After the Denver Broncos missed the playoffs for the sixth straight season, they decided to do a massive overhaul of the team. They traded for an elite quarterback and hired an offensive head coach while keeping critical pieces on a solid defense intact.
Since Peyton Manning retired, the Broncos have been searching for a quarterback, having 11 different starting quarterbacks in the last six years. After a massive trade with the Seattle Seahawks, Russell Wilson will become the 12th quarterback to start for the Broncos and likely the last for some time.
Dropping dimes. 💰@DangeRussWilson x @Tpstreets pic.twitter.com/P1rK5jsMG2
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) June 6, 2022
The nine-time Pro-Bowler has been one of the most constant quarterbacks in the NFL, having his first losing season last year. The Broncos have the weapons and offensive line to get the best out of Wilson. New offensive-minded head coach Nathaniel Hackett should also play a significant role in featuring Wilson.
Stayed the same: Overall defense
The Broncos’ defense brought back most of its key members, notably safety Kareem Jackson. They also brought in some defensive line talent in D.J. Jones and Randy Gregory, who, alongside Bradley Chubb, round out a solid defensive front.
However, despite adding talent, the firing of defensive-minded head coach Vic Fangio could have a negative effect. Fangio is a great defensive mind in the modern NFL, and his replacement, Ejiro Evero, is a first-time defensive coordinator. The addition of talent does balance out the loss of Fangio.
Got worse: Tight end
To acquire a quarterback like Wilson, the Broncos had to trade a lot to the Seattle Seahawks. The Broncos traded quarterback Drew Lock, defensive tackle Shelby Harris, and tight end Noah Fant, with five draft picks. Wilson is a direct replacement for Lock, and the signing of D.J. Jones filled in Harris’s spot. Fant is the only hole in the trade that has not been filled.
Fant led the Broncos in receptions last season with 68, adding 670 yards. The Broncos still have receiving talents all over the field that should take a step forward with a better quarterback throwing them the ball. However, the Broncos did draft Greg Dulcich in the third round, who could step up into the hole left by Fant, but has still yet to prove that.
The Broncos did everything they needed to become a playoff team once again. The defense was already solid and had the offensive weapons but needed a star at quarterback. Trading for Wilson can have an immediate impact, pushing the team into playoff contention.
- Week 1: 9/12 vs Seahawks (Monday), 8:15 PM, ESPN/ABC
- Week 2: 9/18 vs Texans, 4:25 PM, CBS
- Week 3: 9/25 vs 49ers, 8:20 PM, NBC
- Week 4: 10/2 vs Raiders, 4:25 PM, CBS
- Week 5: 10/6 vs Colts (Thursday), 8:15 PM, Amazon Prime Video
- Week 6: 10/17 vs Chargers (Monday), 8:15 PM, ESPN
- Week 7: 10/23 vs Jets, 4:05 PM, CBS
- Week 8: 10/30 vs Jaguars (Wembley), 9:30 AM, ESPN+
- Week 9: BYE
- Week 10: 11/13 vs Titans, 1 PM, CBS
- Week 11: 11/20 vs Raiders, 4:05 PM, Fox
- Week 12: 11/27 vs Panthers, 1 PM, Fox
- Week 13: 12/4 vs Ravens, 1 PM, CBS
- Week 14: 12/11 vs Chiefs, 8:20 PM, NBC
- Week 15: 12/18 vs Cardinals, 4:05 PM, Fox
- Week 16: 12/25 vs Rams, 4:30 PM, CBS/Nickelodeon
- Week 17: 1/1 vs Chiefs, 1 PM, CBS
- Week 18: 1/7 or 1/8 vs Chargers, TBD, TBD