Denver kicks off their season in just over a month from now. What progress will Drew Lock and the Broncos make in 2020? Will they compete for a wildcard spot? An AFC West crown? Here is a very honest take on the upcoming season.
Week 1: vs Titans (9/14)
The Broncos’ young team could easily come into the regular season guns ablaze. However, it’s more likely they will need to warm up to the professional competition—especially since there are no preseason games. Denver’s defensive line is the cornerstone of their team, and they will surely dominate the game with added sack or two (or three). The offense will need a full game or two to develop chemistry.
Tennessee also has the added advantage of confidence from their playoff run last season. The Titans finished 9-7 and defeated both the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens. Their run was only cut short by the team that would go on to win Super Bowl LIV, the Kansas City Chiefs. While the momentum of this game could go either way, I am not hopeful quite yet.
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Week 2: At Steelers (9/20)
Drew Lock will enter this game with a chip on his shoulder. This should be a fairly easy win for the Broncos, regardless of whether or not Ben Roethlisberger or Mason Rudolph is quarterbacking the Steelers. Both are recovering from injury with Roethlisberger giving them a veteran who has won a pair of Super Bowls. It all depends on his health, considering, the Steelers don’t have a particularly impressive lineup and barely finished 8-8 last season. As the Broncos’ offense becomes more fluid, they will become a sneaky offensive threat in the league.
Week 3: vs Buccaneers (9/27)
This is a tough game to predict because both teams have new additions. There is a very real chance neither team will have strong offensive chemistry at this point in the season. Tom Brady is a legend, but he should have retired two years ago. Rob Gronkowski had the right idea… until Brady pulled him out of retirement and on to Tampa Bay’s roster. While Brady is not as agile as he used to be, he does still have moments of greatness. Preparation is in the details and the Broncos will definitely be prepared to face the Buccaneers in Week 3. Will the Bucs be ready?
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Week 4: At Jets (10/1)
The Jets aren’t the worst team in the NFL, but they are nowhere near the best. Depending on the outcome of the Tampa Bay game, the Broncos may need this stress-free win as a pick-me-up. Vic Fangio can use this game as an opportunity to rotate through his roster. There may be a hidden gem somewhere further down the lineup that will prove useful in the future. This game also gives Lock a chance to experiment with his receivers and test their ability to catch long passes downfield. You never know when a Hail Mary play might pay off.
Week 5: At Patriots (10/11)
The Patriots will always be a tough team to beat so long as Bill Belichick is the head coach. There is no getting around his scrappy gameplay and quick decision making. However, it will be more difficult for Cam Newton to connect with his receivers than people realize. The balance in offensive strength as well as defensive effectiveness will make for a very close game. The matchup will come down to who takes the most risks with the greatest rate of success. Belichick has proven on numerous occasions that he is unafraid to take chances, and they usually pay off. This game will be a lesson for Denver, as they can’t become too comfortable with their standard rotation of plays. It takes audacious plays to win.
Week 6: vs Dolphins (10/18)
The Dolphins are right down at the bottom of the talent list with the Jets. Just for perspective, Miami hasn’t finished first in the AFC East since 2008. This matchup will likely play out exactly like the Jets’ game. This gives Denver more time to prepare for their toughest game of the season in Week 7 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Those trick plays and hidden gem players might give the Broncos a fighting chance against the reigning Super Bowl champions.
Stay tuned for predictions on the Broncos’ second half of the season.