It’s no surprise to anyone that the Broncos only won seven games last year. Average to downright abysmal quarterback play last year combined with bad coaching left many Broncos fans, including myself, disappointed. Teddy Bridgewater was not the answer, but he was far and away the best Broncos quarterback to take snaps last year. Drew Lock was also shown to not be the answer. However, it can be argued that his development was stunted due to the coaching staff post Scangarello. Pat Shurmur did him no favors. Before we go further, let’s see where Denver ranked last year in total (Insert Unit here.) For reference, stats for players are per Pro Football Reference and Unit Rankings are via ESPN. The rankings are total unit rankings.
Broncos 2021 Rankings
There is a new hope in Dove Valley. Russell Wilson is now the starting quarterback, and hopefully the quarterback of the foreseeable future. Injuries hindered Wilson last season, that much is known. However, he still put together an efficient campaign. The coaching staff is fresh with new faces, which should provide a boost to what was a dormant offense last year. With that, let’s take a look at the Broncos’ 2022 opponents!
The AFC West will be a bloodbath this season. Here is how I think Denver will fare.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs. The Broncos “boogeyman” since 2015. Patrick Mahomes is still insane. It will be interesting to see how he performs without Hill, however, Travis Kelce is still an animal. The Broncos have not won in arrowhead for quite some time, and I don’t see that changing. However, I think this is finally the year the Broncos finally steal one back at Mile High. They split the series 1-1.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Broncos have not fared much better against the Raiders as of late. Since 2016, The Broncos are a woeful 4-8 in meetings with them, including 2 straight series sweeps by Vegas. Even with improved quarterback play, I think these two will also split the series between them 1-1.
The Chargers cannot have nice things. Great offense and defense? Bad special teams. Good Defense and special teams? Offense sputters. This year was a classic case of the offense carrying the defense. The Chargers made some incredible moves to bolster the defense. On paper, they should be primed to put it all together this season. That remains to be seen on the field however. Justin Herbert will do his thing. It will be a slug fest between both defenses in both games. I think the Broncos will prevail in both, however, both games will be close. 2-0.
Outside of the normal division slate, the Broncos will play their slate of conference opponents. Here is how I think they’ll fare against them.
New York Jets
Okay, first things first, the Jets knocked this draft out of the park. Three impact players in the first round is nothing to scoff at. While I don’t think the Jets will be a pushover this year, I still think Denver beats them. Watch for Zach Wilson to have a much better performance however. Overall Record: 5-2
Let’s just, for a second, pretend that the guy in this #2 jersey is Matt Ryan. Okay, with that out of the way, I think the Colts have the potential to upset the Broncos. Johnathan Taylor is a maniac at running back. Matt Ryan has given the Broncos fits every time he’s played them, and this will be no different. Denver comes out flat, can’t answer to Matty Ice, and take an L against Indy. Overall Record: 5-3
Houston is a mess. Even after the draft, there is not a whole lot of optimism as Year 2 of a rebuild is underway. Davis Mills was a steal last year, and while I believe that he will be successful one day, I don’t think he will be able to carry Houston past the Broncos on the road. The defense will make life a nightmare for Davis Mills. Look for a couple of sacks and a couple of turnovers. Denver wins. Overall Record: 6-3
Last year, The Ravens beat the Broncos down. John Harbaugh had a laugh at Vic Fangio’s expense. It sucked the life out of the Broncos after a 3-0 start. I think Denver finally gets some revenge here. Lamar just lost Hollywood Brown, leaving Mark Andrews as the #1 guy. Denver can pin their ears back and make Lamar Jackson beat them with his arm. I don’t think he will. Overall Record: 7-3
Jacksonville Jaguars (London Edition)
I don’t know what the hell it is about the Jags, but for some reason, they are surprisingly good anywhere but American soil. With that being said, I’m going to begrudgingly say that the Jags pull an upset in London, and I will be sad. Overall Record: 7-4
One sec, gotta do some math real fast.
Titans – A.J Brown +Treylon Burks = I don’t know.
Okay, math over. I have no idea what to make of the Titans offense. Ryan Tannehill is a serviceable quarterback, but we saw that he cannot carry the Titans. The offense runs through King Henry. While I think Henry will give the Broncos trouble, Ryan Tannehill will give the defense opportunities to stop the bleeding. Denver pulls out a close one with better quarterback play. Overall Record: 8-4
Well, it’s been four years since the AFC and NFC West played against each other, and now they are back in rotation. The Broncos will also play the panthers this season.
On the real, the Rams scare the ever living life out of me. It’s not just Cupp, Stafford and Donald either. The Rams did an amazing job to reload for another run, and I don’t think the loss of Von Miller will hurt them too bad. All in all, I think the Rams will beat Denver. Aaron Donald is going to wreak havoc, Jalen Ramsey is still the same shutdown corner, and there is no stopping Cooper Cupp. One can only hope to minimize his impact. Overall Record: 8-5
Honestly, I think Denver and San Fran match up quite well. However, Lance has much more potential than Jimmy G-spot. Assuming Lance even plays somewhat better than JG, The 49ers are Superbowl contenders. It remains to be seen what happens to Deebo, however. With him still being on the roster for now, we’ll give this one to the 49ers. Overall Record: 8-6
I don’t know what to make of the Cardinals. Do we get first half of the season Cards (Minus D-Hop this year till week seven) or Back half Cards? Either way, I think the Broncos find a way to pull this one out. Overall Record: 9-6
Seattle is rebuilding. They may not say it, but they are. Long gone are the days of the Legion of Boom, recently gone are the days of Russ throwing absolute piss missiles after running around a broken pocket. The quarterbacks are as follows: Drew Lock, Geno Smith, Jacob Eason, and Levi Lewis. I can take the Broncos here and be absolutely A-Ok with it. Overall Record: 10-6
Last season was…well tough for Carolina. So bad, in fact, that they tried to revive Cam Newton from the dead. No matter what they tried after week three, it didn’t work. The question this season is “How many weeks will it take for Matt Corral to start?” If Darnold is their day one starter, I don’t know if he will last past week 6. In any case, the Panthers are also in a rebuilding state, and so far, Matt Rhule has shown me nothing to believe that he can be a winning coach in this league. Quarterback could be the issue here but there are no excuses for him this year. Denver wins this one.
Final Record and thoughts
After all of this, Denver finishes off with a record of 11-6. I think it will take the Broncos a few weeks to really get off of the ground, and there are for sure a few games that could be swung either way. Let me know what you guys think in the comments.
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