5 reasons the Denver Broncos can go from worst to first in 2023

Arizona Cardinals v Denver Broncos
Arizona Cardinals v Denver Broncos / Justin Edmonds/GettyImages
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It's not overly uncommon in the NFL today to see teams go from worst to first. To go from last place in their division to division champions. As a matter of fact, we saw it just last year with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who not only went from last place in the AFC South to AFC South champions, but they went from picking first overall in the 2022 NFL Draft to winning a playoff game against the Chargers. The Denver Broncos have hope after winning just five games a season ago and losing 10 one-score contests.

Let's be real about the situation for the moment -- anyone but the Kansas City Chiefs winning the AFC West feels like a major stretch at this point. But it's not impossible to think the Denver Broncos are a candidate to go from worst to first, or at least worst to the playoffs. A number of teams did that last season including the Jaguars, Giants, and Seahawks.

How can the Broncos make it happen and get back to the playoffs for the first time since that 2015 season? Let's look at five reasons they can do it, or five things that need to happen.

5 reasons the Denver Broncos can go from worst to first in 2023

1. Russell Wilson rebounds in a big way

As I am typing up this post, this Tweet from Pro Football Focus popped up in my news feed:

It's kind of funny how that works, isn't it? At any rate, I think Russell Wilson is poised for a massive comeback year in his age-34 NFL season. Wilson came to the Denver Broncos with massive expectations a year ago at this time. Because of the way he played in the first 10 years of his NFL career (above average at worst every single year), people expected a sequel to the Peyton Manning years with the Denver Broncos, and they expected it immediately.

It didn't turn out that way. As we all know, Russ had the worst year of his career, marred by injuries and just flat-out ugly football. Tape that was tough to watch, as Sean Payton put it. I simply refuse to believe that the Russell Wilson we saw last year is just "who he is" now.

After dealing with a ton of injuries last season, I think we're going to see a rejuvenated Wilson in the Sean Payton offense in 2023. And when Russ is playing at a high level, I don't think you can count the Broncos out of any game and I think he gives them an edge in any game.

We're going to have to see it to believe it, of course, but I think a Russell Wilson bounce-back year could wind up leading to the Denver Broncos going from worst to first, or last place to the playoffs.