5-8, 3rd AFC West
Will Case Keenum Bring Stability At The QB Position? - Case Keenum came over from Minnesota, who had a pretty good season. They had a good defense and above average wide receivers, which is what Keenum is walking into to a slightly lesser extent. Denver had a tough time getting Trevor Semien going, and guys like Paxton Lynch even drew starts, and is now cut from the team after some horrendous trials. Denver has a favorable schedule for their passing game, and while Keenum won’t be asked to lead this offense, he is surely a step into safety, as they look to bridge to a future quarterback at some point.
Is Royce Freeman Going To Be The Workhorse? - Royce Freeman was recently listed number one on the depth chart, and while Devontae Booker is going to be in the mix, many might be surprised with Freeman’s workload. Freeman was a major workhorse in Oregon, and that did draw some concerns with some people in the NFL. There is a possibility Denver limits him a bit given this workload, but 200+ attempts is not a stretch by any means, although Booker will see some time in passing down situations. Freeman is set for a potential big season, and a sneaky rookie of the year underdog, although Barkley is going to the favorite.
Can Denver Surprise In A Wide Open AFC West? - The AFC West is going to be a battle towards the end, and they do not have a clear runaway, although the Chargers have the best team, yet they never seem to runaway with a division. Denver has some tough tasks outside of the division, but overall can take apart Kansas City and Oakland which will give them an advantage. They do have an edge considering playing in Denver, which is a tough for teams to play in. They have a moderate offensive line which will help them, so there is a chance Denver can take this division if they make sure to win the games they should.
Will The Tough Out Of Division Games Be Too Much? - Denver is going to be a competitive team, but do endure some tough out of division battles. They open up against Seattle, but have the luxury of facing them in Denver. On the road against Baltimore, New York, and Arizona are going to be winnable games, but also could be slip up games. The games against Houston and the Rams are where things could be tough given the state of those teams are even more improved from last season. They get a home matchup against the Steelers, but then winnable games against Cincinnati, San Francisco, and Cleveland. It is a split schedule, that should be favorable.
Does Denver Get Any Production Out Of Their Tight Ends? - The tight end spot as not been a favorable one for Denver over the last few seasons, and while they did draft Jake Butt out of Michigan last year, injuries derailed his rookie year. They also added Jeff Heurman last season, who had just 18 targets. Virgil Green saw 22 targets, while A.J. Derby saw 32. It was a tough area to generate production, and Denver might be headed into a similar scenario. Keenum being a bit more stable, and also having a report with his tight ends gives a bit more hope. With other attractive options in the offense, it should be a lower volume spot.