In 2013, the Denver Broncos fielded one of the most high-powered offenses seen in recent history. Led by the cybernetically repaired Peyton “MF” Manning, the Broncos rode a massive onslaught of scoring to the Super Bowl. Since that time, despite a successful repeat visit to the Super Bowl, we have seen an on-going erosion of the offense. I wanted to take a look and see if I could quantify the drop, and see if we can pick out a pattern from the numbers.
As we know, the Denver Broncos are coming off one of their worst defeats in years, a 51-23 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. In some circles, panic has now set in, with people wanting to throw anybody and everybody under the bus for the Broncos’ struggles.
There were a couple of pieces written earlier this week that made me think about what’s really going on with the Broncos. Mike Tanier, in his Monday Morning Digest this week, called the Broncos an overrated team with bad quarterbacks. Chad Jensen of Mile High Huddle says the Broncos’ window of opportunity to reach a Super Bowl has been closed, mainly because the Broncos don’t have a good quarterback.
I do want to touch upon a few things each writer brought up, along with examining where things have really gone wrong for the Broncos in the past couple of seasons.
Continue reading Time For The Broncos (And Fans) To Take A Step Back
Nick Kendall of Mile High Huddle wrote a good column about the Denver Broncos offensive line that is well worth reading. As he points out, the offensive line has its issues but isn’t as bad as people make it out to be.
There have been a few comments made that the Broncos are worse on the offensive line than they were last year. I imagine some of those were made in frustration after losses, but for people who really believe that, it’s not the case. I would ask you to read Kendall’s article first before reading the rest of my article, but I did want to add a few thoughts to what Kendall wrote.
Continue reading What’s Really Going On With The Broncos O-Line?
Any novice fan can tell right away that quarterback is the most important position on a football team. They’re involved on every offensive play and everybody talks about them. One reason the Broncos were successful during the bulk of the 80’s and 90’s was because they were set @ quarterback. While the rest of the division was expending high round picks or major trade capital searching for a guy, the Broncos knew they were set under center with John Elway. Unfortunately, that situation has flipped and the rest of division has been stable under center and we’ve spent first and second round picks on a position that remains unsettled.
While football fans have always been quick to see errors by the officiating crews, recently there has been a much more serious tone. Fans in Denver are upset about Bill Vinovich’s officiating in Bronco games, and Eagles fans are incensed with Pete Morelli. Eagles fans point to the horrible penalty disparity, while Broncos fans point to an anomalous win/loss ratio. The fan bases feel betrayed by the officials.
The concerns have generated some responses from higher up. Mike Florio addressed conspiracy theories by superciliously dismissing them, the NFLRA issued a statement to refute them, and Nick wrote an excellent post summarizing the main arguments. Unfortunately the arguments tend to be either appeals to authority or arguments from incredulity, both of which are the same as the uncritical denunciation of the officials. As a scientist, I wanted to get past the emotional and look at the actual data to see if there were discernable trends that would point to some sort of bias.
Earlier today, Nick examined the quarterback landscape and noted that the majority of the NFL teams are facing situations in which they either need a new starting QB or will likely need one in the future.
The Broncos made the list and, given the concerns regarding Trevor Siemian’s play and whether or not Paxton Lynch is the long-term answer, some thoughts are turning to next season and the potential free agent QBs.
As Nick noted, there could be other QBs that hit free agency, but a few are known to be eligible for unrestricted free agency if they aren’t extended, one will be a restricted free agent and one may very well hit free agency if he chooses to do that.
But it’s worth asking: Is it really guaranteed that the Broncos could land one of these quarterbacks?
Let’s examine the likelihood of certain QBs coming to the Broncos next season and what to keep in mind if they hit free agency. I’m only focusing on those who may become unrestricted or restricted free agents, not players who might get cut after the season.
Continue reading Are Pending Free Agent QBs Really Options?
There’s an undercurrent in the NFL I’ve been noticing that’s silent now but could swell considerably at any moment. What that is that I can’t remember another time in which so many quarterback situations are in flux for the following season.
I can only count 12 teams that unquestionably won’t significantly be in the market for a quarterback in 2018. Those teams are the Colts, Titans, Raiders, Cowboys, Eagles, Lions, Packers, Falcons, Panthers, Bucs, Rams, and Seahawks. That means that as many as 20 teams could see some sort of notable quarterback change next year. Let’s take a look at those 20 teams, and the challenges that could face them at the position. Continue reading 2018 Could See Seismic Shifts In Quarterback Locations