Every year I post my prediction on this blog before the first game for the Denver Broncos season. Here are my thoughts for 2015:
- The opener is very tough - against what may have been the best team in the AFC at the end of last season (the Ravens had the Patriots beat in the playoffs before New England, with the aid of some trick plays, came back from a 14 point deficit to win). The Broncos are coming into the opener with lots of questions. Peyton Manning hasn't looked sharp in preseason and he hasn't played much. The offensive line has been revamped. Demaryius Thomas isn't in top form and Emmanuel Sanders has missed significant time in the preseason. The pass rush and secondary look great for the defense but what about stopping the run? Baltimore will test the Broncos with a strong running game (I think the team will miss Terrance Knighton on the defensive line). Still I never bet against the Broncos at home. Here's hoping the defense will carry the Broncos to an opening day win.
- Even if the Broncos win the opener, I predict a 1-2 start. Playing at KC in the opening thursday night game only four days after the Baltimore game will be a challenge. Then another tough road game at Detroit the following week. I see a loss at KC and one win/one loss between the Baltimore opener and the Lions road game.
- This Bronco team will get better as the season goes along, hopefully peaking when it's playoff time. And I do expect Denver to make the playoffs once again. I predict a 10-6 record with the Broncos narrowly edging out Kansas City for the division crown.
- I don't think the Broncos get back to the Super Bowl, though. I see a road playoff loss to end the season, and lots of uncertainty as to whether Peyton will come back for another year or if the team will move on to another qb. And will that qb be Brock Osweiller? Brock is in the last year of his contract and the Broncos haven't signed him to an extension as of today.
- I do think Gary Kubiak and his staff will be an upgrade over the previous regime. It's just going to take more than a season to transition to Kubiak's run based offense and to identify who the next Broncos quarterback will be.