Chris Gallagher | May 23rd, 2020
The expectations surrounding the Denver Broncos are very high, heading into the 2020 season. After an offseason that saw them add A.J. Bouye, Jurrell Casey, and Melvin Gordon along with wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler in the draft, the Broncos are a team to watch. The 2019 season was a forgetful one for the Broncos as they finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. Most of this was due to the ongoing quarterback carousel. Joe Flacco started the first eight games before getting injured and replaced by Brandon Allen. Ultimately, the Broncos would end the season winning four of their last five games under Drew Lock after he came off injured reserve and injected life into the Denver offense.
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Drew Lock wins MVP
After an impressive end to the season that saw him throw for over 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns in the five games he appeared in, Lock seems to be the next star quarterback in the NFL. The Broncos did everything in their power to help out their young quarterback heading into year two in the offseason, adding various weapons of offense and defense. These investments will pay off mightily year two as Lock will win the Broncos their first MVP since Peyton Manning in 2013.
Jerry Jeudy breaks the rookie receiving yards record
The current single-season rookie receiving record is 1,473 yards by Bill Groman, a former Colts wide receiver. The 2020 season will see this record fall as Jeudy will break the record. After falling to the Broncos at pick number 15 in the draft and being the second wide receiver off the board, Jeudy will have a large chip on his shoulder to prove he is the best wide receiver of the draft class. Known for his strong route running and ability to get off the line is press situations, he fits the perfect mold to have instant success in the NFL.
Both Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay rush for over 1,000 yards
The Denver Broncos running back group is going to be a force to be reckoned with in 2020. After a season which saw Lindsay rush for over 1,000 and seven touchdowns, the Broncos went out and added former Gordon in free agency. Gordon has been a polarizing player for a few seasons in the NFL, as he has held out for a larger contract. This move will pay off mightily for the Broncos as both Gordon and Lindsay will rush for over 1,000 yards each in 2020, which has not been done by two running backs since the 2009 Carolina Panthers.
The Broncos lead the league in sacks
Just five years ago, the Denver Broncos had a Hall of Fame caliber defense and dominated teams en route to the Super Bowl. While many of those names have retired or left the team, Von Miller remains an important part of Denver. Last season, the Broncos finished 17th in the NFL in sacks with 40. A large part of this was due to the loss of Bradley Chubb, who appeared in just four games because of injury. The Broncos still employ one of the best pass rushes in football, featuring names like Shelby Harris, Adam Gotsis, and of course, Miller. A healthy season from this group along with the return of Chubb in 2020 will see the Broncos lead the league in sacks, proving they are still an elite defense.
Justin Simmons wins defensive player of the year
There may not be a more underrated defensive player in the NFL than Simmons. Since entering the NFL in 2016, Simmons has established himself as one of the top defensive players in the NFL, recording 210 tackles and 11 interceptions in his short NFL career as the leader of the secondary. 2019 was the most impressive campaign to date for Simmons as he recorded a career-high four interceptions, 93 tackles, and 15 passes defended. However, this strong campaign did not see Simmons get named to the Pro Bowl or receive any defensive player of the year votes. 2020 will change this as Simmons will win defensive player of the year, proving to the national media he is one of the best players in the game.
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