Denver Broncos Super Bowl Odds 2022
As a Broncos fan, I’m writing this preview as I get ready to watch Peyton Manning make the Hall of Fame. Man, I miss having you as our quarterback, Peyton. You were one of the best things that ever happened to me as a sports fan, and I wish you were still playing in the NFL. Denver’s roster is loaded everywhere except for quarterback, and if you were still around, I guarantee we’d be discussing this team as a real contender.
Alas, we’re headed into the year with Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater manning the fort, and I just don’t feel good about it at all. We’re a borderline playoff team until we get a good quarterback, and I don’t think there’s a good quarterback on our roster. I hope I’m wrong.
Denver Broncos Team Future Odds
- Super Bowl Odds:
- To Win AFC:
- To Win AFC West:
- To Earn AFC #1 Seed:
- To Make Playoffs:
This offseason was the first for the Broncos with George Paton as the new general manager as John Elway was promoted to the president of football operations. While Elway still has plenty of say in big-picture decisions, Paton now handles the day-to-day management of roster construction. This passing of the torch led to quite a notable offseason for the Broncos.
Paton and the Broncos did an excellent job of attacking key positions of need in both the draft and free agency. Cornerback was a problem area last year as Bryce Callahan and A.J. Bouye both missed significant time with injuries. Callahan is back healthy to man the slot while Bouye has moved on to the Panthers. He’ll be replaced by free agent acquisitions Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby on the outside.
Joining the new cornerback acquisitions will be first-rounder Patrick Surtain II who has impressed so far in training camp. The Broncos had an excellent draft overall, adding dynamic running back Javonte Williams and high-upside interior offensive lineman Quinn Meinerz. They also grabbed a potential Day 1 in the versatile linebacker Baron Browning who could be one of the steals of the draft.
On the offensive side of the ball, some work was needed, particularly on the right side of the offensive line. Garett Bolles was an All-Pro left tackle last season, but Ja’Wuan James’s Achilles tear and Elijah Wilkinson’s general inconsistency left the right tackle spot barren. Bobby Massie and Cameron Fleming will battle it out for the right to start on that side. Who they will be pass-blocking for remains to be seen as Denver traded for veteran Teddy Bridgewater to compete for the starting role with Drew Lock.
Denver also resigned some key players in free agency including safeties Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson, defensive tackle Shelby Harris, linebacker Alexander Johnson, and wide receiver Tim Patrick, all of whom figure to be key contributors this season. Simmons, in particular, was a key player to bring back as a former All-Pro safety.
Broncos Odds Analysis
The Broncos were an intriguing dark horse Super Bowl pick earlier in the offseason as they were heavily linked to Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson in trade talks. Now, however, Rodgers is back for at least one more season in Green Bay while Watson’s sexual assault lawsuits have yet to be resolved. Now, Denver is sitting at +5000 to win the Super, which is significantly lower than they were earlier in the offseason. That’s tied with two NFC teams in the Vikings and Washington Football Team. In the AFC West, both the Chiefs (+500) and Chargers (+3300) have better odds to win the Super Bowl this season.
Denver’s playoff odds have also been significantly reduced following the resolution of the Rodgers fiasco as they are now around +160 to make the postseason. This is a playoff-caliber roster to be sure, but they play in a tough division with the Chiefs, Chargers, and Raiders. Kansas City is virtually a lock to win the AFC West as they’ve done for the past five seasons – they sit at -250 to win the division while the Chargers (+450), Broncos (+650), and Raiders (+2500) trail significantly behind. The Broncos have not made the playoffs since winning Super Bowl 50 with Peyton Manning at quarterback.
Denver currently has a projected win total of 8.5 games, tied with the Steelers and just behind a number of AFC teams in the Patriots, Dolphins, Titans, Chargers, and Colts, all of whom have a projected win total of 9 games. Denver has failed to reach 8 wins in any of the past four seasons with their last season over .500 being in 2016. The AFC West is a gauntlet, but the Denver defense should be among the best in the NFL, so perhaps they can squeak past 8.5 wins this season.
Reasons Why Broncos Win Super Bowl
Part of the reason why the Aaron Rodgers rumors had me so excited as a Broncos’ fan, besides the obvious, is I truly do believe this team is ready to win now. There are so few holes on the roster. All-Pro left tackle Garett Bolles leads a stout offensive line with veterans Graham Glasgow and Bobby Massie alongside youngsters Dalton Risner and Lloyd Cushenberry. Courtland Sutton is close to being back to health following an ACL tear that sidelined him for most of last season while last year’s first-round pick Jerry Jeudy figures to make a much bigger impact in his second year in the NFL. Those two are joined by another first-round pick in the dynamic tight end Noah Fant. Denver also has a fearsome one-two punch at running back with Melvin Gordon and rookie Javonte Williams.
Defensively, there are few teams who come close to matching the Broncos’ sheer level of talent. Von Miller missed all of last season but has been one of the best pass rushers in the NFL over the past decade, if not the best; he and Bradley Chubb are going to make opposing offensive lines miserable this year while Shelby Harris is back to bring the pass rush from the interior. I already spoke about the cornerback depth, but this is one of the best collections of secondary talent with Kyle Fuller, Ronald Darby, Patrick Surtain II, Bryce Callahan, Justin Simmons, and Kareem Jackson. With Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert in the AFC West, Denver needs every bit of pass coverage they can get from this talented group. I also have a lot of faith in head coach Vic Fangio as well as offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. So what’s holding this team back from being a contender this season?
Reason Why Broncos Don’t Win Super Bowl
Quarterback is the most important position in the NFL, and the Broncos just may not have one. New general manager George Paton’s decision to go with the safe, obvious talent in Patrick Surtain II in the first round will provide Denver with another great player in the secondary, but it was at great opportunity cost as the team passed on high-upside quarterback Justin Fields. Perhaps that means Paton has confidence in one of Drew Lock or Teddy Bridgewater to rise up and be the efficient, field-stretching passer this team needs, but I have serious doubts about that proposition. A recent headline from the Denver Post does it for me: “Broncos QBs Teddy Bridgewater, Drew Lock was given the same end-of-game situation to finish practice. Both threw interceptions.” Sigh… Since being a second-round pick by Denver in the 2019 draft, Lock has thrown for 23 touchdowns to 18 interceptions and completed just 59.1% of his passes.
Teddy Bridgewater is coming off an underwhelming season in Carolina as he led the Panthers to just a 4-11 record. While he did complete 69.1% of his passes, he threw for just 3,733 yards in 15 games and had 15 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. These two are wildly uninspiring and it wouldn’t be shocking to see both play significant snaps this season in a true quarterback battle. The Chiefs, Chargers, and Raiders don’t necessarily profile as defensive juggernauts in the AFC West, but Denver does have to face some tough defenses at various points of the season in the Ravens, Steelers, Browns, and Washington. Perhaps the opening slate of the Giants, Jaguars, and Jets is just what is needed for one of these quarterbacks to get off to a hot start. However, the lack of reliable play at the quarterback position will undoubtedly cap Denver’s upside this season.
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