Denver Broncos 2009 NFL Projection:
Everyone knows the story. Bright, young coach Josh McDaniels was hired away
from the Patriots to replace Mike Shanahan.
McDaniels having familiarity with
free agent quarterback Matt Cassel of the Patriots, wanted to land him in Denver.
Question - how much better could Matt Cassel be than Jay Cutler, if at all?
Why go through the bother when the Broncos were already stacked on offense, with the
#2 unit in the league last season including;
a tremnedous offensive line lead by guard Chris Kuper (high ankle sprain), tackles Ryan Clady and Ryan Harris,
a great blocking tight end in Daniel Graham,
and phenomenal receivers like Eddie Royal, Brandon Marshall (learn the playbook), Brandon Stokley, and tight end Tony Scheffler.
It seems defense should have been the only focus rather than attempting to mildly upgrade the QB position.
The sensitive Cutler is now a Bear. What's done is done. The Bronco offense must move forward with QB's Kyle Orton and Chris Simms.
Considering Denver's offensive weapons, these quarterbacks couldn't ask for much more to surround them...
Of importance will be rookie running back Knowshon Moreno's status (already with a sprained knee),
but he is backed by Correll Buckhalter, LaMont Jordan, and Peyton Hillis.
If the Broncos get "decent" quarterback play, their offense should be able to score their fair share.
On the other side of the ball, Denver's strong point is clearly in their secondary.
FA pickup Andre Goodman from the Dolphins joins Champ Bailey at cornerback... FA
free safety Brian Dawkins from the Eagles teams up with free agent strong safety Renaldo Hill from
It's a solid pass defending unit. However, they are likely to have their work cut out for them as they will have to mask
a deficient defensive line and linebacking group.
Denver added inside linebacker Andra Davis from Cleveland during the offseason.
But parted ways with defensive end Ebenezer Ekuban because he doesn't fit the new 3-4 being implemented.
The Bronco defense leaves a lot to be desired up front and in the middle. Overall, the Broncos finished with the
second worst defense in the AFC last season.
Denver's pass defense could improve thanks to a stronger looking secondary on paper.
But the unit may be stressed due to a weak defensive line and linebacking group.
When it comes to stopping the run, the Broncos are likely to find life challenging
A look at Denver's 2009 schedule
shows what we believe to be one of the toughest schedules in the AFC.
On paper we project 10 exceptionally difficult games;
Denver's bye is week 7. Check out the eight game stretch from week 4 to week 12 with only the bye in between... It's murderous.
There's no let up in sight. I can't remember seeing a stretch of matchups so menacing in ages.
If the Broncos come anywhere close to double digit wins this season, it will be an incredible accomplishment...
Perhaps Josh McDaniels will prove to be a genius in spite of his rocky beginning.
Overall we now predict a record of (4-12) for the 2009 version of the Denver Broncos-- a slight downgrade
from our opening preseason projection due to offensive line injuries and further uncertainty about Marshall...
The fact that Vegas now has Denver listed as a 4 point underdog at Cincinnati week one
ought to tell us something about how '09 could go for the Broncos.
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