clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Will the Broncos make the playoffs in 2020?

Mile High Report weighs in. Will the 2020 Denver Broncos fight their way into the playoffs for the first time since their Super Bowl championship season?

With the regular season days away, Mile High Report decided to take a roundtable approach to our predictions for this year.

1st and 10

Last year Alexander Johnson came out of nowhere to become one of the better linebackers in the NFL. If you had to pick a breakout player we didn’t see coming this year, who would it be and why?

Tim Lynch: Drew Lock. Because if he doesn’t break out in 2020 we are not going to have a very fun time watching Broncos football.

Scotty Payne: Dre’Mont Jones. Why? He’ll benefit from having Casey and Von/Chubb next to him in sub packages allowing him to eat.

Taylor Kothe: It’s not quite out of nowhere after some good showings in 2019, but I’ll take De’Vante Bausby stepping up to lock down the Broncos’ CB3 position and help turn one of the Broncos’ biggest offseason question marks into a position group of strength.

Michael Sadarine: I’m with Taylor on this one. I really loved what I saw last year from De’Vante Bausby. If he can stay healthy, he’s going to open a lot of eyes and cover up the supposed weakness of the cornerback group on our team.

Joe Mahoney: Essang Bassey is going to be our next Chris Harris, Jr. He is an UDCFA who will make the roster and surprise with his competence and his intelligence as a rookie. I’m not just saying that since he is about the same size as CHJ (5-10, 190). I was really excited to hear what Vic Fangio had to say about his performance when he was asked to play with the 1’s as the nickel CB.

Ian St. Clair: This maybe completely off the radar, Albert Okwuegbunam. The rookie tight end, in the words of Lock, is going to be a “monster” in the red zone for the Broncos. He may not have impact outside the 20s, but he’ll make his presence felt where it matters most — in the end zone.

Joe Rowles: If it is strictly players that fit a similar “out of the blue” kind of feel like Alexander Johnson, I’m going with Tim Patrick. Last year I was high on him to turn into a reliable secondary option behind Courtland Sutton and Emmanuel Sanders. An injury in week 1 mostly derailed those hopes and we’ve mostly forgotten about him as more exciting pieces were added to the roster, but he’s gotten quite a bit of action with the first team in camp this year.

Now, I don’t think he’s set to become a 1200 yard Pro Bowl kind of player, but I could see him flourishing into a secondary option behind the bigger names. With Pat Shurmur’s love for 11 personnel, there should be plenty of opportunities for him to play on the boundary with Jerry Jeudy or even Noah Fant in the slot.

I also think McTelvin Agim could surprise in a rotational role.

If Dre’Mont Jones makes a leap forward in 2020, it could turn the Broncos’ pass rush into one of the scariest in the league.

2nd and 5

Give us your picks for who will lead the Broncos in passing, rushing, receiving, sacks, tackles and interceptions this year!

Tim:

Passing: Drew Lock

Rushing: Phillip Lindsay

Receiving: Courtland Sutton

Sacks: Von Miller

Tackles: Alexander Johnson

Interceptions: AJ Bouye

Scotty:

Passing: Better be Drew Lock

Rushing: Melvin Gordon

Receiving: Courtland Sutton

Sacks: Von Miller

Tackles: Todd Davis

Interceptions: Justin Simmons

Taylor:

Passing: Drew Lock (> 4K yards)

Rushing: Lindsay (800+ yards)

Receiving: Jerry Jeudy (900+ yards)

Sacks: Von Miller (14.0)

Tackles: Alexander Johnson (125)

Interceptions: Justin Simmons (4)

Sadarine:

Passing: Drew Lock

Rushing: Phillip Lindsay

Receiving: Courland Sutton

Sacks: Von Miller

Tackles: Alexander Johnson

Interceptions: Justin Simmons

Ian:

Passing: Drew Lock

Rushing: Melvin Gordon

Receiving: Courtland Sutton

Sacks: Von Miller

Tackles: Alexander Johnson

Interceptions: A.J. Bouye

JoRo:

Passing: Drew Lock

Rushing: Phillip Lindsay

Receiving: Jerry Jeudy

Sacks: Von Miller

Tackles: Alexander Johnson

Interceptions: Justin Simmons

3rd and 1

What do you believe the biggest question about the 2020 Broncos is?

Tim: Will Garett Bolles commit fewer than 10 holding penalties in 2020? And no, I’m not optimistic. They didn’t pick up his fifth-year option for a reason, but they don’t yet have a replacement that won’t be a complete turnstile.

Scotty: Biggest question is if Drew Lock is a franchise quarterback or not. We better have an answer.

Taylor: The biggest question definitely has to be Lock’s status as a franchise QB or not.I think there’s plenty of positive reason to think we’ll get that answer this season- but not a finished product. He’s a young QB in yet another offensive scheme with a very young offense around him. 2020 is going to be a learning and growing year, with the pitfalls that come with that. Look for him to prove its possible in 2020 and then shine in 2021.

Sadarine: The biggest question for the Broncos in 2020 is if they have done enough to infuse the offense with talent in both the coordinator and player areas. The Broncos haven’t been a competent offense for more than 6 years. Can Shurmur and Lock turn the tides of sucktitude?

Joe M: The OL is still the biggest question mark for the team. The lack of talent at tackle and the lack of experience playing together has me very worried that the play of the OL will drag down the entire offense for the first half of the season. The optimism that I have comes from Mike Munchak’s ability to turn this group into an elite unit, but he definitely has plenty to work to do. If the OL turns into a top third group this year, the offense will flourish. If they stay a bottom third unit like they have been for the past four seasons, the offense will flounder again.

Ian: I’m with Scotty and Taylor. At least for 2020, Lock is the guy. Can he prove he’s the franchise quarterback beyond this season? I’m hopeful that he is, but until he does it on the field that remains the biggest question for this franchise.

JoRo: The entire season is an exercise in figuring out if Drew Lock is the quarterback to build around going forward. Everything else pales in comparison.

Our eyes are Locked on this year.

4th and inches

Will the Broncos make the playoffs in 2020? Why/Why not?

Tim: Impossible to answer this question. They make the playoffs if the offense can find a way to improve from the 17 PPG average its had over the last several seasons. If they end up averaging closer to 23-24 PPG then this is a 10 win team with that defense.

Scotty: Yes. Because I said so.

Taylor: Yes, I believe they will. With the playoffs expanding to 7 teams per conference, I don’t see 7 stronger AFC teams than the Broncos if there’s decent progression from the offense.De-throning the Chiefs in the AFC West is likely too much to hope for, but look for one of those three wildcard spots to be filled with orange & blue.

Sadarine: They can, but I don’t think they will. We’re in a division with the powerhouse team of the AFC in the Kansas City Chiefs. Besting them is a huge chore and the offense is once again new in 2020. 8-8 is realistic give or take 1-2 games either way.

Joe M: Yes. I think we’ll get some lucky breaks this year and get one of the wild card spots.

Ian: Yes, mainly because the playoffs have expanded in 2020 from six to seven teams in each conference.

JoRo: I looked at the Broncos’ schedule yesterday and think they have a really good shot.

What do you think Broncos’ Country?