At the dawn of the 2022 season, We Sport looks back on the situation of the 32 NFL franchises. Today, zoom on the Denver Broncos, finally candidates for the title?
The balance sheet of Denver Broncos last season
An iron defense and a skating attack, welcome to Denver in 2021. Under the orders of Vic Fangio, the Broncos have still had a successful season on the defensive level, without however managing to keep pace on offense. A two-speed, asymmetrical team, which deprived the Colorado franchise of the playoffs for the sixth season in a row, also not helped by a failed end to the season (four defeats in the last four games). Enough to plunge Denver once again into a quest for renewal.
The movements of the off-season
Once again after a missed season, Denver has launched major maneuvers to try to find the top of the table as soon as possible. But this time, the leaders seem to have gone about it the right way. After firing Vic Fangio, replaced by former Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, the Broncos achieved the blockbuster trade of this offseason. The result ? Russell Wilson, who arrives in Colorado in exchange for Noah Fant, Drew Lock, Shelby Harris and draft rounds, immediately propelling the Broncos among the most hyped franchises of the offseason.
In addition, Denver did not stop there and made several interesting recruitments in defense. Thus, Randy Gregory reinforces the pass rushwhile DJ Jones replaces Shelby Harris on the defensive line and K’waun Williams recovers the role of nickel back. Not very active in the draft, they also added Billy Turner to their offensive line to better protect their new gem. A five-star recruitment, which gives hope to an entire city.
Major arrivals: OF Randy Gregory (broncos), DT DJ Jones (49ers), TO Billy Turner (Packers), CB K’waun Williams (49ers), QB Russell Wilson (Seahawks)
Notable departures: QB Teddy Bridgewater (dolphins), CB Bryce Callahan (Chargers), YOU Noah Fant (Seahawks), CB Kyle Fuller (Ravens), DT Shelby Harris (Seahawks)
Extensions: RB Melvin Gordon, S Kareem Jackson, LB Josey Jewell
Draft*: LB Nick Bonito (Oklahoma), YOU Greg Dulcich (UCLA)
* Only the players selected during the first two days are mentioned.
The number of Denver Broncos 2022/2023
Denver has long been considered a quarterback away from being a title contender, and the arrival of Russell Wilson confirms that. With the former Seahawk under center, the Broncos’ offense looks great, with the Javonte Williams/Melvin Gordon duo on the ground, but also the impressive receiver corps featuring Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy. Wilson will also be able to evolve serenely behind a good offensive line, something he has been asking for too long in Seattle.
On the other side of the field, the two main stars are in the backfield defensive, where Justin Simmons and sophomore Patrick Surtain Jr. will be the main squad leaders. the front seven asks more questions, even if the pass rush will be able to rely on Bradley Chubb and Randy Gregory.
Denver Broncos : Ambitions and ranking
With Russell Wilson to lead his offense and a defense that still looks solid, the Broncos can be very ambitious for the coming season. Absent from the playoffs for too long, the Colorado franchise must find the postseason starting this year, on pain of suffering a huge disappointment. L’AFC West will be one of the strongest divisions, but Denver is armed to win it or, at the very least, finish in second place. The Broncos will be judged on their run in the playoffs, which could be as long as their last campaign, ending with a victory in Super Bowl L.
Player to watch: Russell Wilson
Will Russell Wilson be the providential man, the missing link in the Broncos’ attack? Since the departure of Peyton Manning after the 2015 season, Denver has established ten different quarterbacks, without much success: Wilson has everything to end this series of bad choices. Finally well surrounded, the former star of the Seahawks can allow his new franchise to dream of a return to the playoffs and even the Super Bowl. His performances will be closely scrutinized, he whose arrival has made the Broncos a hype franchise.
The calendar of Denver Broncos in 2022
Feature image credit: AP
The words « Minnesota Miracle » and « No-Call » are scratched from my vocabulary. My heart mourns the retirement of Drew Brees as my eyes finally widen watching the Knicks.