Each Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from July 12 through Sept. 2, we will take a look at the projected win totals for each team in the NFL, running one division per week for eight weeks.
NOTE: All over/under win totals are provided by Caesars Sportsbook.
2021 record: 7-10
2022 bye week: 9
Most impactful additions: QB Russell Wilson, DE Randy Gregory,
Most impactful departures: TE Noah Fant, DE Shelby Harris
Easiest part(s) of schedule: Two back-to-backs to start and then a month later. Other than that, ugh. The Broncos open at Seattle (very funny, NFL) and then are home for Houston, and then in Weeks 7 and 8 they host the Jets and make a day-long trek to London to play Jacksonville.
Other than that, they have just one other two-game stretch of playing teams that failed to make the playoffs last season, and that’s a mini run of road games at Carolina and at Baltimore in Weeks 12 and 13.
Toughest part(s) of schedule: Where do we start? Although Denver’s schedule ranks as the 15th-toughest in the NFL (which is way better than the rest of the division), it looks much more challenging than that.
The first half is much easier than the second half, as the Broncos better be atop the AFC West by Week 14 if they are going to have any chance to win it. They wrap up the season with Kansas City and Arizona at home before heading out to play the Rams and Chiefs again and the finale against the Chargers.
They also will play likely contenders San Francisco, Indianapolis, at the Chargers on a Monday night and at Tennessee immediately following their bye week.
Caesars over/under win total: 10 – Over -110 / Under -110; Odds to win Super Bowl LVII at +1600.
Book it: UNDER. There’s no question the Broncos needed a REAL quarterback and have since Peyton Manning left following the win in Super Bowl 50. That being said, moves of desperation don’t always end well, and the price for Wilson was super steep with two first-rounders, two seconds, a fifth, along with quarterback Drew Lock and a top-10 tight end in the league in Noah Fant.
It certainly should pay off on offense, as Denver finished as the 19th-ranked unit in the league and, frankly, looked much worse than that most of the time. They have two excellent receivers in Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy, but what else is behind them? The good news is they should be able to run the ball with Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams, who each had 203 carries last season and combined to rush for 1,821 yards and 12 touchdowns. (Losing Fant will turn out to be a big deal.)
But as good as their defense was last season (eighth in the NFL), their big addition there was edge rusher Gregory, and he already is having shoulder issues. Also, they lost defensive end Shelby Harris in the trade for Wilson. The backfield is very good, but they play in a division where they continually will be threatened by some of the top passers in the NFL.
Adding Wilson was key, but his targets in Denver overall aren’t any more talented than the ones he had in Seattle. With a new coach in Nathaniel Hackett, the Broncos have too much adjusting to do to be a real threat in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL, and it would be a surprise of they make the playoffs.
Beyond that, their prices laid out by oddsmakers are a bit ridiculous, and it’s simply juice one must pay if they believe THAT much in Wilson. A +1600 bet on winning the Super Bowl? You’d be better served giving $100 to your favorite charity. And +250 to win this loaded division? There are other values to be had. Keep following, and we’ll help you find them. Maybe as early as tomorrow. (Wink, wink.)
Projected finish: 8-9
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Categories: Upstate Action