Denver hits the open week 1-0 in the post-Flacco era. Since the bye falls so close to the midway point this season, it seemed like a good time to check in on the Vic Fangio Broncos.
Who has been the offensive MVP so far in 2019?
Taylor Kothe: Courtland Sutton. The second-year wide receiver’s emergence as a true top receiving threat has sustained the Broncos’ offense through some rocky times this season. He’s well on his way to establishing himself as a star receiver in the NFL. The victory over the Browns also marks a personal milestone for Sutton - with 44 total receptions in 2019, he has exceeded his 2018 total of 42. And he has done so on 17 fewer targets. He’s on pace for a 1,200+ yard season and around eight touchdowns. Take a bow, Sutton!
Joe Mahoney: Dalton Risner. I know my OL bias is showing, but Risner has been the one consistent above-average performer on the OL. Garett Bolles and Elijah Wilkinson have been one of the worst (if not the worst tackle duo in the league). Ronald Leary has been shaky this year coming back from his injury and has been penalized almost as much as Bolles. Connor McGovern is a below-average center who has had problems in run and pass blocking and has had some very scary shotgun snaps. The lone bright spot has been Risner, and he should get credit for half of a TD for throwing Lindsay into the end zone on this play.
Phillip Lindsay is a human bowling ball @I_CU_boy pic.twitter.com/a2uFgM0X2A— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) September 22, 2019
Kyle Berry: I’ll go with Courtland Sutton, although Phillip Lindsay is catching him quickly. Great value considering where he was drafted, and has now made Sanders an afterthought in a little over a year in the NFL. He reminds me of Brandon Marshall more and more every day, and his willingness to put his body on the line for Broncos Country will make him a staple in Denver’s lineup for years to come.
Scotty Payne: Sutton looks like the next great Denver Broncos wide receiver. Dalton Risner also looks like a long-term elite piece on the offensive line. So basically what everyone else said.
Tim Lynch: Clearly Sutton. Eighth in NFL in yards...in this offense.
Jeff Essary: Joe Fla....
Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann: There are only two choices for this - Courtland Sutton and Dalton Risner. Either is an excellent pick, and my first inclination is Sutton, especially after reading from Taylor that Sutton is on pace for a 1,200+ yard season and eight touchdowns - very impressive. But I think I’ll give the nod to Risner. The offensive line is still extremely sketchy but the fact that it’s been able to do anything on pass pro and open up a few lanes for Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman is almost entirely because Risner is good at his job. Also, if Risner keeps tossing Lindsay into the end zone, he may be on pace for 8 touchdowns too.
Joe Rowles: According to Football Outsider’s DYAR stat, which measures a player’s impact above a replacement level player, Sutton’s been a top 10 receiver since opening night against the Raiders. With the Broncos’ upset win over Cleveland yesterday, the national media has finally started to pay attention, but let there be no doubt - with a better quarterback throwing him the ball, or a couple more wins in the first half of the year, he’d be one of the big storylines of season. His development has been one of the best parts of this season.
Touchdown #Broncos!!!!! pic.twitter.com/mc66e6YjEe— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) November 3, 2019
Beyond the new WR1, Phillip Lindsay has been a stud. I got some flak Sunday because I didn’t list him as one of the players who most impressed me against the Browns. My rationale has been that he’s so dang good I expect him to bust a long run or two every game. Even still, he’s met my expectations and then some. As a pass catcher he’s shown real promise, which is awesome.
Phillip Lindsay with a huge run for the #Broncos touchdown!!!! pic.twitter.com/c3oWxRo5Lq— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) November 3, 2019