The 2022 Denver Broncos entered the season with high expectations after making a massive trade to bring in Super Bowl champion and multi-time All-Pro quarterback Russell Wilson. After failing to make the playoffs since winning the Vince Lombardi trophy in 2015, the franchise and its fans were eager to return to the postseason.
Unfortunately, the wheels fell off the cart early as the team would stumble through the 2022 schedule, finishing with a dismal 5-12 record. Tied with the Los Angeles Rams for the fifth-worst record in the entire NFL, fans in the Mile High City are hoping that the 2023 variation of their team will have better results.
The NFL released its schedule on Thursday, May 11, and unfortunately, it does not seem like the schedule makers did the Denver Broncos any favors in their quest to once again play more than the seventeen-game regular season.
Of their three AFC West opponents, the Las Vegas Raiders could be marked in pencil for victory. At the same time, the Kansas City Chiefs and LA Chargers will undoubtedly provide a considerable challenge.
Road games against playoff favorites Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins will be tough, as will the upstart Detroit Lions. The Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots will be challenging foes even in the comfortable confines of Empower Field. At the same time, the New York Jets, Green Bay Packers, and Cleveland Browns won’t be easy victories. Look for the Broncos to have their first winning record at home since the 2017 season. Click here for more information on the NFL season.
He is a Super Bowl champion and a Coach of the Year, but both awards came roughly fifteen years ago. Sure, Sean Payton has an impressive 152-89 record as a head coach with nine trips to the playoffs, but the sports world is a “what have you done for me lately” business, and with the mess that was the 2022 Denver Broncos, one has to wonder the length of Payton’s leash.
Payton takes over a position with lofty expectations after dishing out four draft picks to the New Orleans Saints and a four-year contract in which he will make between $17-20 million. Broncos management and fans are hopeful that Payton can collaborate with Wilson the same way that he did future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees.
Last season the Bronco’s offense was abysmal, finishing last in the league in points scored. However, during Payton’s time with Brees and the Saints, the team would finish among the top ten in scoring in all but three of his fifteen seasons.
One of the keys to getting more out of Russell is to provide him with better protection, hence the addition of OT Mike McGlinchey and Guard Ben Powers. Both newcomers to the offensive line joined the Broncos roster via free agency at a combined cost of $138 million (for five and four years, respectfully).
Running Back Samaje Perine’s playing time and impact will depend heavily on the return of Javonte Williams’ recovery from a knee injury that knocked him out last October. As of Payton’s previous update, Williams is on track to return at the start of training camp.
Denver handed former Arizona Cardinals defensive end Zach Allen a three-year $47.7 million deal to help solidify their defensive lineup, replacing Dre’Mont Jones. Statistically, Allen is one of the better players at his position, but the Broncos need him to be healthy after playing just 41 games in the past three seasons.
Will the Denver Broncos win the Super Bowl this season? That is highly unlikely. Will they be better than last season? That is highly expected. While they won’t end up in the penthouse, a nice upper-level pad (read, playoff berth) with a view is not out of reach, assuming everything falls into place.
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