Denver Broncos 2008 NFL Projection:
Last season Denver had trouble hanging with playoff caliber teams, posting a (2-5) record against
squads that went on to the postseason.
Even more concerning was a (5-4) mark against non-playoff bound teams.
Much of the struggle to attain past performance levels was the result of a porous run defense.
Looking ahead to 2008, we're going to go out on a limb and predict the Broncos season will hinge on line play and field goal kicking.
To the Broncos credit they finished 9th in rushing offense last season while sustaining
injuries to Hamilton and Nalen. With both players set to return the biggest question mark will almost certainly be the performance of top draft pick Clady
who will start at left tackle as a rookie. While Denver's undersized zone blocking scheme will surely have its moments in 2008, the unit's overall
size needs a general upgrade to avoid being too undersized going forward.
On the defensive line the Broncos would do well at the end position assuming Ekuban can play at or near past levels after missing the entire '07
season with a tear of his right achilles. However the interior of the line could be problematic as Denver will rely on Robertson obtained from the Jets who is saddled
with knee trouble. That said it's unlikely the Broncos will finish as low in rushing defense as they did in 2007.
However, don't expect the rush defense to soar to the top of the league ranks either.
Through the air, the Broncos should have their share of successes with Cutler rifling the ball to targets like Marshall, Scheffler, and the nimble Stokley. While not high on Colbert,
we like Jackson's chances to make an impact.
When it comes to defending the pass, the Broncos ought to be in good shape thanks to Bailey.
Finally, the departure of Jason Elam could be costly, and will almost assuredly cost the Broncos a game or two. How many times in the past did Elam
deliver a clutch kick to seal a victory?
A look at Denver's 2008 schedule
shows just five games against teams that made the playoffs last season;
Just one of these contests comes in the second half of the season.
However Denver's schedule is not quite as easy as first meets the eye. Add in road contests
on the verge of the postseason in 2007 - 2008, and
@New York Jets
also playoff caliber now with Favre.
If the Broncos can take care
of business against teams that didn't make the playoffs in '07, they ought to have a reasonable chance to get back above .500.
Overall, we're now predicting a record of (10-6) for the 2008 edition of the Denver Broncos-- an upgrade before the season gets underway
thanks Marshall's suspension being reduced.
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Free 2008 NFL Predictions Note:
these now archived 2008 NFL forecasts were made
during the 2008 preseason.
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