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2021 NFL Team Previews: Denver Broncos

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Though multiple reports have speculated that the Denver Broncos would make a trade for Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, it looks as if that won’t happen.  Unless that deal somehow gets done, expect it to be a tight QB competition in the preseason between Drew Lock and veteran Teddy Bridgewater.  The Broncos are coming off a disappointing 2020 season that saw them stumble to a 5-11 record.

Even without a superstar QB, this Broncos roster is built with some nice pieces.  The offense has a fair share of playmakers and the defense should be stout.  Expect Denver to improve on last year’s record by winning two to three more games this season.

2021 Offense

Drew Lock isn’t a terrible option at QB, but he’s got to learn to take better care of the football.  The former Missouri Tiger threw 16 touchdowns last year but he also led the NFL with 15 interceptions.  If Lock can’t improve, Denver has the option of giving the starting job to Teddy Bridgewater.

The former Louisville Cardinal did pretty well with Carolina in 2020 by throwing for 3,733 yards and 15 touchdowns.  Bridgewater brings some much-needed experience to the Broncos’ QB room. The most exciting part of this team in 2021 will be their running backs.

Not only do the Broncos have a proven runner in Melvin Gordon (986 yards, 9 touchdowns LY), they also drafted a stud out of North Carolina named Javonte Williams.  Williams is a thick (5-10, 220 lbs), powerful runner who also happens to have 4.5 speed. Gordon and Williams could form one of the best 1-2 running back punches in the NFL this season.

Denver has some nice receiving options with guys like Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, and Noah Fant.  Sutton is coming off a nasty ACL tear but should be ready for Week 1.  Jeudy (856 yards, 3 touchdowns LY) showed a lot of promise during his rookie season in 2020.  Fant is a steady tight end with great hands and good blocking skills.

2021 Defense

Denver had a tough year defensively in 2020 by giving up nearly 28 points per game.  However, John Elway made revamping his secondary a focal point of the Broncos offseason.  Denver signed solid defensive backs in Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller (gamblingsites.com).  They also drafted Patrick Surtain II out of Alabama, who should start right away.

Head coach Vic Fangio loves to pressure the QB.  Denver ranked third in QB hurries and ninth in QB sacks last year.  Those numbers will only improve in 2021, especially if superstar linebacker Von Miller can stay healthy the entire year.

2021 Special Teams

Denver is blessed with a good special teams unit.  Punter Sam Martin returns for his second season as a Bronco after averaging 46.8 yards per punt in 2020.  Brandon McManus is also back at kicker for Denver this year after hitting 28 out of 34 field goal attempts last season.

Diontae Spencer is coming back as the kick and punt returner in 2021.  The 5-8 170 pound speedster had 253 punt return yards and 281 kick return yards in 2020.  He also returned a punt for a touchdown.

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