John Elway was one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Too bad he can’t find the right guy to take over his team. The Denver Broncos are working on another starter since Peyton Manning retired. Veterans Trevor Siemian, Case Keenum and Joe Flacco didn’t work out, so why not turn to second-year player Drew Lock? That’s what the Broncos are doing as they look to end a four year playoff drought. The Broncos won seven games last season and they can top that number if Lock is the key to the offense.
Broncos Over 7.5 Wins -116
Broncos Under 7.5 Wins -104
Fixing the offense, or finding an offense, is the first order of business for Vic Fangio to have a successful second season. Since Manning won a Super Bowl and retired following the 2015 season, the Broncos haven’t ranked higher than 22nd in scoring or 17th in yards per game. They weren’t very good last year finishing 28th with an average of 17.6 points while scoring 16 points or fewer in nine NFL games.
That side of the football got some serious attention during the offseason. Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler will provide game-breaking ability along with holdover Courtland Sutton in the passing attack. Philip Lindsay ran for 1,011 yards and seven scores to pace the ground game. Newcomer Melvin Gordon gives the backfield a boost. The skill positions are set leaving the rest up to Lock. He missed the first part of last season with an injury, but the stars aligned when he was healed. Flacco sustained an injury and Brandon Allen was ineffective.
Lock got the starting nod in Week 12 leading the Broncos to a win over the Chargers. He went 4-1 over the last five contests throwing for 1,020 yards with seven touchdowns and three picks. More importantly he was able to produce points. In their four wins with Lock behind center the Broncos averaged 26 points per game putting up the two highest point totals of the season. Defensively the Broncos were strong and should be once again with Bradley Chubb healthy.
2020 Denver Broncos Schedule
Week 1: Titans at Broncos, Monday, September 14, 10:10 p.m. ET
Week 2: Broncos at Steelers, Sunday, September 20, 1 p.m. ET
Week 3: Buccaneers at Broncos, Sunday, September 27, 4:25 p.m. ET
Week 4: Broncos at Jets, Thursday, October 1, 8:20 p.m. ET
Week 5: Broncos at Patriots, Sunday, October 11, 1 p.m. ET
Week 6: Dolphins at Broncos, Sunday, October 18, 4:05 p.m. ET
Week 7: Chiefs at Broncos, Sunday, October 25, 4:25 p.m. ET
Week 8: BYE
Week 9: Broncos at Falcons, Sunday, November 8, 1 p.m. ET
Week 10: Broncos at Raiders, Sunday, November 15, 4:05 p.m. ET
Week 11: Chargers at Broncos, Sunday, November 22, 4:05 p.m. ET
Week 12: Saints at Broncos, Sunday, November 29, 4:05 p.m. ET
Week 13: Broncos at Chiefs, Sunday, December 6, 8:20 p.m. ET
Week 14: Broncos at Panthers, Sunday, December 13, 1 p.m. ET
Week 15: Bills at Broncos, Saturday/Sunday, December 19/20, TBA
Week 16: Broncos at Chargers, Saturday/Sunday, December 26/27, TBA
Week 17: Raiders at Broncos, Sunday, January 3, 4:25 p.m. ET
2020 Denver Broncos Schedule Analysis
Slow starts have hampered the Broncos the last few seasons. They dropped their first four last year and went 2-6 in the first half. They were 3-5 in 2018 and 2-6 in 2017. The opening trio of games is intriguing with a couple of AFC heavyweights in Tennessee and Pittsburgh out of the gate followed by old friend Tom Brady and the Bucs in Week 3. Consecutive trips back east open a three-game stretch against the AFC East.
The Broncos play all six games against AFC West foes over the final 10 games. The first is a Week 7 matchup with Kansas City before the bye. The second half sets up nicely with tough games against Buffalo and New Orleans at Mile High. The Broncos do travel to KC to finish the home-and-home in Week 13 and play two of their last three games at home with a short jaunt to LA to face the Chargers in between.
The Final Verdict
There are pieces in place for an offensive resurgence but the skill guys are young and inexperienced. Lock showed he can run the offense in his five-game audition last year. Now he has to prove that wasn’t a fluke. It’s one thing to play with nothing on the line. It’s another to take the club from opening day. But you have to start somewhere, right? The defense will keep them in a lot of games. When the offense comes around one more win than last year is a Lock.
NFL Odds: Denver Broncos Over 7.5 Wins
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