11. Denver Broncos (HOME – Week 5)
You heard it here first: the Denver Broncos are going to be a good team this year.
Or at least a decent team at the very least.
Look, it’s foolish to get too optimistic about any team that shares a division with the Kansas City Chiefs these days. Patrick Mahomes is a generational talent, the Chiefs retained their top line of receivers, added a first-round running back to their existing pool of runners, still have Travis Kelce at TE (he’s the best in the league), and managed to keep most of their better-than-advertised defense intact.
We’ll talk more about the Chiefs much, much later in this slideshow (spoiler alert!), but the point of the matter is that it’s going to be very difficult for any other team from the AFC West to emerge from Andy Reid’s considerable shadow in 2020.
The good news — at least if you’re a Broncos fan, that is — is that Denver might be set up best for the long-run when it comes to challenging K.C. for divisional supremacy.
The Chargers seem to be in an arms race with the Chiefs in the here-and-now for who can assemble the most talented team. The Raiders and Broncos, on the other hand, look like they’re both committed to building for the future.
Between the two of them, I think Denver’s done a better job. The defense of the Broncos has been a strong suit for years now (after all, it pretty much singlehandedly won them Super Bowl 50). It’s the offense that has been the problem of late.
Ever since Peyton Manning retired and the Broncos waved goodbye to other offensive stars like Emmanuel Sanders, Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, C.J. Anderson, etc. from that Super Bowl-winning team, Denver just hasn’t looked the same.
Whether or not Drew Lock is the answer remains to be seen. But the Broncos looked like they hit a home run with Courtland Sutton at WR, and Jerry Jeudy also looks like he could be a steal. Assuming one or two guys step up from the hodgepodge at RB (Melvin Gordon, Royce Freeman, Phillip Lindsay, etc.), this team might be dangerous in 2020.
The Patriots should still be able to come out on top in what could be a battle of 2019 second-round picks at QB (Stidham was taken in the fourth round and Lock was taken in the second), but don’t sleep on this game all the same. Denver always seems to give New England fits.