Denver Broncos Outlook
August 8, 2017
What Is John Elway Thinking?
If there’s one team in the AFC that nobody seems to be betting on despite their surreal talent, it’s the Denver Broncos. BetOnline.ag has them listed as +1400 to reach the Super Bowl which puts them in the same range as the Titans (+1800) and the Chiefs (+1200). This shouldn’t be happening. Not with how well this team is built.
So why is John Elway wasting his time with Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch?
Paxton Lynch was a late, first-round pick for the Denver Broncos in 2016 and hasn’t sizzled at all. The 6-foot-7 Memphis product has reportedly struggled mightily with the playbook that Vance Joseph and his staff have been trying to implement, which was sort of the problem with him last year as well. It’s not that Lynch is a bonehead, but nothing he’s doing at the position screams “franchise player”. Lynch recently went through an entire scrimmage without completing a pass!
I’m not willing to write Lynch off completely, but he’s being clearly outplayed by seventh-round pick Trevor Siemian who did an admirable job last year as the stater for the Denver Broncos. Siemian’s numbers weren’t great, but they also weren’t garbage. With 3,401 passing yards and 18 touchdowns against 10 picks, Siemian checked out with an 84.6 quarterback rating as a first-year starter last year. Again, that’s totally fine.
None if this is meant to put either quarterbacks’ careers on tombstones just yet, but I’m not rushing to BetOnline.ag to bet on them as MVP’s either.
What I’m curious about is the timing. The Broncos boast perhaps the league’s best defence, even without the recently retired DeMarcus Ware. Von Miller, T.J. Ward, Aqib Talib and Derek Wolfe anchor a squad that ranked 4th in points (18.6) and 4th in total yards agains (5,057) but didn’t have an offence that offset how well this unit performed.
And that’s the crazy part. This team is literally one player away from being a real Super Bowl contender and there’s nothing out there which suggests that Lynch nor Siemian is really capable of pushing this team over the edge. Say what you will about Peyton Manning towards the end of his career, but he at least knew what he was doing (outside of being a freaking Hall of Famer).
The move to ignore the quarterback position falls outside of what the team has been doing in the off-season for years. They gave Demaryius Thomas $43.5M and Emmanuel Sanders $26.9M in guarantees. They just dropped $70M in guarantees over a 6-year, $114.5M contract to Von Miller. They even rolled the dice on Jamaal Charles. Everything that the Denver Broncos have done and are doing screams, “This is our window and we are locking this down.”
When everything – and I mean everything – about the Denver Broncos is geared in Win Now Mode, there’s no excuse for having a quarterback that is as inexperienced and unproductive as Trevor Siemian. BetOnline.ag has the Broncos listed at a Regular Season Win Total of 8.0 games. That’s inexcusable given how talented this roster is, but it’s well justified when you look at how weak of a link that they have at the offensive helm.
So what’s the plan in Denver? Why pass up on Colin Kaepernick? Why not kick the tires on Jay Cutler? Why aren’t you throwing whatever you’ve got at Tony Romo? Why aren’t you trying to upgrade the position in the slightest just in case?
There’s also no hard proof that the staff in Denver is capable of developing a young quarterback. Head coach Vance Joseph is a defensive coordinator by trade, and Mike McCoy will be running the offence. I think McCoy is a very good coach, but he also had the supremely underrated Philip Rivers to work with. The step down to Siemian and Lynch must’ve been a gut punch.
Bill Musgrave is more specifically the quarterbacks coach, and he has spent the last two seasons developing Derek Carr in to the highest paid quarterback in the league. It’s one thing to take a second round pick who was always highly rated and help him blossom in to a franchise superstar. Siemian’s standing as a seventh rounder that nobody really wanted says plenty, and there weren’t enough glimpses in 2016 to suggest that he has what it takes to push this team over the edge.
The prevailing argument is that Peyton Manning won a Super Bowl, and helped this team to the playoffs, despite being in the twilight of his career. I’m sorry, but that argument is totally bunk. Comparing Peyton Manning at the end of his career to Trevor Siemian is ridiculous. You can’t just rely on overall talent at skill positions and an all-world defence to break through in an NFL that routinely tailors its rules to make things easier for a quarterback.
As they say in the NFL, it just takes one bad game for New England to get bumped from the playoffs. The Broncos are most certainly built like a team that can challenge for the AFC Championship. They just forgot to construct their foundation around the pillar that’s probably most important. I’d be willing to overlook this oversight myself if there general manager wasn’t Jon Elway.
Head to BetOline.ag to bet on the NFL Futures market to seriously leverage your feelings on the Denver Broncos and Trevor Siemian!
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