the weapons to do it so it is achievable, but I need some convincing before I believe Keenum is more than a one season wonder.
What concerns me more is the O-Line. It improved from 2016 to 2017 but it’s still not great. Jared Veldheer was moved from left to right side of the line and was troubled early in the season. He did show improvement later on and could be an answer to the problem, but it would still be a concern.
Letting Talib go to the Rams was a big risk. Bradley Roby will step up to the top cornerback position but he’s a different kind of defender to Talib. Harris Jr or the veteran Adam Jones will need to step up to take on the bigger receivers.
How does the season shape up?
The Chargers are the favourites for the AFC West with the Chiefs many people’s pick to be in second place. I don’t think the Broncos are that far off though, in fact I think their defence is much better than their equivalent in Kansas. Get a good start, get some confidence going in the offence and this team could compete.
Playoffs? Might challenge for a wildcard spot but unlikely