The Denver Broncos have had a hard time of it since the retirement of Peyton Manning, as they have struggled through two seasons where their aggregate record is four games under the .500 mark. It became obvious that Trevor Siemian was not going to be the answer under center, and Paxton Lynch, a first-round draft pick, did not show enough progress. So they have gone to free agency and picked up Case Keenum in their quest for a productive starter as we go into the 2018 campaign. The question VietBet customers may have on their minds is whether Keenum was just a beneficiary of favorable circumstances in Minnesota, or whether he has definitely turned the corner on his career.
Because of the injuries to Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater, Keenum was handed the ball by Vikings coach Mike Zimmer with an opportunity to prove that he was more than just a journeyman. He had a sensational season, throwing for 3547 yards, and led Minnesota into the NFC title game. Then Denver, whose front office is led by Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway, signed him to a deal that will pay him $18 million per year.
2018 Denver Broncos Odds:
In the NFL futures odds posted on the Broncos by the people at VietBet, they are +475 to win the AFC West, +1800 to capture the AFC title and +4000 to wind up as the Super Bowl winner.
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Brock Osweiler had briefly come back to the team, but he has moved on to Miami, while Siemian goes off to Minnesota. Running back CJ Anderson left, and now he is a member of the Carolina Panthers. Tight end Virgil Green went to AFC West rival Los Angeles. So there are some holes that had to be filled. What they have done may indeed pan out, but young blood would really have to develop and develop quickly.
Devontae Booker is a plucker, but he is not going to provide significant answers for them at the running back spot. So there is a lot of hope that Royce Freeman, the third-round draft pick out of Oregon, is going to be able to contribute in a big way. The one thing you have to remember is that Freeman is going to get every opportunity to seize that featured back slot, and for what it’s worth, the Broncos have had a pretty good history with running backs who were drafted below Round 2.
Their wide receiver combination of Demarius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders will return, and speedster Courtland Sutton out of SMU was added as a second-round draft pick. On balance, we would say that the receiving corps is a little better.
But obviously if Denver is going to make any noise, it will require a big effort from the defense. Last season they were third-best in the NFL in yardage allowed per game (just 290), but only 22nd in scoring defense. This can be accounted for by a lack of field position on a consistent basis, which is traced back to offensive production. But they are very excited about their first-round pick, Bradley Chubb of North Carolina State, who has a chance to team up with Von Miller to make the Broncos an extremely scary proposition for opposing quarterbacks.
But they did lose All-Pro cornerback Aqib Talib, as they traded him to the Los Angeles Rams, and they will have to come up with an adequate replacement there. While it is true that Talib lost control of himself at times, he still has the ability to be a shutdown defender. Bradley Roby will presumably take his place opposite Chris Harris, and new arrival Tremaine Block, with the Vikings last year, will provide support. But this part of the stop unit isn’t as good.
What will have to happen here, somehow, is that Denver must be able to move the ball well enough not to put its defense into a hole. Does Keenum have enough weapons around him? If he doesn’t, this may not produce much better results than they got with Siemian at the helm.
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By Charles Jay