After our divisional season review podcasts, we are now looking to the future and asking where each franchise goes from here. We put ourselves in the chair of being GM or the owner and going over what moves we would make in order to win a Superbowl, make the playoffs or just regain some pride…
Today we take a look at the Denver Broncos.
Don’t forget to check out the AFC West podcast where we talked to Sam Lane and Stocks from 5yardrush and got their thoughts on them!
How Did Last Season Go?
The Case Keenum experiment didn’t bear all the fruits for John Elway and Broncos Country.
They put themselves in a position for a wildcard berth at 6-6 but 4 straight (humiliating) defeats to 2 teams picking in the top 4 of the 2019 draft and 2 divisional rivals cost them. What else cost them was a 3-6 start before their bye week giving them too much to do in hindsight.
Bottom half in the league in terms of yards and points on offence tells you how well Case Keenum’s Broncos did. Only scoring more than 25 points twice all season against an out of sorts week 1 Seattle Seahawks at home and the Cardinals – a team who were the worst in football. Keenum himself has a season QB rating just pushing over 80…not the Minnesota Case Keenum, that’s for sure.
A bright spot on offence was the running backs, where Philip Lindsay burdst on to the NFL scene as an undrafted rookie. Bumping out draft pick Royce Freeman and dust collector Devantae Booker to surge to the top of the depth chart. Anyone taking a punt on him in the early weeks of fantasy football waiver wires were beaming.
Emmanuel Sanders had a good season despite his age nearing the number where father time comes calling. Injury curtailing his career so I guess in a way, father time caught up. It remains to be seen whether he will be the same again in 2019. Draft picks Courtland Sutton and DeSean Hamilton showed flashes at times to the point where the Broncos were happy enough to send Demaryius Thomas to the Texans for a bag of dust.
The defence looks a shadow of it’s former Super Bowl winning self and home field advantage is ever present at mile high. That said their first round draft pick Bradley chubb had himself a good season (I guess you should being picked at no.5 overall) and allowed Von Miller to continue doing his thang. The pair combined for 26.5 sacks in 2018, breaking Broncos records all over the shop.
The Broncos own pick 10 in the draft but it’ll be decent odds they pick from that spot come the end of April. Elway loves a case of the itchies.
The Broncos also own picks 41, 71, 125, 148, 156, 182 and 237.
Cap wise, the Broncos have around $11m available at this moment.
As mentioned, Demaryius Thomas was let go for that bag of dust which has now flown away to New England via the Texans (and a trip to the hospital).
The Case Keenum project was shut down after 1 year and other names that have left Mile High include Center Matt Paradis, corner Bradley Roby and TE Matt LaCosse
If you ask Elway, Joe Flacco is entering his prime so is a massive upgrade on Keenum in that respect (ooook). Kareem Jackson comes over from Houston along with CB Bryce Callahan and RT Ja’Wuan James
Outlook for Next Year
The young pieces on offence will be hoping Joe Flacco is that upgrade on Case Keenum ad many will look to Sutton and Hamilton to come to the fore in the passing game and for Lindsay not to be hampered by his serious arm injury that curtailed his impressive 2018 rookie year.
Surely though, the pairing of Miller and Chubb on the edges of the defence will be the cornerstone to the Broncos winning games. A tough division, a tough schedule too with the AFC South and NFC North not making things too easy in their quest for a wildcard berth (nor does their 3rd place finish giving them the Browns and Bills (away) as their other fixtures outside their division). Sorry fans.
For me personally, I am not sure how the Broncos will be contenders again under Elway whilst he keeps whiffing at the GM position.
For 2019, this division is going to be too hot for Denver with KC and LAC in prime position for an assault on the Lombardi Tophy. With Oakland being a wildcard and making some positive moves, don’t be surprised to see the Broncos bottom of this division and picking top 10 again in 2020. Once again, sorry fans.
That being said, their home field is decent enough advantage for a few wins a season and whilst the Broncos may not be on primetime much this season, we see them first up in the HOF game vs Atlanta.
I think they max out at 7 wins, and that’s generous of me. Be thankful.
Joe Flacco – Joe Flacc-no
Philip Lindsay – likely to be overdrafted but unsure what round – injury dependant.
Royce Freeman – potential hold in dynasty if Lindsay struggles to return.
Emmanuel Sanders – mid to late rounds (injury dependant) – WR 2 ceiling
Courtland Sutton – Later rounds – WR3
DeSean Hamilton – shallower league perhaps undrafted – WR4 with upside.