Can Keenum Push 2018 Denver Broncos Over The Top?
by DS WilliamsonThe Denver Broncos had an atrocious campaign last year. The Broncos’ offense might have been the franchise’s worst ever. They were a dismal 5-11 SU and 4-10-1 ATS during the 2017 NFL betting season. GM John Elway believes that he’s put together a team that could challenge for the AFC West Division. Is Elway correct? Or will the 2018 Denver Broncos post the first back-t0-back losing season since 1972?
Can Case Keenum become the long term “Answer”? John Elway was correct when he said after last season that first-year coach Vance Joseph didn’t get a fair shot because Denver’s quarterback situation was a mess. The Broncos rotated among Brock Osweiler, Trevor Siemian, and Paxton Lynch.
The idea of a rotation is hopefully done for when it comes to the 2018 Denver Broncos.
Elway made a play for this off season’s prized QB free agent, Kirk Cousins. After failing to convince Cousins to head to Denver, Elway settled for Minnesota quarterback Case Keenum. Keenum was sensational last season. He completed 67.6% of his passes. Only Drew Brees had a higher completion percentage. Most importantly to Elway? Keenum only threw 7 interceptions.
Protecting the football has become a priority for the Denver Broncos’ defense. Elway also gave Keenum a possible gift at running back when he drafted Oregon rusher Royce Freeman. Before Oregon became a bad football team, Freeman was being touted as a Heisman Trophy candidate. He’s a bruising, fast, rusher who could eventually start ahead of Devontae Booker.
Elway drafted Freeman in Round 3. His Round 2 pick, SMU wide receiver Courtland Sutton, should immediately pay dividends. More than a few draft analysts had Sutton ranked as the top wide receiver in the 2018 NFL Draft.
The situation surrounding Keenum is a positive one, much like the context he enjoyed in Minnesota. So there are very few excuses for Keenum and the 2018 Denver Broncos when it comes to improving their offensive output. Some might suggest that the decision to go with Keenum is a curious one, especially given the myriad of options available to Elway. As usual, Keenum grades out as a product who loves to prove naysayers wrong.
Bradley Chubb will be a DE star It’s amazing that DE Bradley Chubb fell to the Broncos with pick 5. Rumor had it that Elway might trade up to draft one of the talked up quarterbacks. Instead, after realizing that Chubb might fall, he did the right thing and drafted Chubb. Chubb should be the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
He’ll play on the other side of the defense. Von Miller remains a future hall of fame DE while the linebacking corps is solid. Because Denver’s front 7 is so talented, trading Aqib Talib makes sense. The back 4 will be well-protected because the front 7 will pressure quarterbacks to no end.
Broncos could win the AFC West Many believe that Denver is the worst team in the AFC West Division this season. The exact opposite is likely to be true. The schedule isn’t overly difficult with home games to start the season versus Seattle and then Oakland.
Denver has a real shot of going undefeated through their first five games. If they can beat Baltimore in Week 3 and then beat Kansas City in Week 4, they should have no trouble versus the Jets in Week 5. A 5-0 SU start makes the 2018 Denver Broncos a legitimate playoff contender right out of the gates, and is attainable.
Elway never stands pat. That’s why the Denver Broncos often bounce back after bad seasons. Based on the moves he made this off season - signing Keenum, drafting Chubb, Freeman, and Sutton - it’s apparent that Elway’s looking for a return to the playoffs.
He might get what he’s looking for.