Will the Denver Broncos Have a Super Bowl Letdown?
The Denver Broncos are saddling the biggest questions and most uncertainty of all teams in the NFL. Losing both of your starting quarterbacks wouldn’t be so significant if it weren’t for these two players. First was “The Sheriff” himself in future Pro Football Hall of Famer Peyton Manning who retired and was probably the best on-field offensive coordinator ever. Then there was Brock Osweiler who departed via free agency to the Houston Texans.
It would be one thing if they were able to trade for another starting quarterback, but they weren’t so lucky. By drafting Paxton Lynch from Memphis with their first and 26th overall pick, they appear to be planning for the future. Lynch is said to have the most upside and overall talent set of all the drafted quarterbacks, but he is extremely raw and nowhere near ready to be an NFL starter.
Sanchez in Driver’s Seat
So that puts the car keys in the faithful hands of six-year pro Mark Sanchez. We can only wonder which Sanchez the Broncos are going to get from week to week. Is he going to be the same man that twice took the Jets to the AFC Championship game. Or are we going to see the quarterback who has thrown 18 or more interceptions with quarterback ratings in the 60s and 70s?
Those two scenarios are still better than turning it over to little known second year backup signal caller Trevor Siemian. Siemian hails from Northwestern University and hasn’t even attempted an NFL pass. Sure you would assume that he is a high I.Q. guy, but how much faith are you putting into a seventh round pick in his second year?
The offense is going to have to lean on the running game. With the Broncos, this is a great thing. They were able to retain maybe one of the best backfields in the game with C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman. Those two both carried the rock at least 150 times and together rushed for over 1,500 yards.
The Broncos on the outside need the ball!
They also have a dynamic receiving core with Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Owen Daniels. All of those weapons will rely on Sanchez and his ability to hold on to the ball and make good quick decisions. Hopefully all of the butt fumbling antics are in the past. And we will see this high powered offense keep steaming ahead. We are also going to see what kind of offensive coordinator Rick Dennison is now that Manning isn’t calling the plays on the line of scrimmage. The Broncos are really going to miss his ability to read defenses and call the right plays at the right time.
The Broncos will only go as far as the quarterback position goes. If Sanchez can’t get the ball to his main weapons consistently through the air, it all falls on the running game. The running game is going to see eight man fronts most of the game. If Sanchez gets injured for any time, they don’t have a suitable backup to replace him.
Opposing teams will be blitzing and quick throws are a must. That will do well with Sanders, but it isn’t a good match for anyone else. The defense may be the most susceptible to poor quarterback play. Von Miller solidifies a defensive unit that has all the tools to be devastating, but there is a caveat.
If the offense can’t keep the ball moving and their defense off of the field, the defensive aggression will suffer. This increased frustration leads to more risk and teams taking advantage. Quarterback play will be extremely important on this team in 2016.
Will the Broncos have the same success that they had last year? Will the Broncos have a Super Bowl Let Down? Most telling for the seasons expectations is their record over the first four games. The football schedulers were extremely cruel to the Broncos giving them Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers respectively.