In what is going to turn into a terrible prediction, Bolt Beat's Jason Reed thinks the Broncos finish 8-9 and behind the Chargers in the 2023 season. I had a nice chuckle when I read this. Jason Reed, who runs FanSided's Los Angeles Chargers website, released his AFC West predictions for the 2023 season.
His predictions for the first-place and fourth place finishers in the division is fine; he's got the Las Vegas Raiders finishing 6-11, which I agree with, and the Kansas City Chiefs finishing 13-4 and winning the division for the 2198th straight year, which I can also agree with, unfortunately.
However, where this gets insane is when he pegs the Broncos at an 8-9 record, finishing third in the AFC West. He's got his Chargers finishing 11-6 and second in the division, likely clinching another Wild Card spot.
Here's some of what Reed had to say about his Broncos' prediction:
"Denver was limited in what it could add this offseason but the team was still able to fix the coaching problem by bringing in Sean Payton. Having Payton instead of Nathaniel Hackett will absolutely improve the team but will not fix all of the problems in Denver.- Jason Reed
We will see a more well-oiled machine in 2023 with an easier schedule that can improve. Heck, adding three wins to the final record is a big deal and should not be taken lightly. This team is just starting too far behind to legitimately challenge for the AFC West title.
However, they will be in the playoff picture in December and January and will at least have something to play for."
I'm not really sure what he's talking about with his first point when he says that the Broncos were limited in what they could add this offseason. I guess spending the most money in free agency means they were limited? I mean, my goodness. The Broncos added two very good starters along the offensive line in Ben Powers and Mike McGlinchey. They also added a very good interior pass rusher in Zach Allen, reinforcements on offense including Samaje Perine, Marquez Callaway, Jarrett Stidham, and Chris Manhertz, and re-signed Alex Singleton to a three year deal.
I'm just confused as to what Reed means by this. The Broncos added quality starters on both sides of the ball, and according to spotrac.com, spent the most money in free agency, coming in at $242,647,500, significantly more than the second-place spenders, the Atlanta Falcons, who spent $211,090,000.
I also think he doesn't take into consideration enough the impact that a historically good offensive coach in Sean Payton will have. In 15/16 years as head coach, Payton's offenses have never ranked lower than 12th in scoring. The one year they did rank less than 12th was in 2021 when they ranked 19th. Payton lost Jameis Winston to a torn ACL and had to start Trevor Siemian and Taysom Hill in the meantime.
Now, from the Chargers' perspective, what exactly did they do to get better? I'll definitely give them the hiring of Kellen Moore; he's a great offensive mind but does have his moments. I also think Brandon Staley, their head coach, has proven to be an ineffective head coach overall. The blown leads and overall underperformance has become obvious.
Speaking of underperformance, their defense has also been a huge issue for them. In Staley's first season, the Chargers' defense ranked 29th in scoring. In his second season, marginal improvement was seen as they ranked 21st, but still not good. Renaldo Hill was their DC for both years, and Staley decided to replace him with Derrick Ansley, who has never held a coordinator role in the NFL before.
There is a lot of uncertainty with the Los Angeles Chargers, so having them at 11 wins and above the Broncos is truly laughable.