Sports Illustrated predicts another bad season for the Denver Broncos

BLOOMINGTON, MN - FEBRUARY 01: Von Miller of the Denver Broncos attends SiriusXM at Super Bowl LII Radio Row at the Mall of America on February 1, 2018 in Bloomington, Minnesota. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
BLOOMINGTON, MN - FEBRUARY 01: Von Miller of the Denver Broncos attends SiriusXM at Super Bowl LII Radio Row at the Mall of America on February 1, 2018 in Bloomington, Minnesota. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM) /

Sports Illustrated predicts the Denver Broncos to finish 2018 with a worse record than they did in 2017. Here is why I disagree with the prediction.

The 2017 Denver Broncos won five games. There isn’t any sugarcoating it. They were bad. So, with the changes the team has gone through since the conclusion of last season, will they finish 2018 with a better win total?

One sports magazine doesn’t think so.

In their predictions for all 32 teams, Sports Illustrated gave the Denver Broncos some bulletin board material for the 2018 season, predicting the team will finish the year with a 4-12 record.

"The Broncos never figured out their quarterback situation last year, and even the third-ranked scoring defense couldn’t help them muster more than five wins and a dead-last finish in the AFC West. What was telling in Vance Joseph’s first season was the eight-game losing streak in the middle of the season after starting 3-1. (Also telling was Denver getting just one road win, against the hapless Colts in Week 15.) Case Keenum is coming off a season no one saw coming, and I’m not sure I anticipate it happening again for the 30-year-old quarterback.Pivotal game: Week 6 vs. Los Angeles RamsThe Broncos certainly have the defense to stop Sean McVay’s offense, but can they score enough points against Wade Phillips’s defense? The former Broncos defensive coordinator returns to Denver, where he helped craft the Super Bowl-winning defense three seasons ago. This game will be the best test for both sides of the ball in Denver."

With all due respect, I completely, whole-heartedly disagree with their prediction.

Last season, the Denver Broncos started three quarterbacks in 16 games. Sure, the changes were mostly due to injuries. But starting multiple quarterbacks in one season is always a recipe for disaster.

Exit Trevor Siemian and Brock Osweiler. Enter Case Keenum.

Keenum was phenominal for the Minnesota Vikings last season, as he led them to the NFC Championship game. It was his best season in the league since signing with the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2012. It wasn’t even close.

In Minnesota, Keenum had Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs to throw to. He also had a start tight end in Kyle Rudolph. I’ll give them that.

Keenum will be going into a situation where the offensive line isn’t the greatest, but with Garett Bolles locked in at left tackle, Matt Paradis at center, and former Arizona Cardinal Jared Veldheer competing at right tackle, I strongly believe that the unit will be a lot better in 2018.

Denver has a lot of weapons to use on offense for the 2018 season. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders will be back. The team also drafted two wideouts in DeSean Hamilton and Courtland Sutton. I think that the Denver Broncos could put Sutton on the outside, opposite of Thomas, while inserting Sanders at the slot position. That would solve one problem without creating another.

In regards to the running back position in Denver, I love it. No, the Broncos do not have CJ Anderson, who rushed for just over 1,000 last year as the primary tailback. They do, however, have multiple capable backs to fill the void left by Anderson, who the team willingly released this offseason.

Devontae Booker, De’Angelo Henderson and rookies Royce Freeman, David Williams and Phillip Lindsay make up the current Denver Broncos running back crop. The top spot on the depth chart is up for grabs and it is still possible that Freeman could take the job. The fact that there is a three-way competition at the position is really great news because it shows that the team believes in more than one or two of those players. Denver very well could have a three-way monster at tailback.

If the Broncos do go with a three-headed backfield, don’t expect one guy to reach 1,000 yards. That’s just not how that situation would work, and that’s fine.

Denver’s defensive additions were fascinating to me.

I love the acquisition of safety/linebacker Su’a Cravens, who the team traded for. He brings versatility to the defense the team could really use.

The last time I checked, the Denver Broncos still had Von Miller, Chris Harris Jr., and  Domata Peko. Those are just a handful of key contributors on the Denver defense.

The Broncos lost Aqib Talib in the offseason. Yes, that was a big loss. I really believe that they will be fine with Bradley Roby and Tramaine Brock behind Harris Jr.

Next: Options for the Denver Broncos at the Supplemental Draft

Linebacker/pass rush will be dominant. The team upgraded that phase of the game when they selected Bradley Chubb fifth overall. Pair Chubb with Miller, and it’s hard to argue against them being at the top of the league.

So, yes, I strongly disagree with the prediction of the Broncos going 4-12. The only way I think it is possible is if there is a rash of injuries at key positions.

If not, the Broncos should be much better in 2018.