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New players, a new schedule, and plenty of headlines have and will continue to surround Dove Valley. Last year around this time, I tried to predict some of the top Broncos headlines that we would see during the season. As you can see, I was not too far off with some of them (the teacher did become the student for one game), but was far off on other headlines (Eddie Royal was certainly no king).
As Josh McDaniels starts his second season, I’m going to try once again to predict some headlines that we’ll see.
10. “Maturation Station or a Mc-Bust?” - All eyes will be on the young hooded ied one as he shows how he handles coming back after a disappointing end to the season last year. What adjustments will Josh McDaniels make and will he win over the Shanahan-missing fans of Denver?
9. “Dan’s Plan Worked: Shanahan is the Man”- Daniel Snyder’s decision to hire Mike Shanahan in D.C. will have the NFC East buzzing. The Skins’ have had the talent for a long time and now they’ve got someone to manage it.
8. “Cutler Making the Cut in Chicago” – Jay Cutler will have a better year this year. Like it or hate it, he will. He’s got a new offensive coordinator in Mike Martz and at the end of last season, the Bears made a minor adjustment in the positioning of two offensive linemen which improved their sacks allowed statistic. Cutler will still be sacked quite a bit in Martz’s pass heavy offense, but don’t expect to see the same 35 sacks and 26 interceptions that he produced last year.
7. “Doom and Gloom No More” – Elvis Dumervil will get a big contract. He made the move to outside linebacker last year and led the league in sacks. He’s a good egg that stays out of trouble and he’s got a lot of years left.
6. “Front Line Bigger Than Philip Rivers’ Ego“ - That defensive line that we spent so much money on could eat their weight in steaks, and I’m willing to bet that they’re going to change Rivers’ game twice this season. When facing the Broncos, Rivers’ offensive line hasn’t had to contest with the size of the Broncos line. This year, it will be like holding back bulked up sharks looking for blood.
5. “Wideout Roulette” - Different from last year when it was easy to predict who the Broncos leading receiver would be, this season will see many different receivers standout from game to game. Eddie Royal could grab most balls one game while Jabar Gaffney could have a 100+ yard game the next.
4. “Knowshon Now in the Know” – Knowshon Moreno had a successful rookie year. He neared the 1,000 yard mark and had 7 rushing TDs on the season. However, he was one beat up dude. After a full year at the pro level, Moreno knows how to care for his body now, and should have an even better second season.
3. “Champ Puts the Clamp on AFC West Wideouts” – He’s done it year after year. He’s the shut down man. No one dares throw his direction that so many balls are tossed towards Andre Goodman who showed last year that he can be Champ’s right hand man.
2. “Orton Out. Will it be Quinn or Tim” - Kyle Orton’s days are numbered and even though he may be the starter in week 1, he certainly won’t finish the season in similar fashion. One of the young guns will be inserted to get the Broncos out of QB purgatory.
1. “Broncos Win AFC West in Final Game Against Chargers” - Date: Jan. 2nd. Significance: Winner moves on to the post season. Outcome: Broncos win. Consensus: We knew it.