Are we overlooking the Denver Broncos?

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

The Denver Broncos ended up dead last in their division last season with a 5 – 11 record, ending the season with three consecutive losses.

We know all about the quarterback issues that have plagued them since Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning left the team. And then there were the injuries that devastated the team last season, causing them to lose their future Hall of Fame linebacker and team leader, Von Miller, for the season.

All of these things equaled a horrible, no-good season in 2020 for the Broncos.

Are the issues from their last season making us overlook them this year? Are we forgetting the dynamic, young players they have added to the team? Now, I’m not saying they are Super Bowl contenders or anything… (here comes the but)

But… Are we overlooking a team that could be greatly improved in 2021?

I’m not going to go into too much depth at QB. Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater will go head to head for the job. A job which for all intents and purposes won’t be theirs for long. Denver will be looking for a long-term solution at that position, which could be a dynamic rookie or a savvy vet (I’m looking at you, Aaron Rodgers).

I believe Bridgewater will get the start, just a gut feeling, and he will be a more than serviceable QB to get the team through the season.

It’s the rest of the team that I think needs a closer eye. Let’s start with the offense.

Let me just throw out some names. Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant, Melvin Gordon, Albert Okwuegbunam, Javonte Williams, KJ Hamler. There are a lot of players to be excited about on this offense. Throw in a good offensive coordinator, Pat Shurmer, and things could get fun. If Bridgewater, or even Lock, can improve on last season’s QB play, this offense could look quite impressive.

Oh and then there is the defense.

Three words. Von Miller returns. That’s it. That’s the tweet.

The return of Miller does more than just make the Broncos pass rush stellar, it brings back the team’s true leader. He is going into his 11th season in the NFL and shows no signs of slowing down. And, we have to remember, he is only 32 years old. It’s insane to think he’s had double-digit sacks in every season but 2 (not counting 2020 when he was injured in preseason). His return changes everything for Denver.

But Von Miller isn’t the only star on defense. The Broncos have a litany of good to great players on the defensive side of the ball. They have Bradley Chubb, and then added Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby, re-signed Justin Simmons and drafted Patrick Surtain II in the first round. The defensive depth on this team is solid too.

Now I don’t want anyone to misunderstand what I’m trying to say here today. The Denver Broncos are in a very tough division, the second toughest in the league in my opinion, and will have to fight to be noticed in it. They will have to find an extra bit of spark from their QBs and stay healthy. However, I won’t be surprised if the Broncos find a way out of the cellar of this division. And when they do find that high-level QB once again? That will be interesting to watch.

 

Follow Dayna on Twitter // @DaynaOG

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