2016 NFL Preview: Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos are the Kings of the NFL right now. After winning the Super Bowl last year, they have every reason to be. However, with some key departures happening this off-season, are the Broncos still Super Bowl contenders in our eyes?

How will Denver replace the legendary Peyton Manning?

Is the Broncos defense the best in the NFL?

Can this defense lead this team to another Super Bowl win?

Let’s find out!

 

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Denver Broncos

The Stats:

Record Last Ten Seasons: 12-4 (2015), 12-4 (2014), 13-3 (2013), 13-3 (2012), 8-8 (2011), 4-12 (2010), 8-8 (2009), 8-8 (2008), 7-9 (2007), 9-7 (2006)

Last Playoff Appearance: Super Bowl 50 vs. Carolina Panthers

Last Playoff Win: Super Bowl 50 vs. Carolina Panthers

Super Bowl Titles Won: 3 (Super Bowl XXXII, Super Bowl XXXIII, Super Bowl 50)

Passing Leader for 2015: Peyton Manning (2,249 yards, 9 touchdowns, 17 interceptions)

Rushing Leader for 2015: Ronnie Hillman (863 yards, 7 touchdowns)

Receiving Leader for 2015: Demaryius Thomas (1,304 yards, 6 touchdowns)

The Head Coach:

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Gary Kubiak

Overall Record (as a head coach): 73-68

Record With Team: 12-4

Previous NFL Jobs: San Francisco 49ers Quarterbacks Coach (1994), Denver Broncos Offensive Coordinator & Quarterbacks Coach (1995-2002), Denver Broncos Offensive Coordinator (2003-2005), Houston Texans Head Coach (2006-2013), Baltimore Ravens Offensive Coordinator (2014)

My Grade: B+

The Team:

(Depth Charts will change as training camps progress obviously….)

Player Grade Guide:

Blue = Elite Player

Green = Really Good Player

Orange = Average Player

Pink = Meh

Red = NO THANKS

Gray = Rookie

Offense:

QB: Trevor Siemian

RB: C.J. Anderson

WR: Demaryius Thomas

WR: Emmanuel Sanders

WR: Bennie Fowler

TE: Virgil Green

OC: Matt Paradis

OG: Max Garcia

OG: Darrion Weems

OT: Donald Stephenson

OT: Russell Okung

Defense:

DE: Derek Wolfe

DT: Sylvester Williams

DE: Jared Crick

LB: Von Miller

LB: DeMarcus Ware

LB: Brandon Marshall

LB: Todd Davis

CB: Chris Harris

CB: Aqib Talib

SS: T.J. Ward

FS: Darian Stewart

The Schedule:

vs. Carolina Panthers (September 8)

vs. Indianapolis Colts (September 18)

vs. @ Cincinnati Bengals (September 25)

vs. @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (October 2)

vs. Atlanta Falcons (October 9)

vs. @ San Diego Chargers (October 13)

vs. Houston Texans (October 24)

vs. San Diego Chargers (October 30)

vs. @ Oakland Raiders (November 6)

vs. @ New Orleans Saints (November 13)

BYE WEEK

vs. Kansas City Chiefs (November 27)

vs. @ Jacksonville Jaguars (December 4)

vs. @ Tennessee Titans (December 11)

vs. New England Patriots (December 18)

vs. @ Kansas City Chiefs (December 25)

vs. Oakland Raiders (January 1)

The Prediction:

9-7

Brief Synopsis:

The Denver Broncos kind of shocked everyone last season when they won the Super Bowl. It’s not that I thought the Broncos were a horrible team or anything, it’s just that they were SOOOOOOOO bad at the quarterback position that I’m still amazed that they were able to pull it off. Peyton Manning is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time, but you’re lying to yourself if you don’t think he had an awful year last season. He was even benched at one point and was replaced by a guy who had little-to-no NFL experience! So when the Broncos made the playoffs, there wasn’t a whole lot of expectations for them to win it all. It’s not very often that a team can win the big one when you have such horrible play at the most important position on the field. But the Broncos defied all the odds and went on to win the franchise’s third Lombardi trophy. Is there anyway the Donkies can repeat as Super Bowl winners this year? They’ve won back-to-back Super Bowl titles before, is John Elway’s crew capable of pulling off a repeat? Let’s take a closer look.

On offense, we have all sorts of questions and they start with the QB position. Peyton Manning is gone and is now watching games from the comfort of his couch. Denver tried to bring in Mark Sanchez, but then they remembered that he’s not very good. And much like the other quarterbacks from this year’s draft class, the Broncos first-round pick Paxton Lynch is nowhere near ready to play either. That means Denver is left stuck playing last year’s seventh-round pick Trevor Siemian and no one knows what to expect from this guy, but my hopes aren’t very high. Fortunately for Siemian, he has a lot of weapons to work with on the Denver offense. The Broncos are loaded at wide receiver with Thomas and Sanders and they also have a nice two-headed workhorse at the running back position. Their offensive line is a complete disaster though and if the offense struggles to move the ball downfield or Siemian misses time due to an injury…..we know who to point the finger at. The good news for the Broncos is, they can definitely win the Super Bowl this year. The bad news for the Broncos is, this offense isn’t going to be the reason why.

The reason why would be the defensive side of the ball. Even though Denver lost some important pieces from their Super Bowl defense to free agency, they are still extremely loaded on this side of the ball. They might have the best linebackers in the NFL as well as the best secondary, which is just ridiculous. When you combine that with the knowledge of Wade Phillips, magical things can happen. People want to know why the Broncos were able to shut down Carolina’s offense in the Super Bowl last season? It was all Wade Phillips. The plays that he designed in that game were things that defensive coaches dream of. Of course it helps when you have a player like Von Miller who played out of his damn mind. Either way, if Denver is able to make another playoff run this year and are somehow in the Super Bowl conversation….the defense is going to be the reason why. You know you’re a fantastic defense when you lose some key players and you’re still one of the league’s best.

So, what should we expect from last year’s Super Bowl winners this season? Personally, I think the Broncos can get back into the playoffs and piggyback a win or two off that defense. However, I would be utterly shocked if they won a Super Bowl with a complete unknown at the QB position. It’s one thing to win a Super Bowl with a broken down Peyton Manning because it’s still PEYTON MANNING! It’s a completely different thing to win the Super Bowl with a guy who’s never even won an NFL game. Good luck this year Broncos fans. You’re going to need it.

One thought on “2016 NFL Preview: Denver Broncos

  1. Pingback: Full NFL Coverage – The Ultimate Sports Blog

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