AFC WEST PREVIEW
August 20th, 2016
The Denver Broncos are far and away one of the most difficult teams to predict this season. Some of it has to do with the rise of the Oakland Raiders, and how good they’ll be along with the rest of the West, but most of the uncertainty has to do with who will be playing QB. It’s most likely going to be Mark Sanchez, who inherits a Super Bowl winning offense, that will be playing behind a top notch defense. He has pass catchers and a running game in place and an O-line that has lost and added pieces. But it’s Mark Sanchez, and no one knows what to expect.
Will a good team around him make up for his deficiencies, or will his lack of vision and toughness erode the framework that is in place. Will we see the Mark Sanchez that led the Jets to two AFC championship games, or will we see the Sanchez that fumbles the ball of his own teammates ass. John Elway clearly didn’t want to spend on a big name QB in the off season, including Brock Osweiler, and who is anyone not to trust Elway’s discernment. As he’s built a Super Bowl winner with his bare hands.
This team has some great playmakers, so it will be difficult to believe they won’t be in the hunt all season, after all they did win a playoff game with Tim Tebow.
And if they are in the hunt it will unquestionably be due to the defense. Von Miller is the president of the world right now after his Super Bowl performance and huge contract. As well, almost everyone else is in place including the entire secondary. Losses like Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan shouldn’t consume too much worry, as the offense has bigger questions. This is still a world class defense, that will single handedly win games for this team.
Russell Okung coming over form Seattle is a big deal at the LT position. He will help Sanchez with more time in the pocket, and the running game stands to benefit as well. Don’t write this offense off just yet, as long as Sanchez can protect the football they should be fine, and Okung will help with this.
C.J. Anderson finished last season the way he was expected to play the entire 2015 campaign. This was encouraging news for the Broncos, but now without a greater threat to throw, the question is, will the box be stacked against him? If so, it could be tough mudding until Sanchez figures out how to get the ball down the field. He has the WRs to do so, and it may take a few weeks, but eventually Anderson will have a bit more space in the backfield to get going, and once he does, look for him to be a primary go-to in red-zone, and on third down as well.
Emmanuel Sanders, and Demaryius will be great at some point this season, but it’s hard to tell when. They are more DFS options when their price starts to creep down, but stay away on draft day season long. Pick up receivers who have good QBs throwing to them.
This is still a 10-11 win team, so don’t let Peyton Manning’s retirement allow you to write this team off totally. They have no prolonged tough patches on their schedule, and get New England at home. They get the Panthers and Falcons at home, but have to travel to Cincinnati and Jacksonville. If the Bengals game is close in any way Bronco Nation should be optimistic. Don’t be so quick to crown Oakland the new champs of the AFC, the Broncos are still good, and their defense is even better.
The Super Bow Champions Denver Broncos are a +2.0 Home Underdog in week 1 vs. Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers Get all of your week 1 NFL odds today.