Coming off a Super Bowl Championship season, expectations are certainly high for the 2016 Denver Broncos. They enter this year with a somewhat different roster, as their former quarterback Peyton Manning hung up his cleats for good, and several players left for other teams during free agency. Although different, this year’s squad is brimming with talent, so look for Denver to be competitive once again in the AFC and potentially defend their title in the big game in 2016.
With Manning choosing to ride off into retirement with two Super Bowl victories, and his backup Brock Osweiler signing with the Houston Texans as a free agent, the Broncos obtained Mark Sanchez via an offseason trade with the Philadelphia Eagles. Denver also drafted Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch after trading up for the 26th pick to join Sanchez and Trevor Siemian on the depth chart. Wideouts Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are both healthy and good to go, while the Broncos will finally get to see what tight end Jeff Heuerman can do as he was sidelined for all of 2015 with a knee injury he incurred in training camp. This year should see improved production for running back C.J. Anderson, and he will have some company in Denver’s fourth round pick Devontae Booker, a versatile, one-cut running back from Utah. In 2015, the offensive line was a weak point, and this offseason John Elway made the necessary moves for improvement by signing tackles Russell Okung and Donald Stephenson during free agency, and selecting guard Conner McGovern, all of whom should bolster the line and do their part to keep the quarterback healthy and on the field.
The Broncos’ 2015 defense was remarkable and arguably the best in the NFL. Malik Jackson, Danny Trevathan and David Bruton all signed with other teams during free agency, causing some folks to panic in the Mile High City. No need to worry though, as Denver was fortunate to have a deep roster and should still wreak havoc on opposing offenses in 2016. The only newbie who could potentially see the field as a starter is Jared Crick, a defensive end who came over as a free agent from the Texans. Australia’s Adam Gotsis, a second-round pick could split time with Crick on the right side of the line.
Still riding high from their Super Bowl 50 victory, the Broncos are fired up for another exciting season of football. Despite the other teams in the AFC West showing signs of improvement, the division should still belong to Denver. Be sure to purchase those Denver Broncos tickets, and head out to support these guys all season long. It should be one exciting season in the Mile High City!