2021 Denver Broncos Predictions with Odds to Win Super Bowl
Since winning Super Bowl 50 against the Panthers back in 2015, the Broncos have been in a free fall. They’ve won 32 games in five seasons but have lost 48. Their best record in those seasons was a 9-7 year in 2016, but they are coming off a 5-11 season in which very little went right for them. Not much has changed for the Broncos coming into this season, so how can we trust them on the futures boards, let alone every single week on the spread?
The Broncos will open up their campaign on September 12 with a trip to the Big Apple to take on the New York Giants. From there, the Broncos travel to Jacksonville to tangle with Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars before returning home for two against the Jets and Ravens. A 2-2 start would do the Broncos wonders as they take on the Steelers next and then the Raiders in Week 6. As of writing this, the Broncos are +2000 to win the Super Bowl, +900 to win the AFC and +550 to win the AFC West.
Let’s take a look at what to expect from each unit heading into this season.
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Key Players: Jerry Jeudy, Noah Fant, Quarterback X.
For what it’s worth, I have no idea what the right call is at quarterback. Do you go with the more experienced Teddy Bridgewater, who is coming off a season in which he started 15 games for the Panthers and threw for 3,733 yards, 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions? His completion percentage was 69.1, which is the highest of his career. However, outside of last season as a full-time starter, Bridgewater has shown very little in terms of reliability and consistency.
As for Drew Lock, he found his way into the starting lineup 13 times last season and managed to complete just 59.1 percent of his passes. He threw for 2,933 yards with 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Again, these are not the kind of numbers you want your starting quarterback to produce if you are looking to get into the playoffs. The Broncos desperately need one of these two guys to elevate their game to another level if the Broncos want to compete for a wild-card spot.
As far as the skill positions go, the Broncos do have some good pieces, but I think everything relies on Jerry Jeudy taking the next step and having a tremendous sophomore campaign. Last year, Jeudy caught just 52 balls but put up 856 yards and three touchdowns. With Sutton figuring to have the majority of the attention from the defense and the mini emergence of Tim Patrick, Jeudy should find himself in favorable matchups on the outside. And with even the slightest bit of good quarterback play, he should have a solid campaign.
As for Fant, he’s a very underrated tight end. He’s been in the league for only two seasons, but last year he caught 62 balls for 673 yards and three touchdowns. He’ll have a lot more looks this season if the receivers can elevate their games and help free up the middle of the field.
Defense & Special Teams
Key Players: Von Miller, Kyle Fuller
Defensively, the Broncos were very poor last season. They were 25th in the league in points allowed, giving up nearly 28 per game. They were also 25th against the run, giving up 130 rushing yards per game. However, they were a bit better against the pass, giving up just 237.9 yards per game through the air, which had them 16th overall – smack dab in the middle. There are a lot of good pieces on the defense, but the offense will need to do its job and score points and limit the turnovers. There were no real injury concerns for the Broncos on defense last year, so a healthy unit once again this year has a lot of room for improvement. As for special teams, the Bengals will rely on Brandon McManus to kick extra points and field goals, and we believe he will provide consistency in the kicking game.
The Broncos don’t really have a lot of on-field issues, but the biggest one they do have surrounds the quarterback position and which guy they are going with. Both Bridgewater and Lock are not proven commodities, so one of them will have to grab the bull by the horns and really run away with the starter’s role. Off the field, the Broncos’ biggest problem is that they are the worst team in the AFC West, and their only path to a playoff berth is via the wild-card spot. I don’t think they have enough to get into the playoffs, but they won’t suck bad enough to get a high draft pick next year. That is mediocrity at its finest.
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