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Denver Broncos season preview: Run, defence will cause opponents issues

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The Denver Broncos had a largely uninspiring season last year with their 6-10 record, but surely they have to be better this year, right?

I think they will be, but not by much.

The Case Keenum era in Denver was a short and unsuccessful one (18 TDs to 15 INTs, 3,890 Yds), but is Joe Flacco the answer? Not for me.

He’s definitely a better quarterback than Keenum (who looks a lot like The Big Bang Theory’s Howard Wolowitz when in a helmet), but he’s a stop-gap before the team moves on to Drew Lock or some future quarterback they can build around. His nine-game sample last year, before he was displaced by Lamar Jackson, read 12 TDs, 6 INTs, and 2,465 Yds.

I’ve actually never really been a big fan of Flacco, especially over the last few years, but he should be able to navigate the Broncos through some tough spots unlike Keenum last year. Every ship needs a calm helmsman during a storm at sea, and Flacco can at least bring that, if not the wins.


The excitement with the Denver Broncos is in two key areas.

Number one on that, very short list is the running back situation. I expect this to be a largely running season, grinding out yardage on the backs of last year’s undrafted rookie star Philip Lindsey, and Royce Freeman, with the odd throw to Noah Fant, Emmanuel Sanders (depending on his rehabilitation) or DaeSean Hamilton.

I’d like to see a lot more from Courtland Sutton, but with the running game hitting hard, and Flacco’s love of dumping the ball off to the tight end, I don’t see much of a chance. Noah Fant, however, could be leaned on as a pressure release despite him only just being drafted.

The second area that excites people is the defence. I mean, of course it does; it is the domain of internationally-loved Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller, and exceptionally talented defensive end Bradley Chubb, who between them managed 60 tackles, 16.5 sacks, and an interception.

Backed by quality playmakers like Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib, the “Orange Crush” of old still won’t be what it was, but with Vic Fangio (who sounds like a moderately powerful vampire), you could see a shrewd, stoic, and stingy defence that makes things difficult.


As for the season prediction, I think it’s going to be tough sledding, but whilst a season going 8-8 won’t be enough for the fans, it’s what they’re going to get…if they’re lucky.

A game with the Raiders away should be a win. I don’t see the Raiders doing, well, anything this year – they’re firmly in rebuild mode, and even adding someone like Antonio Brown is not going to change that.

Following that, the Bears thunder in to town, and regardless of Vic the Vampire being their former coach, they’ll take home the win. I also believe they’ll lose all three games following until they beat the Titans in Week 6, leaving them at 2-4.

Then, they travel to the Chiefs who have just dodged a Tyreek Hill-shaped bullet and look set to continue their dynamic bombardment of every single team that has to even glance their way, and I don’t believe the Broncos have a prayer of matching up with KC’s offense even though their defence is worse than bad. The Colts are too good this year on both sides of the ball, and Andrew Luck is just a brilliant quarterback, that’s another loss.

The Broncos will beat the Browns. I see that. The Browns have a fantastic amount of quality, but they already appear as a team that’ll likely be derailed by locker room attitudes. They’re overhyped, and I expect a slightly humbler Baker Mayfield following this season. I like Mayfield, but I expect him to have a terrible day at Mile High against the pass rush.

Then the Broncos get their Bye Week, followed by a lot tough games, but I think they’ll get a few wins here, despite starting the run with a loss to the Vikings. They should win a tough road game against the Bills, despite Josh Allen, because they’ll shut him down on the ground and force him to throw. Then, it’s tough to see a win until Weeks 16 and 17, where it’s all a little too late.

I expect much better performances, but I still don’t see where the playmakers are when the ground game struggles, so I have them at 6-10 again. They could do 8-8, winning one game at home against the Chargers, and at the Vikings, but I don’t see it.

Still, it’s not a loss for the Broncos because they’re definitely in a transitional period, and I’m sure that all too soon they’ll be back in contention for the playoffs.

Just not this year.

Likelihood of making the playoffs: No chance.

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