The Denver Broncos have done a total 180 in terms of their 2022 to 2023 progression. This team has a realistic shot to win 10 games and make the postseason in 2023. Well, even if they don't do that, is this year still a success? I think context is needed here. If you just look at the 2023 season alone for the Broncos, you might not think it's a success.
"Sean Payton and Russell Wilson are only 7-7 right now?" I think that line of thinking is perfectly reasonable. However, because of how bad the 2022 season was for the Denver Broncos, I think that improvement from last year factors into this year. In 2022, the Broncos were one of the worst teams in their history. A 2-1 start in 2022 was somewhat encouraging, but they finished just 3-11 after that.
The offense was the worst in the NFL, and a Hall of Fame QB in Russell Wilson looked like a struggling rookie under center. The offense was decimated by injuries, especially along the offensive line. The team was undisciplined, as they were called for over 100 penalties. The defense got off to an excellent start, but broke down as the season wore on.
It just simply ugly, and former head coach Nathaniel Hackett became one of only a few other head coaches to get fired during his first season in that role. It was a truly historic season, and not in the good way. Well, 2023 got off to a similar start. The Broncos were 1-5 at one point, and the team looked headed toward a total roster deconstruction. Well, a switch flipped, and now the Broncos are 7-7.
They have three winnable games left, and I think it's a near-guarantee that the Broncos finish with at least nine wins this year, but a 10-7 finish with a playoff berth is also firmly possible. The change that has happened under Sean Payton in the 11 months he's been here is nothing short of a miracle, and I really don't think this season can be anything other than a success.
The Broncos aren't a laughingstock anymore-- they have efficient QB play and are well-coached. The offensive line is solid, and they are in most games. Overall, from top to bottom, I think it's pretty evident that 2023 has been a massive success for the Denver Broncos when you consider just how badly 2022 was.