The Mile High Report’s Ian St. Clair joins us for the first part of his new weekly feature on DenverBroncosUK.com.
There were some very interesting roster moves made last week, and it showed how deep the Broncos roster is. The depth at running back has turned into one of the pleasant surprises for this team, namely Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay. Both of them have flashed signs of greatness since training camp and remained consistent throughout the preseason.
We all saw the role Andy Janovich can play as the lead blocker in the third preseason game, and that solidified his spot on the team given what he does on special teams. Devontae Booker can serve as a breather back, but any carries he gets will take away from guys who can make plays.
The reason for six linebackers is the roles they play on special teams, and if that unit continues to do what it has over the course of the preseason in terms of kick-off and punt coverage, it will make the Broncos that much tougher to defeat.
As for the quarterback position, John Elway and Denver had to move on from Paxton Lynch. It was the best for all involved. The Broncos claiming Kevin Hogan just made that possible. I’m not even sure Hogan will dress on gamedays, but we’ll see come Sunday.
Cause for optimism
I’ll zoom in even closer: the third preseason game in D.C. should make all Broncos fans incredibly excited. The offense finally showed in a game what it showed in training camp, and if Case Keenum and his running mates can move the ball, score points and achieve that kind of balance in the regular season, this is a dangerous team. The defence will be there, especially with the Orange Rush and the No Fly Zone. And, as mentioned earlier, the special teams remain strong in coverage, plus the leg of Marquette King, which means this team can win the AFC West. But…
Coaching question marks
The head coach remains the biggest question mark about this team. And until the Broncos face adversity and he shows he can respond in a way that doesn’t cause the team to fall off, the doubt will and should remain. It’s great Vance Joseph and his staff seem to have a good handle on the team and what the players can do, but until Joseph shows the adversity won’t derail this team, my excitement is tempered.
Fast start needed
The biggest test isn’t Seattle, per se, it’s Denver. The Seahawks aren’t a good team and won’t be very good this year, but are the Broncos? If Denver plays the way it did against the Redskins, it won’t be a test.
Short of not turning the ball over, starting well is the most imperative factor facing this team. If Denver loses this game, “Katy, bar the door.” And not just in this Week One game, but the first four/five games of the season. If the Broncos don’t start 3-1, the angst will grow and grow, and the sentiment Joseph needs to go will as well.
My week 1 score prediction? I’ll go Broncos 27, Seahawks 13.