Mark Sanchez heads the Broncos QB depth chart over Trevor Siemian and first round pick, Paxton Lynch (Memphis)
The list of starting quarterbacks that donned a familiar orange and blue jersey between John Elway’s MVP performance of Super Bowl 33 and Peyton Manning’s, umm, appearance at Super Bowl 50, certainly makes for an interesting conversation. On some levels, however, the entire 17-year stretch could be summed up by simply discussing the three players currently competing for first team reps at the Mile High City.
LAST YEAR’S RECORD & 2016 NFL FUTURES
Win-Loss: 12-4 SU and 7-7-2 ATS
Over/Under: 6-8-2 O/U
Noteworthy: Denver is set to host Carolina in Week 1 and the early line favors the Panthers by -2 points. If this stands, it will mark the first time in 10 years a Super Bowl champ has been getting points at home vs. a team they beat the previous season.
Mark Sanchez is the presumptive starter but Denver’s move to secure Paxton Lynch suggests they’d like to see him on the field at some point this season. Manning was nothing like his Hall of Fame self in 2015, but he at least brought leadership to the field that rallied players from both sides of the football and Sanchez lacks that type of trait. The one thing Sanchez does possess is experience and with HC Gary Kubiak’s system and a revamped O-Line featuring Russell Okung, there’s a good chance the Bronco offense can rank somewhere near middle of the pack. Keep in mind, the Broncos offense last year was 27th in red zone, 27th in third down conversions and 25th in giveaways per game (1.8).
RB CJ Anderson is coming off a decent year where he gained momentum as the season went along. All five of his rushing TDs were scored from Week 8 out and his yards per carry more than doubled in the second half from 2.7 to 6.2. Kubiak reports that Anderson is healthier than ever and if the new O-Line gels it will provide much needed relief for whoever is calling signals at the line.
BRONCOS BOTTOM LINE: TICK-TALK
Keep an eye on talks between the Bronco brass and LB Von Miller. Denver already lost Malik Jackson (Jags) and Danny Trevathan (Bears) to free agency while DeMarcus Ware (back) sat out mini-camp. It’s nothing out of the ordinary in this day and age but let’s be honest, the Broncos front seven was the best in football last year and their secondary built off the success of the pass rush. Reaching double-digit wins as defending champs is already going to be a tall order and MIller’s presence is critical towards Denver’s success. A division title won’t hinge entirely on their defense but the bar is set high and every play caller will be gunning hard to punch holes in the unit that took home a title in February.