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Mike Clay projects a poor season for the Denver Broncos in 2018

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Fortunately, the Broncos will get to share their misery with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Denver Broncos are coming off a disappointing 5-11 season, so we shouldn’t expect analysts around the NFL to elevate expectations for the franchise much. Mike Clay of ESPN projected 7.2 wins for the Broncos in 2018, which would be a slight improvement over last year.

Whether or not he is right doesn’t really matter. His projections are probably fair given how badly things have gone for the Broncos since Peyton Manning and DeMarcus Ware retired.

Here are some tidbits from his tweet that are interesting:

  • Case Keenum will throw for 4,000 yards and have a 22-12 TD to INT ratio. If the Broncos get that out of Keenum, they are winning more than seven games this year.
  • Rookie running back Royce Freeman overtakes Devontae Booker on primary downs to pile up 1,200 total yards in his first season in the NFL.
  • Jake Butt is projected to be the primary pass catching tight end, but falls short on targets that one would hope to see from a legitimate starting tight end.
  • Von Miller and Bradley Chubb combine for just 17 sacks on the season. That kind of production would be very disappointing.
  • Justin Simmons is projected to lead the team in interceptions, which is one projection that just might play out correctly.
  • Despite being projected to win 7.2 games, Clay has the Broncos win probability just over 50% in five contests. He seems to underrate the improvement at quarterback and also seems to think the Broncos defense will suddenly become one of the worst teams in the NFL at tackling.

Overall, I think the win project might be on point. A .500 finish does seem likely, but Clay’s fading of the Broncos defense on all points has me scratching my head. Looking over the stats he projected for the offense has me thinking that if they get anywhere close to that kind of production then this team will be playoff bound with double digit wins in 2018.