Looking at the Broncos schedule
This will be based off what I expect to happen this year. Given the Broncos made improvements on their offense and got a new QB, there is optimism that this year the Broncos will be somewhat competent on offense. However, there is still uncertainty about what will happen, especially given the question mark at Head Coach. I still believe in this defense though, and trust Bill Musgraves to construct an offense that will at least keep the ball from turning over.
With that in mind, let us get started.
Week 1 vs the Seahawks
The Broncos as slight favorites here makes sense to me. Seattle has lost a lot of defensive star-power this offseason, but they still have Russell Wilson who will at least keep them competitive. The worry I have for him in this game is the stellar pash rushers combined with Denver’s secondary. If Seattle’s offensive line isn’t seriously upgraded, Wilson will need to keep up his streak of carrying the Seahawks through the year and will definitely take some hits from this Broncos defense. I’ll spot the Broncos a win here.
Week 2 vs the Raiders
Another home game for the Broncos. This week they face another team with serious question marks on defense. Yes, the Raiders have multiple pieces on defense that should make them quite good. Recent draft picks Arden Key and Maurice Hurst should improve the defensive line immensely. They could give the Broncos line issues, especially when teamed with Khalil Mack. Luckily, Keenum performed very well under pressure last year and hopes to feature in an offense built around a quick release and generating YAC. Against a weak linebacker group, this could be a recipe for success. I could see this game going either way, so I’ll give the Broncos the win at home.
Week 3 at the Ravens
I expect the Broncos to be handed their first lost here. Against a top defense, this will be a tough game to win on the road. Unless the Denver offense comes out and puts up a 20+ points unexpectedly, the Ravens should handle business here. Baltimore made a variety of moves to overhaul their offense this year just like the Broncos did, so I don’t expect the Broncos to be able to count on their defense here.
Week 4 vs the Chiefs
With Patrick Mahomes under center, this game could go any number of ways. I trust Andy Reid to know what he’s doing when giving Mahomes the keys to the offense. The Chiefs also brought on Sammy Watkins and have a multitude of weapons on offense. However, I expect Mahomes to struggle with turnovers in his first year starting and it could get ugly against a Denver team that should be getting pressure and hanging with KC’s receivers. Plus, the Broncos should be able to abuse a weak Chiefs’ defense that struggled last year. Broncos win at home. Broncos start 3-1.
Week 5 at the Jets
This game could go a couple of ways depending on who is quarterbacking the Jets. For the sake of writing an article like this in June, let’s assume it’s Josh McCown. Given that, and the Jets lack of talent on offense, I would bet on the Broncos defense having a big day here. On offense, the Broncos should handle themselves. The Jets do have nice pieces on both sides of the ball, but feel lacking as an overall roster. Broncos win.
Week 6 vs the Rams
No reason why the Rams shouldn’t win this game. They are more talented on both sides of the ball, should dominate the Broncos offensive line, and will challenge the Broncos defense. Broncos lose.
Week 7 at the Cardinals
This should be an interesting game. If Sam Bradford is starting, I would like the Broncos chances. While Bradford is clearly very talented, he is not the most mobile quarterback ever. The Cardinals did do some to address their offensive line woes, but nothing that seems to point to major improvement. The Broncos did well shutting down the run last year as well, so if they can make the Cardinals’ offense one-dimensional, they should fare well against David Johnson. I’ll give the Broncos the win here.
Week 8 at the Chiefs
I’ll give the Chiefs the win here, just because it’s at Arrowhead and I don’t expect Andy Reid to drop two games against a divisional opponent in a year. Plus, maybe the Chiefs offense has gelled by now and Mahomes is growing more comfortable after 7 starts. Broncos lose. Halfway through the year they are 5-3.
Week 9 vs the Texans
I believe in Deshaun Watson and think he will be a star in this league. On top of that, the Texans should have a top defense barring injuries. However, this Texans offensive line has to be a huge concern heading into the year. The Broncos should be able to abuse it and create major issues for Watson. Similarly, I expect the Broncos offensive line to struggle with Watt, Clowney, and Mercilus. I could see this game going either way so I’m giving it the Broncos simply due to home field advantage.
Week 11 at the Chargers
This Chargers team is loaded. Their defense is packed with stars in the secondary and the line, and their offense features just as much firepower. The Broncos should struggle to score here and might have a hard time containing this offense. Until the Broncos prove they can hang with teams that feature a lot more talent than them, I’ll give the team with talent the win. Broncos drop a game here.
Week 12 vs the Steelers
The Steelers are still one of the top offenses in football, and the last time Antonio Brown matched up against the Broncos secondary it didn’t go well for Denver. I expect the Steeler to come in and win this game. The Broncos drop to 6-5.
Week 13 at the Bengals
This is a tough one for me. The Bengals have talent on both sides of the ball, and have made moves to shore up their offensive line this offseason. Unless the Denver offense proves it can produce, and produce on the road, I think the Bengals take this one.
Week 14 at the 49ers
Denver should be able to put up points here, but might struggle to contain the 49ers offense led by Jimmy G. I think these two teams are evenly matched, but so far Kyle Shanahan has proven he deserves the upper hand in this coaching battle. That plus home field advantage makes me think the Broncos drop two in a row and go to 6-7.
Week 15 vs the Browns
The Browns have all sorts of talent on paper. However, they have serious limitations at quarterback and head coach, the two most important parts of the game. The Broncos might struggle offensively against a Browns team that has serious talent, but should handle their business at home.
Week 16 at Raiders
I think this matchup is too much of a wildcard to bet on the Broncos sweeping it. Raiders win.
Week 17 vs the Chargers
Once again, I think the Chargers are a much better team on paper than the Broncos. However, the Broncos do have serious reasons for having hope this season. For now, I will pick the Chargers. However, that could easily change if the Broncos prove their offense is more than potential. Still the Broncos finish 7-9 and miss the playoff again.
The Broncos could easily surprise me and finish the season in the playoffs. If their offense improves, limits turnovers, and Denver picks up a few upset wins, I would not be shocked. However, I am not going to count on this team before they prove it on the field. I think they had a great offseason and a really good draft, but I am still concerned about Vance Joseph being able to outcoach other teams with superior talent. That plus a division that should have three competitive teams could be just enough to sink the Broncos chances this year.