By: Keith Richards
Thursday starts something we didn’t know would happen this season. COVID-19 has ruined much, but the NFL season seems resilient. On Thursday, the 2020-2021 NFL football season begins. More importantly, for the people of Colorado, the 2020 Broncos season begins! The Nuggets are doing well in the playoffs. The Rockies are, well, the Rockies, but nothing captivates the city of Denver like the Broncos.
Fans expect big things from the 2020 Broncos. Will they disappoint? That’s what we’re here to discuss. We will breakdown the offense, the defense, and a couple of exceptional/key players we will be keeping an eye on throughout this season of the Mile High Review. So, enough with the pleasantries. Let’s get it!
2020 Broncos Offense
The 2020 Broncos offense is a group of young studs led by a charismatic young stallion. Drew Lock gets a chance to prove himself as the opening day starter. In an offseason that saw Denver add an abundance of talent, Lock will have every opportunity to shine and excel. Though the offensive line is a concern (as it always is), the weapons surrounding Drew should make up for their expected lackluster performance.
As mentioned above, the 2020 Broncos offense will have no shortage of talent. The Broncos will have Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay to lead the charge from the backfield. On the outside, 2019 star Courtland Sutton will get his chance at number one receiver, but he will not be alone. Rookie wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler, along with rookie tight end Albert Okwuebunam and two-year tight end Noah Fant, will leave defensive coordinators in a cold sweat all season long.
2020 Broncos Defense
For the 2020 Broncos Defense, injuries giveth and injuries taketh away. Firstly, in the season where Bradley Chubb returns from a torn ACL, Denver likely losses all-world pass rusher Von Miller for the season with a foot and ankle injury. Above all, I cannot stress this enough. The loss of Miller is devastating for the Denver defense. One of the greatest pass rushers of this generation, Von will not be easily replaced. Certainly, with Bradley Chubb on a pitch count, Malik Reed and Jeremiah Attaochu have their work cut out for them.
Where the 2020 Broncos defense will prevail is in the secondary. A.J. Bouye, Kareem Jackson, Justin Simmons, and Bryce Callahan are a strong group. Particularly, Simmons will look to continue to improve on the heels of two consecutive stellar seasons. I will not go as far as saying that Broncos fan should expect another No-Fly Zone, but they should not be disappointed either.
2020 Broncos Players to Watch
One of the most important players for the 2020 Broncos will be Garrett Bolles. Still, with all of the offensive talent the team possesses, it could all come crashing down with poor offensive line play. Much of the offensive line play depends on Garrett. To his credit, Bolles has accepted the blame for his poor play. He states, “Listen, our fans are some of the best fans in the country. They deserve the best football. Here in Denver, we have a tradition of winning. It’s unacceptable the way that I played.” To their credit, Denver declined Garrett’s fifth-year option. He’ll have to earn his money this season.
The other player to watch will be Jerry Jeudy. With Emmanuel Sanders gone, Jeudy will have some big shoes to fill. His athleticism, route running, and ability to win those 50-50 balls make Jerry a more than capable number two receiver. I predict that by season’s end, Jeudy will be more of a 1B receiver than a number two receiver.
Certainly, the loss of Von Miller will hurt the 2020 Broncos. Subsequently, all hope is not lost. Miller could return this season, but that is not the expectation. Recent Broncos team success is dependent on the defense, but I look to the offense to carry the Broncos. To sum up, it will be challenging, but I expect the 2020 Broncos to go 10-6 and be a surprise Wild Card entrant into the playoffs.
For more team predictions and previews, check out the NFL section of Nuts and Bolts Sports. Mile High Review will return soon with the Broncos Week 1 Matchup preview!