NFL Preview: Denver Broncos

We got a little off schedule this week, hopefully we’re back on track for next week.

Head Coach: Josh McDaniels
Offensive Coordinator: Mike McCoy
Defensive Coordinator: Don Martindale
Special Teams Coordinator: Mike Priefer
President/CEO: Pat Bowlen

Offensive Starters (Projected)
QB: Kyle Orton
HB: Knowshon Moreno
FB: Spencer Larsen
WR: Brandon Lloyd
WR: Eddie Royal
LT: D’Anthony Batiste
LG: Zane Beadles
C: JD Walton
RG: Stanley Daniels
RT: Ryan Harris
TE: Daniel Graham

Defensive Starters (Projected)
DE: Ryan McBean
DE: Justin Bannan
DT: Jamal Williams
LB: Mario Haggan
LB: DJ Williams
LB: Akin Ayodele
LB: Robert Ayers
CB: Champ Bailey
CB: Andre Goodman
FS: Brian Dawkins
SS: Renaldo Hill

Special Teams
K: Matt Prater
P: Britton Colquitt

Schedule:
@ Jacksonville
Seattle
Indianapolis
@ Tennessee
@ Baltimore
New York Jets
Oakland
@ San Francisco (Wembley Stadium)
BYE
Kansas City
@ San Diego
St. Louis
@ Kansas City
@ Oakland
Houston
San Diego

Rookies to Watch:
The Broncos didn’t have a great draft for immediate impact players. That being said, they did grab some players who could play a big role for the team.

The two who could play the biggest role are Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. Both are WRs and the team isn’t exactly stacked at that position. Thomas could give the Broncos a big play threat that they didn’t have last year. Decker is a big target and has great hands and he should help move the chains and be a red zone target.

A sleeper pick could be Syd’quan Thompson, he was one of the top rated corner backs in the draft heading into last year but a poor year dropped his stock and he fell into the 7th round. If he can get back to the way he played two years ago, he could give the secondary a real boost.

Season Expectations:
The team suffered a huge loss early in training camp when they lost Elvis Dumervil for the season. Dumervil was a key part of the defense and the only real pass rush threat. Without Dumervil the secondary will be put under even more pressure. Champ Bailey has looked great during the preseason and he’ll have to have a career year to keep the team competitive. The pass defense hasn’t really been the problem the last few year, the rush defense has been really bad. The team took steps to help the run defense by bringing in Pro-Bowl DT Jamal Williams from division rival San Diego. Williams should single handedly boost the rush defense to at least league average.

On the other side of the ball, the team will again be led by Kyle Orton who just signed a one-year extension. Orton lead the team to a great start last season before the team fell off over the last 10 games of the season, he’ll need to continue the first half success from last year to make this team dangerous. He’ll have some pretty good weapons to take advantage of. Knowshon Moreno should step forward from last year and be a big threat out of the backfield. On the outside, Eddie Royal can’t be as bad as he was last year and Brandon Lloyd has always been a solid possession guy. With the rookies I talked about earlier they should have plenty of options to attack opposing defenses.

The AFC West is down this year and any team in the division can take advantage and win the division. The Broncos are one of the teams that should be expected to pull away from a weak division and move into the playoffs. Once there, you never know what could happen.

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