By Bethany Harris
The Broncos 17/18 Season Schedule was released a few weeks ago with some interesting match ups and some strong teams to play early on in the season, which will surely prove to be a tough test for the Broncos in their battle to reach the Super Bowl.
In the run up to the beginning of the season I’ll be doing an early statistical rundown of how the Broncos will fair each week and giving a prediction on how the game will turn out based on the last meetups. First up is their week one game against the recently relocated Los Angeles Charges. Denver have the home field advantage at the Mile High Stadium in Denver, CO with this being the first game of the new regular season. The last time these teams met up last season, the series finished 1-1 with Denver winning their home game, which will put them in a confident mood when it comes to the home opener on September 12th.
In the AFC West, Denver finished in 3rd ending their season 9-7, while LA finished 4th with a devastating 5-11 record with both teams disappointingly missing the playoffs. In the season’s overall touchdown category, Denver only managed to pick up 35 touchdowns in comparison to LA’s 48, giving the visitors the offensive edge. In average rushing yards, they matched up almost equally with Denver getting 92 rushing yards per game and LA sneaking ahead with 94.
In week 6 of the 2016/17 season Denver fell 13-21 in San Diego. While Broncos starting QB Trevor Siemian put up 230 passing yards in this game he missed 20 of his 50 attempts while Chargers QB, Philip Rivers, only missed 11 of 29 attempts. Both QBs got a touchdown each. This game was dominated by kicking, while Chargers kicker, Josh Lambo went 4/4, Broncos kicker Brandon McManus went 2/3 which proved to be a factor in the away loss.
Week 8 was a different story with Denver picking up a 27-19 win at home. While not throwing for a touchdown, Siemian was 20/38 in attempts and threw an impressive 279 yards compared to Rivers, who only got 20/47 in attempts and 267 yards however managed to get two touchdowns from Melvin Gordon and Travis Benjamin. In field goals it was McManus who went 2/2 and Lambo who went 0/1 which was a complete 360 from week 6.
While the season opener could go either way, assuming that Vance Joseph will put Trevor Siemian in as starting QB it could most likely end in the Broncos picking up their first win of the season. However the starting QB position is still up for debate with Paxton Lynch holding his own last season with both having a 59% completion rate at the end of the season, however Lynch looked very rough around the edges. The players to watch in this game will be WR Demaryius Thomas after another good season, despite criticisms, as he collected 90 receptions and 5 touchdowns in his 7th season as a Bronco and last season’s rookie RB Devontae Booker who picked up 612 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns, with great potential despite the challenge from new signing Jamaal Charles and starter CJ Anderson.
I’m predicting a close game with a score line of 21-17 to Denver.