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Broncos

Broncos surrender late lead in 16-14 loss to Titans

In an ending that was eerily reminiscent of so many losses last season, the Broncos watched the Titans drive 83 yards on 12 plays, capped off by Stephen Gostkowski’s 25-yard field goal, as Tennessee rallied to beat Denver 16-14 in the season opener on Monday Night Football at Empower Field.

When it was over, it added up to an ugly debut for the Broncos in Vic Fangio’s second season at the helm that included:

  • Injuries to running back Philip Lindsay (toe) and cornerback A.J. Bouye (shoulder).
  • A lost fumble by running back Melvin Gordon and two fumbled snaps by quarterback Drew Lock, though Denver did recover both of those.
  • Two key drops by rookie receiver Jerry Jeudy.
  • A failed fourth-and-goal play by the offense that resulted in Denver coming away with zero points despite driving down to the Tennessee 1-yard line.
  • The defense’s inability to stop a late drive and surrender the lead.
  • Fangio’s poor clock management which left the Broncos with just 17 seconds when they got the ball back trailing 16-14. They finished the game with two timeouts remaining … maybe Fangio thinks they carry over to next week.

Highlights: Titans 16, Broncos 14

What they had to say

Denver safety Justin Simmons had this to say of the Broncos defense failing to stop the Titans when it mattered most:

“The drives prior, we did a good job keeping them (backed up and punting), and they had the ball back down there again and as a defense, you have to be able to keep them down there. We got to be better.” 

On the failed fourth-and-goal play Lock shoveled the ball to tight end Jake Butt who was then stopped short of the end zone. Did Fangio regret the decision to forgo the three points in a game Denver lost by two? He said this afterward:

“I had no second thoughts there.”

Apparently not.

As for Fangio’s decision not to use his timeouts during the Titans’ final drive, he said part of it was due to the fact that Gostkowski had missed three field goals and an extra point so far in the game.

“It was two-fold. One, their field goal kicker obviously (had) been having his problems so I didn’t want to extend the drive where they could get closer.
Number two, we would have used a time out, but we got the running back out of bounds. We would have used a second time out, but they threw an incompletion which would have given us one when we got the ball back so that was part of the thinking there.”

Fangio said.

As it turned out the game-winning field goal was a 25-yarder, so not well played in saving them to prevent Tennessee from getting closer. And Fangio’s logic that he was ready to use them, but the situation didn’t allow him to makes no sense. He literally said he didn’t want to call any, so which is it?

Extra points

  • TheDNVR.com’s Zac Stevens did a great job recapping and showing how poor Fangio’s clock management at the end of the game was.
  • Andrew Mason at DNVR detailed all the other ways Denver blew it vs. Tennessee.
  • The Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla too ripped Fangio’s late-game abilities and also wondered if 75,000 fans could have helped the Broncos.
  • Kyle Newman of The Post detailed Jeudy’s first night in the NFL. Jeudy finished with four catches for 56 yards, but also had two key drops.
  • My final thoughts: It’s just one of 16 games, but the Broncos looked just like they did last year: Unable to score on offense and a solid defense that crumbles at the end. Then you have Gordon fumbling, which was a major concern when Denver signed him this offseason. And add in injuries to Lindsay and Bouye coupled with upcoming games against Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay and it feels like this season could be sunk before the calendar hits October.

2020 Broncos results and schedule

DateResult
Mon., Sept. 14Titans 16, Broncos 14Box score
Broncos overall record: 0-1
WKDateOpponentTime (MT)Ch.
2Sun. S20at Pittsburgh11 a.m.CBS
3Sun. S27vs. Tampa Bay2:25 p.m.FOX
4Thu. O1at N.Y. Jets6:20 p.m.NFL
5Sun. O11at New England11 a.m.CBS
6Sun. O18vs. Miami2:05 p.m.CBS
7Sun. O25vs. Kansas City2:25 p..CBS
8BYE
9Sun. N8at Atlanta11 a.m.CBS
10Sun. N15at Las Vegas2:05 p.m.CBS
11Sun. N22vs. L.A. Chargers2:05 p.m.CBS
12Sun. N29vs. New Orleans2:05 p.m.FOX
13Sun. D6at Kansas City6:20 p.m.NBC
14Sun. D13at Carolina11 a.m.CBS
15Sun. D20vs. BuffaloTBDTBD
16Sun. D27at L.A. ChargersTBDTBD
17Sun. J3vs. Las Vegas2:25 p.m.CBS

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Broncos surrender late lead in 16-14 loss to Titans

In an ending that was eerily reminiscent of so many losses last season, the Broncos watched the Titans drive 83 yards on 12 plays, capped off by Stephen Gostkowski’s 25-yard field goal, as Tennessee rallied to beat Denver 16-14 in the season opener on Monday Night Football at Empower Field. When it was over, it […]

Broncos-Titans betting guide and offers

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Rockies fall as bullpen, offense again stumble

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Nuggets rally, force Game 7 vs. Clippers

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Top Colorado sportsbook offers for NFL opening weekend

With the NFL season underway, the NBA and NHL playoffs still going and the MLB season winding down the sportsbooks in Colorado have tons of great offers going this weekend. Let’s look at some of the best. FanDuel FanDuel continues to offer up great promotions and this weekend is no exception. Friday they have an […]

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Broncos Sports betting

Broncos-Titans betting guide and offers

The Broncos 2020 season finally begins tonight as Denver welcomes in Tennessee to Empower Field in the second game of ESPN’s Monday Night Football doubleheader with kickoff scheduled for 8:20 p.m.

Tennessee favored

At DraftKings Sportsbook Denver is listed at +3, in what was a pick ’em game before news of Von Miller’s injury broke. For whatever it’s worth the Broncos are 18-2 in their past 20 home openers, but all those games had fans in the stands and came after a full-slate of preseason games.

The odds makers also are expecting a low-scoring game with the over/under listed at 41. Looking at the first 14 games of the NFL season the overs have hit nine times, it’s obviously a small sample size, but it just feels like 41 is a little too low, even in what could be a defensive contest.

Props worth considering

Over at FanDuel Sportsbook you’re able to place single-game parlays on the Broncos-Titans game, while some sportsbooks don’t allow similar wagers to be combined. Here’s a look at a couple options I think are worth the gamble tonight.

A $10 parlay on Titans running back Derrick Henry and Broncos running back Philip Lindsay along with receiver Jerry Jeudy to all score touchdowns in the game will win you $304. Lindsay and Jeudy are longer shots to get in the end zone, but at odds of +3045 it’s a risk worth taking.

The other bet I really like at FanDuel simply because of the odds is picking Tennessee to win, the Broncos to cover and the over to hit. At odds of +4228 a $10 bet will win you $422. For what it’s worth all it would take is a final score in the low 20s for both teams with the Titans winning by one or two points.

Special offers

There’s a slew of special offers out there on tonight’s game. We’ve already mentioned FanDuel’s single-game parlays bets that are available, here’s a couple more that are worth a look.

DraftKings is offering First TD Insurance, meaning if you bet on who will score the game’s first touchdown you’ll get your money back as long as your pick scores a TD at any point in the game. Your money will be refunded in the form of a free bet up to $20.

If you want to take a Bronco here I would suggest Lindsay, Jeudy or tight end Noah Fant. All three are +1200, so it’s a great payoff if they score first, but you also have a decent chance to get your money back with a TD later in the game.

The final two offers are for new customers at BetMGM and William Hill sportsbooks.

At BetMGM all you need to do is signup, make a deposit and place a moneyline bet on the Broncos-Titans game, if either team scores a TD you’ll receive $100 in free bets.

At William Hill just sign up, make a deposit and place at least a $5 moneyline or point spread bet on the game. If the team you picked wins or loses by less than 50 points you’ll win a $101 free bet.

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Broncos

Broncos’ Von Miller likely out for the season

Broncos linebacker Von Miller is reportedly done for the season after sustaining a “freak injury” to his ankle near the end of the team’s practice on Tuesday.

It is devastating news for both Miller and the Broncos. Miller had undertaken a rigorous offseason training program after he registered only eight sacks last season. The hope was that Miller along with Bradley Chubb, who’s coming off ACL surgery, could anchor the Denver defense and help get the team back into the playoffs this season.

“Last year, I didn’t play to my standards. I didn’t play to the Sack Master’s standards. There was more for me to give. My coaches felt like there was more for me to give. Most of all, I feel like I can give more and I can be more. I don’t feel like I’m finished yet. I wanted to come back here, and I wanted to play the best that I possibly could. I wanted to put everything into the offseason; I wanted to pour everything into myself and go out there and play the best that I possibly could and see what happens.”

Miller said to the media on Aug. 4.

Has Von played his last game for Denver?

It’s hard to believe, but it is possible that Denver’s all-time sacks leader (106) might have played his last game with the Broncos if his season is indeed over.

Next season is the final year on Miller’s current contract and he’ll carry a salary cap hit of $22.125 million, the highest on the team. If Denver were to cut him before June 1 it would create $13.875 million in cap space.

In a perfect world the two sides would work out an extension that keeps Miller in a Broncos uniform for the rest of his career while lessening the cap hit for an aging player coming off a season-ending injury.

What does Denver do now?

With Chubb not fully recovered from his ACL injury last season, the Broncos defense is suddenly in major need of help in the pass rushing front.

With that in mind The Denver Post’s Ryan O’Halloran looked at a few notable free agents they could pursue.

There definitely are some big names out there like, but they’re not spring chickens: Clay Matthews (34 years old), Terrell Suggs (37), Cameron Wake (38) and Ziggy Ansah.

Extra points

TheAthletic.com and The DNVR.com both looked at what Miller’s injury means to the Broncos with the season opener against Tennessee less than a week away.

  • In other news The Post’s O’Halloran wrote about why going with a two-tight end set to start the season might be the best approach early in the season for Denver.
  • O’Halloran also wrote about why there could be major changes along the defensive side of the ball next season if 2020 isn’t a major success. Simply put, as O’Halloran said, nine of Denver’s expected starters on defense have expiring contracts or 2021 cap numbers that might not be in line with their production levels.
  • Early in the day on Tuesday it was announced that for Denver’s second home game at Empower Field, Week 3 vs. Tom Brady and Tampa Bay, the team will be able to have 5,700 people in the stands. A lottery will be used to determine the fan who can attend.

Broncos-Titans Week 1 preview

The NFL’s look a the Broncos-Titans Week 1 game before the news of Von Miller’s injury was announced.

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Where the Broncos stand with opener closing in

It can be hard to believe with the NBA and NHL playoffs going on right now and the weather just recently leaving the 90s on a daily basis, but the Broncos season opener against Tennessee on Monday Night Football is less than two weeks away. With that in mind here’s a roundup of what’s going on the Broncos as of right now.

Conservative approach with Chubb

The Denver Post’s Ryan O’Halloran wrote how the Broncos are being cautious with linebacker Bradley Chubb who is coming off ACL surgery. The team still expects him to be ready for the opener.

“We’re going to be conservative with him this week and get him some days of rest. I think he’s where we kind of thought he’d be. We never said (he’s) 100% yet — at least I never did. I think what he’s going through is a natural progression in recovering from his (ACL) injury and I’m still optimistic he’ll be out there the first week and playing good — probably not playing like he was pre-injury, but pretty (darn) close. It’s going to be a work in progress.”

Head coach Vic Fangio said.

No tackling in practice

With no preseason games this year the question going into training camp was how many “live” practices the Broncos would have before the regular season got underway. As it turns out the answer to that question likely will be zero.

So far the team has had one live period during a practice to work on goal-line situations. But Fangio’s plan going forward appears to be no tackling during practice.

“We may have a short-yardage/goal-line live period, but other than that, probably not.”

Fangio said when asked about having any live practices.

New Big Al in Denver?

Most Denverites are familiar with former CU and Broncos great Alfred Williams, known as Big Al, well, he might not be the only Big Al in Denver for long.

As The Post’s Kyle Newman wrote, rookie tight end Albert Okwuegbunam keeps turning heads in practice. Both quarterback Drew Lock and fellow tight end Nick Vannett both referred to him as a “monster” with Vannett also adding:

“He’s just so physically gifted. The thing with him is he’s kind of raw right now, but I don’t say that in a bad way. I say that like if he keeps building on it and keeps figuring it out, he’s going to be one of the best tight ends in the league. Just how fast he is, how built he is — I really do believe if he can figure it out, he’s going to be a scary dude in this league for years to come.”

Vannett said of Okwuegbunam.

Is the center job decided?

As TheDNVR.com’s Zac Stevens wrote it appears like the battle for Denver’s starting center position might already be decided. Rookie Lloyd Cushenberry has been getting the bulk of reps with the first team, while the other contenders for the job, Austin Schlottman and Pat Morris are getting fewer and fewer.

Starting left guard Dalton Risner had this to say about Cushenberry:

“I’m really impressed with Lloyd. I was telling the coaches today that I want to keep getting more reps with him, as many reps as we can and we have to get reps after practice. That’s what we need. We need to have an understanding of how each other makes certain blocks and what we mean by certain calls. That’s so big for an offensive line. It’s about meshing together and coming together as a unit. I think Lloyd’s done an extremely good job and the offensive line is continuing to jell more and more. He’s got a lot of work to do just like I do, but I’m really happy with where we’re at right now.”

Based on Risner’s comments in particular it definitely sounds like the job is Cushenberry’s at this point.

Overall camp overview

Meanwhile, fellow DNVR writer Andrew Mason took a look at everything going on at Broncos training camp and noted that simply put the Broncos have plenty to do, but so little time to get it all done.

Locked in on Lock

And lastly, Nick Kosmider at TheAthletic.com followed what starting quarterback Lock goes through at a training camp practice.

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Where the Broncos stand with opener closing in

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Nuggets-Jazz Game 7 preview

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Broncos

Broncos fans can ‘attend’ opener, cardboard cutout style

On Monday the Broncos announced the chance for fans to ‘attend’ Denver’s season opener Monday, Sept. 14 against Tennessee at Empower Field by buying a cardboard cutout with the image of their choice for $100.

Starting today fans have the opportunity to purchase the cutouts which will be displaced around around the stadium along with cutouts of Broncos cheerleaders, Broncos mascot Miles and Broncos Hall of Famers as Ring of Famers.

The net proceeds from the $100 cutouts will benefit Denver Broncos charities. Orders must be made by Friday, Sept. 4 to be guaranteed in the stands for the opener. Orders made after the Sept. 4 deadline might have to wait until the second home game of the season Sept. 27 to be in the stands.

Here’s the link to order your Broncos cardboard cutout.

Broncos sign LB Mark Barron

In on the field news, over the weekend Denver agreed to terms with veteran linebacker Mark Barron. Barron underwent COVID-19 testing and will be eligible to practice with the team this week.

Barron is a former first-round pick of Tampa Bay in 2012 as a safety. He moved to linebacker when he went to the Rams in 2014.

Denver is in need of depth at linebacker after losing Justin Strnad for the season and currently being with starter Todd Davis.

While speaking with the media on Monday, Barron had this to say when asked about what he expects his role with the team to be:

“I would assume they would want me to come in and help in coverage aspects and covering tight ends and running backs.”

Broncos could use more 12 personnel

TheAthletic.com’s Nick Kosmider wrote about why the Broncos could use even more 12 personnel (1 running back, 2 tight ends) this season and why it could help the offense in doing so.

He also wrote about the Broncos’ position battles and how De’Vante Bausby was putting together a good camp in his fight for the third cornerback position, but he’s missed nearly a week due to injury and it’s opened the door for Devontae Harris.

Roster predictions

The Denver Post’s Ryan O’Halloran projected Denver’s final 53-man roster ahead of cutdown day this Saturday.

The tight end position looks to be one of the more interesting groups this year. O’Halloran has Noah Fant, Nick Vannett, Albert Okwuegbunam and Jake Butt making the team.

I don’t have an issue with any of those players, but it’s just scary how little experience they have both at TE and wide receiver. Couple that with the fact they have a quarterback in Drew Lock who’s started a grand total of five NFL games and it’s easy to understand why there’s such a wide-range of predictions for the Broncos this season.

Extra points

Some news from around the NFL, the Jaguars released former No. 4 overall pick Leonard Fournette after just three seasons.

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Broncos cancel Thursday’s practice

On Thursday morning the Denver Broncos joined a list of other NFL teams who decided to cancel their scheduled practice amid protests and demonstrations over social injustice in our country.

Broncos players met for more than two hours before they came to the decision to cancel practice.

The other NFL teams who have canceled practice Thursday is as follows: Chicago, Arizona, Indianapolis, New York Jets, Green Bay, Tennessee and Washington. San Francisco changed its practice to a walk-through.

The cancelations began on Wednesday when the Milwaukee Bucks led a protest that resulted in the three NBA games scheduled for Wednesday to be postponed.

Other sports followed suit to various degrees on Wednesday. All three WNBA games were postponed. Three MLB games were postponed and are being made up as double-headers today, while Rockies outfielder Matt Kemp choose to sit out Colorado’s game against Arizona. And in the MLS five of the six scheduled matches were postponed. The one match that did take place between Orlando and Nashville started before players around the league were able to formalize a plan for the remaining games Wednesday.

The NBA has since postponed all Thursday games, which includes Game 6 of the Nuggets-Jazz series which was scheduled to tipoff later this afternoon.

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Broncos cancel Thursday’s practice

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Broncos

Broncos’ Jewell gets chance with injuries at LB

With the starting linebacker Todd Davis out with a calf injury since last week, both The Denver Post and TheDNVR.com wrote about the opportunity presented to 2018 fourth-round pick Josey Jewell to step up in Davis’ absence.

Jewell has struggled during his two years in the league and entered training camp this year as the No. 3 inside linebacker behind Davis and Alexander Johnson.

But with the season opener against Tennessee now less than three weeks away Jewell has a chance to make a name for himself again. And he believes another year in head coach Vic Fangio’s defensive system will help.

“Last year, I was playing a little slow with the mental part of the game, and not just letting myself go. This year, I’ve gotten a lot better about that and I’m flying around the football without thinking about it too much.”

Jewell said.

Fangio, rarely one to mince words had positive things to say about Jewell as well.

“He has had a good camp so far. He’s showing the benefit of being here a second year. The system hasn’t changed much. He’s a smart player to begin with. When he knows more of all the fine things, he’s one of those players that can put it to good use… We’re pleased with where he’s at.”

Fangio said of Jewell.

Other LBs given chance as well

Davis isn’t the only linebacker who has been sidelined, rookie Justin Strnad is out for the season after undergoing wrist surgery, so players such as Justin Hollins, a 2019 fifth-round pick, also have being getting more playing time in practice.

“We were originally planning on leaving (Hollins) at outside in this camp with the thought of knowing that he might be able to play inside some, particularly in nickel. Now, with the injuries that we’ve had at (inside linebacker), it’s forced our hands to do that a little earlier.”

Fangio said.

Two other players who have seen additional action are Joe Jones and Josh Watson. Jones is in his fourth season and has mainly played special teams previously. While Watson is in his second year out of CSU and he played in eight games last year.

Extra points

  • The Post’s Ryan O’Halloran answered readers questions, including how opposing defenses will game plan against the Broncos and specifically quarterback Drew Lock.
  • TheAthletic.com’s Nick Kosmider wrote about which Broncos players stocks have risen and fallen so far at camp. Among the players in trouble could be former CU receiver Juwann Winfree who simply can’t manage to stay on the field.

Broncos’ Jewell gets chance with injuries at LB

With the starting linebacker Todd Davis out with a calf injury since last week, both The Denver Post and TheDNVR.com wrote about the opportunity presented to 2018 fourth-round pick Josey Jewell to step up in Davis’ absence. Jewell has struggled during his two years in the league and entered training camp this year as the […]

Avs face pivotal Game 3 tonight vs. Stars

As The Denver Post’s Mike Chambers wrote, if history is a guide, then the Avalanche’s current 2-0 series deficit to the Stars could prove fatal. Colorado has trailed 2-0 in a series five times previously, and only once have they managed to comeback and win. That one time was in the 1999 Western Conference semifinals […]

Rockies reach halfway mark at 15-15 after win

Nolan Arenado picked up his first extra base hits on the road this season and Daniel Bard made things exciting in the ninth as the Rockies held on to bead the Diamondbacks 5-4 on Tuesday night in Arizona. Colorado is now 15-15 at the halfway point of this truncated MLB season. Arenado has struggled for […]

Murray’s sizzling second half rallies Nuggets over Jazz

The Nuggets time in the NBA’s Orlando bubble appeared to be nearing an end Tuesday evening with Denver trailing Utah by 15 points with nine minutes to play in the third quarter, then Jamal Murray happened. Murray scored 33 points on 14-for-18 shooting in the second half to rally the Nuggets to the come-from-behind 117-107 […]

Fangio changes Broncos’ practice plan due to injuries

With 11 players unable to practice on Monday, Denver head coach Vic Fangio decided to change the team’s practice schedule as the Broncos ended up being on the field for less than two hours, didn’t wear pads and the periods they did have were run at less than full speed. Denver was without linebackers Justin […]

Nuggets try to stave off elimination vs. Jazz

After three straight losses to the Jazz the Nuggets are faced with the end of their season this afternoon (4:30 p.m., TNT, Altitude) unless they can figure out a way to slow down a Utah team that has scored at least 124 points in all four games of the series to date. To make matters […]

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Broncos

Fangio changes Broncos’ practice plan due to injuries

With 11 players unable to practice on Monday, Denver head coach Vic Fangio decided to change the team’s practice schedule as the Broncos ended up being on the field for less than two hours, didn’t wear pads and the periods they did have were run at less than full speed.

Denver was without linebackers Justin Strnad (out for season, wrist surgery), Todd Davis (calf) and Malik Carney (illness, not COVID-related), tight end Austin Fort (knee), nose tackle Mike Purcell (calf), safety Alijah Holder (soft tissue), cornerbacks Michael Ojemudia (quad) and De’Vante Bausby (soft tissue), and receivers KJ Hamler (hamstring), Juwann Winfree (groin) and Tim Patrick (soft tissue).

“I was not expecting (this many soft-tissue injuries). There were some faults in how we set up the acclimation period along with other stuff. It doesn’t do anybody any good to whine about it now. We just have to adjust and improvise and react to it and we did (Monday).”

Fangio said after the revised practice.

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Broncos

Broncos’ rookie linebacker Strnad done for season

Broncos head coach Vic Fangio confirmed that linebacker Justin Strnad is out for the season after undergoing wrist surgery.

The rookie, fifth-round pick out of Wake Forest dislocated his wrist and had other complications according to Fangio. The Broncos were planning on Strnad contributing this season, most likely focusing on covering opposing tight ends.

Due to the loss of Strnad the Broncos moved Justin Hollins to inside linebacker during Monday’s practice. Denver is already getting thin at the linebacker position with Todd Davis battling a calf injury and not practicing.

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Broncos

Broncos season opener three weeks away

It might be hard to fathom, but the Broncos season opening against Tennessee is just three weeks from today.

With that in mind TheAthletic.com’s Nick Kosmider tried to get the best read possible on what Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, defensive coordinator Ed Donatell and special teams coordinator Tom McMahon had to say when they addressed the media on Sunday.

The biggest takeaway on the offense side of things in my estimation is simply that the offense appears to be limiting the mistakes that have hampered it so much the past few years.

That isn’t to say the Broncos will be putting up 30 points every week, but hopefully something in the mid-20s is much more doable. It is fair to point out though, that we’ve heard pretty much the same thing for the past few years and the results haven’t changed yet.

On the defensive side of things arguably the biggest question is will we see a big jump this year as players become more familiar with head coach Vic Fangio’s system. Based on previous teams Fangio has coached the results are inconclusive.

The reality is Von Miller likely is the key. If he can have a bounce-back season it could be the spark the entire defense is looking for.