Hi Broncos Country!
Hope you’re all as pumped for 2015 as I am. Only 87 some days left to go if I’m not mistaken.
These are just some personal projections as to how our team and individual stats will fare next season. Keep in mind that these projections are 100% subjective, and there isn’t really any rhyme or reason here. I am just using past trends and new talent to guess stat categories. Hopefully I am spot on. Tomorrow I will be doing defense. So without further adieu, let’s begin.
Peyton Manning: 14 games started, 490 Attempts, 319 Completions, 3920 Yards, 8 Yards per Attempt, 29 TDs, 12 INTs, 65.1% Completion, 99.2 Quarterback Rating
Peyton Manning is obviously the unquestioned starter for the 2015 Broncos. While I do predict a clear regression, mostly because of the O Line, I still see a solid year from the Sheriff. His quick release will help keep his jersey clean. I do however predict that age related injury issues knock him out 2 games. I actually see this partially as a positive, since it will give us a chance to see Brock a bit. I also think that Kubiak will be less likely to let Manning play through injury, seeing as he has an excellent backup on deck. This will let Peyton stay fresh for a deep playoff run. Also of note, I project Manning’s attempts per game to drop from 37.3 to 35, as Kubes leans more on the run game.
Brock Osweiler: 2 games started, 67 Attempts, 41 Completions, 545 Yards, 8.1 Yards per Attempt, 5 TDs, 1 INT, 61% Completion, 105.6 Quarterback Rating
I think Brock will do some good things in 2015 if he gets to start at all. In this scenario he starts two games for an injured Manning, but I also boost his stats a tiny bit to account for blowouts. It’s a small sample size, but it’s enough to provide hope for the quarterback position going forward.
I don’t project another passer to amass meaningful stats in 2015, but Manning and Osweiler both will perform well with a solid supporting cast.
C.J. Anderson: 16 games started, 315 Attempts, 1,546 Yards, 4.9 Yards per Carry, 11 TDs, 2 Fumbles, 65 Receptions, 610 Yards, 4 TDs
I predict big things from C.J. in 2015. These projections may be on the higher side, but this feels like his year. I think that Anderson will insert himself into the top 5 tailback conversation with a huge year here. His running can take pressure off of a weakened Manning, and I believe C.J. will be our focal point. His receiving ability is also underrated, and he can be productive in that regard.
Montee Ball: 0 games started, 74 Attempts, 348 Yards, 4.7 Yards per Carry, 2 TDs, 1 Fumble, 7 Receptions, 30 Yards, 1 TD
I see Ball as finally having the willpower to unseat Ronnie Hillman as C.J.’s backup. Unfortunately for Ball, there is not going to be a possibility of unseating Anderson. Montee will get some touches however, and impress, albeit in a defined backup role.
James Casey: 16 games started, 26 Attempts, 99 Yards, 3.8 Yards per Carry, 2 TDs, 0 Fumbles, 18 Receptions, 162 Yards, 2 TDs
Casey, a converted tight end, won’t make a huge impact as a rusher. He will however provide a stout blocking presence. In single back formations he also may slide back up to tight end, hence the higher receiving totals. Most of his contributions will not show up in the stat book however.
Demaryius Thomas: 16 games started, 104 Receptions, 1,545 Yards, 14.85 Yards per Catch, 12 TDs
Business as usual from the pro bowler. DT has established himself as a premier wideout, and I don’t see anything changing that. Less attempts in the passing game will lower his reception totals, but outside of that it should be another excellent year.
Emmanuel Sanders: 14 games started, 84 Receptions, 1,112 Yards, 13.24 Yards per Catch, 6 TDs
I predict a small step back for Sanders. For starters, with his smaller frame I see him missing a game or two to injury. That, coupled with the lower volume of passes, and Sanders’s stats go down. He still will produce at a pro bowl level, and put together a very solid encore campaign.
Cody Latimer: 2 games started, 41 Receptions, 574 Yards, 14 Yards per Catch, 3 TDs
All in all, it’s a positive season for Latimer. He shows some good things, although with the emphasis on the running game, he doesn’t get the volume of receptions that one would wish for. Still, he shows that he is a reliable playmaker, who can possibly take over for DT in 2016.
Owen Daniels: 14 Games started, 23 Receptions, 211 Yards, 9.17 Yards per Catch, 3 TDs
I do not see Daniels as a big play, receiving tight end. I don’t see any tight end on this roster as fitting that bill. In this new run first offense, our Tight Ends will be relied upon to block as well as catch underneath passes, and Daniels can fill that role.
Virgil Green: 16 Games started, 18 Receptions, 176 Yards, 9.78 Yards per Catch, 2 TDs
While Green will be counted on in the passing game, he will still be counted on more as a blocker. Green is a guy who’s real impact goes beyond the stat sheet, and he is a road grader in the running game.
LT: Ty Sambrailo, 16 Games Started, 4 Sacks Allowed
LG: Michael Schofield, 13 Games Started, 3 Sacks Allowed
Ben Garland, 3 Games Started, 2 Sacks Allowed
C: Gino Gradkowski, 2 Games Started, 1 Sack Allowed
Matt Paradis, 2 Games Started, 1 Sack Allowed
Max Garcia, 12 Games Started, 3 Sacks Allowed
RG: Louis Vasquez, 16 Games Started, 2 Sacks Allowed
RT: Ryan Harris, 13 Games Started, 4 Sacks Allowed
Chris Clark, 3 Games Started, 2 Sacks Allowed
All in all, I project a lot of tumult out of the O Line. Ty Sambrailo plays admirably, only allowing 4 sacks as a rookie left tackle. Michael Schofield unseats Shelley Smith and Ben Garland at left guard, and Smith is released. Schofield plays reasonably well. Both Gradkowski and Paradis can’t take hold of the center position, until Max Garcia takes the position for good. I see him as playing well, especially in the run game. Vasquez is excellent as usual, back in his right guard position. I believe that Ryan Harris will take the right tackle position, and play pretty well, but with his injury history he won’t play a full 16 game season. This unit as a whole plays well with Manning’s quick release and Anderson’s talent, but their 22 sacks allowed is up from 17 in 2014.
I am also including what ranking in the league each stat group would have if this were last year, the 2014 season.
Also, before one of you starts getting your calculator out, no, the individual stats do not necessarily add up to the total stats. This is to account for guys like Ronnie Hillman or Andre Caldwell getting a touch or two. Since I’m only accounting for statistically significant players, the team stats will be a tad bit higher.
Passing: 557 Attempts (T-16th), 360 Completions (16th), 4,465 Yards (6th), 8.01 Yards per Attempt (4th), 34 TDs (T-5th), 13 INTs (T- 13th), 64.6% Completion (12th), 100.0 Quarterback Rating (5th)
Rushing: 454 Attempts (10th), 2036 Yards (T-7th) 4.48 Yards per Carry (7th) 17 TDs (T-4th), 6 Fumbles (T-10th)
Sacks: 22 Sacks Allowed (3rd)
Total Offense: 28.5 PPG (7th), 456 Points (7th), 406.3 Yards per Game (4th)
In the end, I see this as a top 5 unit. This will be a more balanced 2015 Broncos team, and it should be fun to watch. If you have any questions about these projections let me know in the comments, and see you tomorrow when I run through the defense!