January 1st, 2017 Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos
This game will prove to be a must-win for the Broncos, but not so much for the Raiders who have already secured the 1st wildcard spot. The Broncos will need a win, and need some help from the Buffalo Bills to beat the New York Jets once again. The Broncos will take care of business with Paxton Lynch making his first ever NFL start, and completing 14 of his 22 pass attempts for 201 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. C.J. Anderson will carry the load in this one, rushing for a season high 221 yards and 3 TD’s, and the Broncos will win this one 31-21. Unfortunately, it won’t be enough, as the New York Jets will beat the Bills this year, and advance to the playoffs, ending the Broncos five year run in the playoffs.
Finishing 3rd in the AFC West
Missing Playoffs for the first time in 6 years.
It was always going to be a tough task, as moving away from a Hall of Fame Quarterback isn’t easy to do. The defense was top-5 once again, but took a small step backward from being an all-time great as they were in 2015, and just couldn’t provide the week in, week out game-saving plays that were on display in 2015. Mark Sanchez will be serviceable, but won’t provide much more than Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler did a year ago,
as he will throw for 22 TD’s, and 16 INT’s. C.J. Anderson will end up with a huge year, rushing for over 1,600 yards, and 13 scores. Paxton Lynch will play well in relief in week 16, and will also be a very good game manager in week 17, and should provide a nice feeling going into the offseason with a win, and hope that the Broncos can be right there, once again contending for a Super Bowl in 2017.