The Denver Broncos have taken one step backwards after another this offseason.
Their regression isn’t only about their offense, which has taken a host of hits, but their defense will not measure up to their own 2015 standards either.
However, some will disagree. In a piece called, “5 Reasons the Broncos Can Repeat as Super Bowl Champions” by Cameron DaSilva, for FOXSports he says, 1) their defense is still elite, 2) they won with mediocre quarterback play, 3) they’ve had an underrated offseason, 4) they will have an improved running game and 5) John Elway.
So, let’s take these point by point.
First of all, I agree that their defense will be very, very good… I just don’t believe they will be elite any longer. The loss of Malik Jackson, perhaps their best defensive tackle and the loss of inside linebacker Danny Trevathan, will be tough to overcome. The signing of DL Jared Crick was meant to offset the loss of Jackson but he’s clearly not the player Jackson is. The Broncos are also hoping Brandon Marshall can replace Trevathan but Denver will simply be weaker at linebacker without Trevathan. Weaker up front… and weaker at ILB… basically weaker up the middle now, makes the Denver defense less likely to dominate games like they were forced to do in order to win games in 2015.
Secondly, the Broncos may have won with “mediocre QB play”… but they don’t know what mediocre means yet. They still haven’t gotten to know Humpty Dumpty Fumblebutt, Mark Sanchez. He falls down with the greatest of ease and the least amount of pressure of any starting quarterback in recent memory.
Thirdly, saying that the Broncos have had an underrated offseason is an overrated statement. You’d be hard pressed to find any fans in Denver proper, who would agree with that and since I have relatives living there, I can confirm that’s pretty much the case. Manning, Osweiler, Jackson, Trevathan… . Nothing they’ve gained can offset those losses… unless Paxton Lynch turns immediately into Joe Montana. I’m high on Lynch but don’t think he’ll be effective for a couple of years. However, Donald Stephenson should help their offensive line… and that says a ton about the quality of their offensive line. Yes, they have OT Russell Okung now but he’s sitting out of OTAs waiting for a shoulder to heal. We won’t know if he’s a plus for their offseason moves until he steps on the field in the first game of the season… because that’s when his contract becomes guaranteed. Now, a contract like that is not a huge sign of confidence.
Fourth… will the Broncos have an improved running game? I might agree with this one. Their passing game is going to be average at best so relying on the running game will be a must in 2016 for Denver.
Fifth… John Elway has proven to be a very good general manager but saying he will cure their offseason woes is highly unlikely. Although I expect the Broncos to be competitive this season, they look to have fallen back into the pack. In fact, this USAToday piece predicts the Broncos will not make the playoffs in 2016.
As they say… you can’t stay on top forever.
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