We have a new head coach in Denver, as Gary Kubiak went home with health issues. Vance Joseph has got a TON of experience on his staff with 5 guys over 20 years in the NFL, and another 9 with over a decade in the pros.
Offense: Trevor Siemian is still penciled in as the starter, but he’s not exactly the guy that Elway and Manning jersey wearers are pining for, he has beat out Paxton Lynch, so that says something for both of them. I have to think eventually Lynch does become the starter as he does have the better arm, but needs the confidence.
Whomever is QB, they have some serious targets, both Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders went for over 1K and 5TDs each. For some reason the Broncos drafted more guys here in the 3rd and 5th round, not like they had any more needs. Another 5th rounder went for a tight end, something else I don’t get as they have a good combo with Derby and Green.
CJ Anderson is the prime back, and when he went down with injury, the Broncos running game went down as well. let’s not pretend that this was a major running game to start, as he did have 437 yards in 7 games. Jamal Charles is over from KC, for a little revenge tour. This one could get interesting if the offensive line is any good.
The line has problems, as there is some serious musical chairs here, as only C Matt Paradis is back where he was last year, but he was dinged up last year. Everyone else has been moved around. First rounder Garrett Bolles is expected to take a tackle spot quickly.
Defense: There was a lot of flux on the defensive line, as Sylvester Williams is gone, and replaced him with Domata Peko. Peko is a solid leader and can force doubleteams, but he does have 12 years on his tires. Fun thing is Denver has 3 second round picks around him, 12,16 and 17. Derek Wolfe is a monster on the edge.
DeMarcus Ware is retired, but I don’t think that is going to hurt much. Shane Ray got 8 sacks in limited action, and if he can get used to playing so much more often without getting gassed, the second line should not skip a beat. Von Miller is still here, and he could make me look capable.
The secondary is one of the best in the NFL, as Chris Harris and Aqib Talib are #1 corners on almost any team. Brendan Langley was added in the third round to add depth. This unit can cover for almost any mistake.
Special Teams: Brandon McManus is a solid kicker, getting 3 of 6 beyond the 50 and 27 of 28 under 50. Coverage units were pretty good. Riley Dixon does have an above average punting, but if you can’t be a good punter in Denver you are using the wrong foot.
Overall: I’m going 3 wins in the division, but 2 wins vs the NFC East and another 2 wins vs the AFC East, as they play Buffalo and Miami on the road. Bonus games are Indy late in the year and Cincy. I think they win both of them for a 9-7 record.
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