Mile High Report wraps up this round table discussion with some way-to-early predictions about how the Denver Broncos will fare in 2016. It's not easy for a reigning Super Bowl champion to repeat.
Can the Broncos do it?
Here is what where we think the Broncos will end up in 2016.
11-5. We're still gonna win the AFC West, but it will come down to the final week and we won't have the #1 seed. Mark Sanchez will play well enough to get us to the AFCCG but he will be exposed when a good defense on the road forces him to try and win the game with his arm by stacking the box and shutting down our running game. We'll lose a heart-breaker in the AFCCG because of a turnover late that leads to the game-winning field goal from our opponent. - Joe Mahoney
I've already pegged Denver to go 15-1 this year. It is the offseason and I'm assuming we'll have no major injuries. Looking at the schedule I just see a ton of beatable teams and the tough games we have being at home. I think we'll drop the game against Cincinnati, but should be in great shape outside of that. - Sadaraine
I believe I put the Broncos at 15-1 if we got Kaepernick. Well, we didn't get him, so I'll tone it down to 14-2. Not that Sanchez will cost us a game, but he might fail to out-duel a better QB the way Kaepernick would. Who are those losses? I don't know. Its too early to tell. I'm sure one of them will be to a team we should beat, and one will be to a team that is favored. Its how the cookie crumbles, but I'll take 14-2 post-Manning, and I'll take 14-2 all the way to the Super Bowl baby! - Pete Baron
I'm not a prognosticator, but Denver should win the AFC West. As long as they don't go 13-3 I am happy. 12-4 is fine. The playoffs are a fickle mistress, but no reason the Broncos can't bring home Lombardi number 4. - Adam Malnati
The Broncos have a fairly tough schedule and having all three road divisional games on prime time is almost unfair, so the road to another AFC West title is going to be as difficult as I can remember. Somehow, the Broncos will sweep the San Diego Chargers and split the games with the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders. The AFC race will come down to how well they handle the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts at home and the Cincinnati Bengals on the road. If the Broncos take two of those three games then they should be poised to win 11-12 games again in 2016. A lot of this is going to come down to quarterback play, though, so anything can happen. - Tim Lynch
We all know the Broncos defense will be great again as long as everyone stays relatively healthy for the majority of the season, but that like the Broncos 2016 season that is a huge question mark. I’m the king of Broncos positivity, but that’s because they’ve had Peyton Manning on the roster for the last 4 seasons. If the defense is as good as it was in 2015, this team has a chance to be a playoff threat, but the biggest determining factor will be the effectiveness of the run game.
Again, there’s no guarantee this line will be better, but right now CJ Anderson is healthy. He is an extremely talented and dynamic playmaker, and he could be the workhorse that leads this offense. If he has success the pressure on the quarterback drops significantly. I’d optimistically predict a 10-6 season for this team. We’ll obviously know a lot more once preseason starts, but there’s reason to believe this team can be good again. - Brandon Perna
With almost the same schedule last season, the Panthers went 15-1. If Denver runs the ball and runs it at will, it's going to be incredibly difficult to beat this team. I'll say 14-2. - Ian St. Clair
19-0 baby! I have a love-hate relationship with predictions because while I can look at the schedule and logically determine which games the Broncos could easily lose for whatever reason that any team could lose any game, I can't bring myself to predict it. I'm just superstitious enough to think my lack of confidence could shift the time-space continuum the slightest bit to cause a wrinkle that changes a win into a loss. Therefore, despite its absurdity as logic goes, I align with the Whorfins of this planet and say, "19-0 until we ain't!" - Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann
As Tim mentioned, the division is going to be tougher than ever this year and I really don't know which way some of those games will swing. I see us losing a few games early on to some tough teams (2 of the 3: Carolina, Indy, Bengals) and everyone starting to panic saying "told you so" in the national media. But we will turn it around and finish strong despite a late stumble to the Chiefs on Christmas. 11-5. - Nastyj
I think that I predicted 12-4 previous to the team trading forward in the first round for Lynch. I definitely don't feel like that makes them any worse. Let me say 14-2, really if the offensive line is there and stronger than last season, the team will not have an issue running the ball, which will also help with the passing game and really help with defense. Who is beating Denver? Not Carolina, not New England, so who? Houston? Certainly not anyone in the AFC West, not with the defense that upset after being told that they'll win less than 8 games in 2016.
Predictions are that Tom Brady will come out hot, which will be impressive, but don't forget how hot Denver's defense was in the playoffs and Super Bowl. At no point were they not playing and beating the NFL's best. This season will be the same, with experience. You've got a defense that thinks about scoring points like an offense and makes cracks about getting the ball back. Meaning playing defense. I love it. - Ian Henson