Denver Broncos Breakdown

Tim Tebow is gone, and John Elway smiles.  No more are the days of run first, throw never, those days replaced by perhaps the most mechanically sound quarterback to ever play NFL football, Peyton Manning.  Manning signed with the Broncos after an extensive series of recruiting trips across the country.  But Peyton Manning does not a franchise make, or does it.

Manning joins a Broncos team that finished the regular season 8 and 8, made the playoffs, beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs, and then were blown apart by the New England Patriots.  The team over-achieved given that their quarterback play was atrocious.  The Offensive line did a great job of blocking horizontally moving the line across the field and opening up lanes for Willis McGahee to cut back through.  The same line was able to hold out defensive pass rushes for a reasonable amount of time but not enough to give Tim Tebow a chance to throw the ball (more a statement on Tebows poor mechanics than the pass protection).  With Peyton behind center, we expect for quicker decisions with the ball taking pressure off the o-line.

The receivers may wind up being the best group of ball catchers that Manning has ever had to work with.  Demaryius Thomas is a superstar wide receiver waiting to break out, think DeSean Jackson type but with more strength and less drama.  Eric Decker is the best pure pass catcher the Broncos have had since Ed McCaffrey.  Their tight ends were drastically improved this off-season with the additions of Joel Dreessen from the Houston Texans and former Manning teammate Jacob Tamme from the Colts.  Another possible surprising performer for the Broncos is rookie wide out Gerell Robinson.  He is a big bodied receiver who, once he’s put some muscle mass on, has good feet, strong hands and a burning desire to get better, he won’t be a fantasy sleeper this year, but in the next two I expect good things.

The Defense for Denver is downright disastrous.  The secondary is old and slowing down quickly.  The linebacker corps can not cover down field and there is no presence in the middle of the defensive line.  Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil make up the only legitimate threat from the defense, especially considering a six game suspension is looming for Line Backer D.J. Williams.  This unit is going to give up a ton of points this year, but lucky for them, the offense is going to be able to match those lofty totals with huge points of their own.


Peyton Manning is great and healthy, although recent reports say he is having trouble throwing to his right.   The addition of Manning alone jumps Decker and Thomas into second tier wide receivers, Thomas is the flashy big play receiver, but Decker may come close to 100 catches this year.  Willis McGahee is a work horse who has had a long stretch free of serious injury, I think that continues.  The scare on McGahee is Ronnie Hillman, a quick receiving threat with break out speed and the ability to get lost behind an offensive line and pop out the other side in open space.  Hillman has not impressed to much so far this offseason, but he has game changer ability and I would not be surprised to see him filling a “Marshall Faulk” type role for the Broncos.

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