Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at 9:15 PM (Mile High Stadium)
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The Denver Broncos are looking to improve on a (6-10) season, where the QB play was subpar at best. Former QB Case Keenum finished the season ranked 29th in QBR and led the team to 23rd in points per game due to questionable decisions. To combat this GM John Elway has brought in benched ex Super Bowl winning QB Joe Flacco from the Baltimore Ravens where he was beat out by then rookie Lamar Jackson. Additionally, John Elway moved up in the draft to select QB Drew Lock, where tension has already built between the two. The Broncos defense also had a bad year as they were ranked 22nd in total yards allowed and are shaking up the defense with CB Brandon Marshall expected to not be with the team this year. New Head Coach Vic Fangio was brought in to help this defense turn into the great Chicago Bears defenses he has created, but is that too high of expectations in year 1? The season will start to unfold on the road as the Broncos travel to Oakland to face the Raiders.
Week 1 at Oakland Raiders
Although I have no faith in the Oakland Raiders, I think the Broncos might just be in worse shape. Joe Flacco is the same below average QB as Case Keenum was and I see Antonio Brown paying dividends in this one as he ignites the Black Hole in a win at home.
Week 2 vs Chicago Bears
Head Coach Vic Fangio will have an enormous advantage in this matchup as he knows the ins and outs of both sides of the Bears offense and defense. Although the Bears had the number one ranked points per game allowed defense last year I think Fangio will help create some open slots for Flacco as the Broncos pull off the upset at home.
Week 3 at Green Bay Packers
Although the Packers had a down year in 2018, it was mostly due to Aaron Rodgers being injured and the clear friction between him and former Head Coach Mike McCarthy. I think you will start seeing the old Aaron Rodgers as he gets in a groove with TE Jimmy Graham and WR Davante Adams proves he is a number one. The Packers are hard to beat at home and I think it will not happen here.
Week 4 vs Jacksonville Jaguars
This Jaguars defense will suffocate an offense ranking 5th in defensive total yards allowed. This defense was the only reason this team was in any game as their offense was abysmal. I see the acquisition of QB Nick Foles allowing the Jaguars to improve, at least enough to beat this Joe Flacco led team.
Week 5 at Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers led by Phillip Rivers will be hard to stop as this defense I expect to still be at the bottom of the league. Rivers had the 7th highest QBR of any QB last season and led their offense to the 6th best points per game average. I think the Chargers are too talented on both sides of the ball for the Broncos to stop on the road.
Week 6 vs Tennessee Titans
This Titans team comes into this season with question marks under center as well as QB Marcus Mariota has regressed over the past few years. With that being said, this Titans defense has improved a ton under Head Coach Mike Vrabel, ranking 3rd best in points allowed per game. With the addition of newly acquired safety Kenny Vacarro, I think this Titans defense will shut down the Broncos.
Week 7 vs Kansas City Chiefs
This Chiefs team is just too talented on both sides of the ball for this Broncos team to be able to stop. This Broncos offense with Joe Flacco under center will not be able to compete with the amount of points Mahomes and company will put up.
Week 8 at Indianapolis Colts
This will be a very scary Colts team this upcoming season as Andrew Luck looks in top shape and the defense is poised to step up into the upper echelon of defenses. Andrew Luck just has too many weapons at his disposal for the Broncos defense to stop. Colts win at home.
Week 9 vs Cleveland Browns
I am a believer in the hype of this Cleveland Browns team. The poise and confidence that QB Baker Mayfield possesses is enough to rejuvenate a whole team. I also feel like the addition of WR Odell Beckham JR will allow this offense to look like the Oklahoma Sooners, especially against this middling Broncos defense. Give me the Browns.
Week 10 Bye
Week 11 at Minnesota Vikings
This will be a very tough matchup for this team as the Minnesota Vikings are set for a bounce back year. They are my sleeper for a NFC title contender as I think they win the NFC North. The Vikings have the more experience head coach, the better defense, and more weapons on offense than the Broncos. Give me the Vikings at home.
Week 12 at Buffalo Bills
This is another winnable game for the Broncos, but at this point I think the reigns will be handed over to Drew Lock at QB. This Bills defense is tough ranking 2nd in total yards allowed in 2018. I think this defense puts a lot of pressure on Lock and allows for a Bills win at home.
Week 13 vs Los Angeles Chargers
Every team has that game during the season that is a stunner; this is mine for the Broncos. I think that this defense will be able to build off of their previous matchup to stop this Chargers offense just enough to pull out the win at home.
Week 14 at Houston Texans
The Texans are coming into this season with high hopes as QB Deshaun Watson is coming off of a Pro Bowl Season and this Texans defense is for real with a healthy J.J. Watt. I do not think the Broncos will be able to put up much of anything against this defense as the Texans win at home.
Week 15 at Kansas City Chiefs
This will be a repeat of their week 7 matchup as the Chiefs roll to a season series sweep.
Week 16 vs Detroit Lions
I think that the Lions will be out of playoff contention at this point as they play a loaded NFC North with the Packers, Bears, ad Vikings. The Broncos will be playing with more grit and effort for respect at home against a Lions team that was not that great on either side of the ball in 2018. Give me the Broncos.
Week 17 vs Oakland Raiders
I see this as a repeat of their week 1 matchup as Oakland will win, especially since draft positioning will be on the line for Elway and company.
This line is questionable to me as the Broncos really didn’t do much to improve other than draft TE Noah Fant out of Iowa. They swapped below average quarterbacks and had minimal offseason transactions to improve this team. Take the under.