Since winning the Super Bowl back in 2016, the Broncos have found themselves on the outside looking into the playoffs each of the last two seasons. Much of that had to do with horrendous quarterback play and an aging defense that lost a number of parts from the glorious “Air Raid’ days.
John Elway went out and believes he rectified both situations by inking Case Keenum to a lucrative offseason deal to lead the offense. He also snagged what some believe to be the best defensive player in the draft in Bradley Chubb who terrified opposing offenses in the ACC throughout his stay at NC State. Pairing him up with Von Miller gives Denver one of the most fearsome end duo’s the game has to offer entering the 2018 regular season.
However, the offensive line remains a grave concern. Upper management did little if anything to shore the front wall up in the draft by selecting Sam Jones at the end of the sixth round. The Broncos allowed their field generals to get dropped an obscene 52 times a short season ago. For comparison sake, the Vikings only gave up 27 total. Should Keenum remain healthy all season, he better have his head on a swivel because his hogs up front are nowhere near as good as Minnesota’s.
Denver’s offense has failed to impress each of the last two seasons. More so last year when it scored an average of just 18.1 points per game due to the quarterback carousel under center and an anemic ground attack. The passing and running games were infused with some nice talent in the draft with the selections of wide receiver Courtland Sutton out of SMU and Oregon running back Royce Freeman. Even DaeSean Hamilton was a nice score in the fourth round!
Elway showed confidence in Vance Joseph even though the team took a major step back in his first go round as head coach. Injuries played a huge role. With no excuses to fall back on and an improved roster, it will be interesting to see just how ready Denver is to compete with what looks to be a top heavy division headlined by the Chargers and Chiefs.
The betting markets are split on what’s to transpire. The Broncos season win total opened at 7.5 and was bet down to 7 where it currently sits. However, heavy juice is attached to the high side of the number. We’ll get a clearer picture of what this team is all about through the first month with three of their first four games to be played at home. Six of their next nine will be on the road making it that much tougher to compete. If they get out to a good start, positive momentum could lead the charge back into the playoffs.
Week 1: Seahawks at Broncos, Sunday, September 9, 4:25 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 2: Raiders at Broncos, Sunday, September 16, 4:25 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 3: Broncos at Ravens, Sunday, September 23, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 4: Chiefs at Broncos, Monday, October 1, 8:15 p.m. ET – ESPN
Week 5: Broncos at Jets, Sunday, October 7, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 6: Rams at Broncos, Sunday, October 14, 4:05 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 7: Broncos at Cardinals, Thursday, October 18, 8:20 p.m. ET – FOX/NFL Network
Week 8: Broncos at Chiefs, Sunday, October 28, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 9: Texans at Broncos, Sunday, November 4, 4:05 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 10: Bye Week
Week 11: Broncos at Chargers, Sunday, November 18, 4:05 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 12: Steelers at Broncos, Sunday, November 25, 4:25 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 13: Broncos at Bengals, Sunday, December 2, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 14: Broncos at 49ers, Sunday, December 9, 4:05 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 15: Browns at Broncos, Saturday, December 15, 4:30 p.m. ET – NFL Network
Week 16: Broncos at Raiders, Monday, December 24, 8:15 p.m. ET – ESPN
Week 17: Chargers at Broncos, Sunday, December 30, 4:25 p.m. ET - CBS
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