Have the Denver Broncos become the team to beat in the AFC West?
Now that the biggest moves of free agency have mostly concluded, are the Denver Broncos now the team to beat in the AFC West?
The AFC West got to work in free agency, and the Denver Broncos were one of those teams.
Obviously, the biggest additional within the division was Russell Wilson, making Denver an instant contender. They also added pass rusher Randy Gregory and interior run stuffer DJ Jones.
Recently, Denver signed K’Waun Williams, who is a skilled slot cornerback.
Denver address their biggest needs in free agency.
The Chargers also had a great free agency period, re-signing Mike Williams and adding Khalil Mack, JC Jackson, and Sebastian Joseph-Day. They greatly improved their defense on paper which was their weakness in 2021.
The Raiders added Chandler Jones and traded for star receiver Davante Adams.
The Chiefs… well, the Chiefs added Juju Smith-Schuster, which is a solid addition, but he does not scare anyone.
Their most notable move came on Wednesday, when they traded Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins in a blockbuster. They also signed Justin Reid to replace Tyrann Mathieu.
Outside of that, they negotiated a new contract with Frank Clark, who has underperformed as a pass rusher for their club.
As it stands now, Denver has the best roster on paper, so should they now be considered the team to beat in the AFC West? Some may call this premature, but there is evidence to back my claim up.
Before Tom Brady arrived in Tampa in 2020, the Buccaneers went 7-9 the year before and were a mediocre club. They went 11-5 in 2020 and won the Super Bowl.
The same goes for the Rams before Matthew Stafford arrived. The Rams got bounced out of the playoffs in 2020 and were clearly held back by Jared Goff. They traded for Matthew Stafford and won the Super Bowl this year.
Based on the Broncos’ moves, and based on their current situation, shouldn’t Denver be the top dog in the AFC West? I think so.
Russell Wilson can be the best quarterback in the league at any point. The offensive philosophy in Seattle often did not let Russ “cook,” something he enjoys doing. Wilson also never had the weaponry in Seattle that he now has in Denver.
Along with that, the Broncos’ offensive line is average, which is better than the lines that Wilson has played behind during his career.
Even with the uber-talented AFC West, Denver has the strongest club.
If we match them up against the Chiefs, the only advantages Kansas City should have on paper is their tight end, quarterback (by a small margin), and their offensive line.
Denver boasts stronger units at every level on defense, a better running game, and better wide receivers.
Denver wins the roster battle, and as the NFL goes, the better rosters usually win.
Moreover, Denver has had a hard time knocking the Chiefs off. They’ve run the division since 2016, and Denver has not won a game against the Chiefs since 2015.
Since Denver can typically win at least one game per year against the Chargers and Raiders, even doing so with bad quarterbacks, I personally do not worry about either club being a serious threat to Denver now that Denver has Russell Wilson.
The Chiefs are the AFC West champions until further notice, but their roster has gotten noticeably weaker since the offseason began.
Denver has gotten significantly better. 1 + 1 = 2, so Denver is the stronger club as it stands right now.
Many in Broncos Country may have smaller expectations than I do currently, but I don’t see why. The past two seasons have seen quarterbacks win the Super Bowl in their first year with their new teams.
Grading Denver Broncos 2022 free agency haul thus far
So far, the Denver Broncos have been moderately active in free agency. Here we will give the team grades for each of their moves so far.
Why can’t the Denver Broncos be that team? Or, at the very least, why can’t Denver win 12-13 games and be the AFC West champions?