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Friday September 5, 2008 8:09 pm

NFL Preview: Denver Broncos




Posted by Raymond Leon Categories: NFL,

Champ Bailey of the Denver Broncos breaks it up

DENVER BRONCOS
2007 RECORD: 7-9

Overview: For only the second time in 13 seasons, Mike Shanahan directed the Denver Broncos to a losing season (7-9). The offense couldn’t put up the points that they used to, but they did move the football as they finished the season 11th in total offense and averaging 346.3 yards per game. The Broncos are a well-rounded team and as every NFL coach knows, that is what makes them so hard to stop. Shanahan wouldn’t have it any other way.

Offense: The Broncos offense has a run-first mentality, averaging 122.3 yards a game landed the Broncos at 9th place in overall rushing last year. Shanahan has produced many leading rushers from Terrell Davis, Clinton Portis, etc. Get ready Selvin Young.  Or even Andre Hall. The Broncos had a very busy offseason adding free agent receivers Darrell Jackson, Keary Colbert, and Sammie Parker. Jackson and Colbert are competing to start opposite of last year’s second-year sensation Brandon Marshall. Brandon Stokley should reprise his role in the slot. Last year QB Jay Cutler was diagnosed with diabetes and now receives treatment. Cutler has stated that he now feels more energized on and off the field. Denver also takes pride in having one of the fastest and most successful offensive lines in the league. Overall they should be able to move the ball well again this year.

Defense: The Broncos defense showcases some of the best defensive talent in the league. Champ Bailey is arguably the best cornernack in the entire league and is treated like so in the offensive game plan of opposing teams, and D.J. Williams who is the second highest rated linebacker in the entire league. The loss of John Lynch late in the offseason to the New England Patriots is going to be a big hit to the defense, especially since Lynch was a Pro Bowl safety for the past two seasons. The Broncos defense ranked 19th in the league last year overall but was able to salvage a 7th place finish in defending the pass. If they can focus on stopping the run they will definitely prosper this season.

Rookies: The Broncos picked Ryan Clady of Boise State with their 12th pick in the NFL Draft. Clady is a very athletic lineman who will fit well into the Broncos zone blocking scheme. Clady possesses quick feet and a devastatingly quick hand punch, but he will take a while to mature to a pro level of blocking. Running back Ryan Torain of Arizona State will also be under the magnifying glass as Shanahan looks to see whether his gamble in taking the injured back who loves to run between the tackles will pay off.  Unfortunately, Torain will miss significant time at the beginning of the season.

Prediction: Shanahan has a history with the Broncos franchise - he wins. Period. He will find a way to run this team back into a winning position. The Broncos are as well-rounded a team as any in the NFL and with a new receiving corps they will prosper under a newly revitalized Cutler. I predict that with their overall strength of schedule ranking in at 29th overall the Broncos should have no problem achieving a 10-6 record.

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