How far is the rest of the AFC West from a Super Bowl appearance?
2020 Record: 5-11
AFC West Ranking: 4th
While losing a multitude of players to injury and COVID-19 protocol throughout the 2020 season, the Broncos took a significant step back from their 7-9 record and second place AFC West finish in 2019.
While a playoff appearance would have been unrealistic considering the given circumstances, quarterback Drew Lock also took a step back in his performance, tying Carson Wentz for the most interceptions thrown in the regular season, and given an overall grade of 63.5 by Pro Football Focus.
This certainly was not what the Broncos wanted to see in Lock’s first full season as a starting quarterback. Of course, Lock is still young and has time to develop, but once again, the Broncos will go into a new season still unsure if they have found their franchise QB.
While Deshaun Watson talks to Denver have certainly heated up, it is still unlikely that the deal happens. Certainly, Watson would up the ante in the AFC West, and would likely elevate the Broncos to automatic contenders.
The Broncos have a lot of decisions to make in this offseason on key players such as Justin Simmons, Shelby Harris, and Von Miller. Depending on what happens with these contracts, the Broncos may or may not have cap space available to potentially acquire a QB via free agency.
However, their best bet is to acquire one via trade and to do that, the Broncos may have to sell key pieces to land the guy they want.
While Denver has an arsenal of key offensive pieces and a stout defense right now, unless they land Watson or solve the QB crisis, a potential Super Bowl appearance is not likely in the next 2-3 seasons or longer.