2015 Record: 12-4-0
Head Coach: Gary Kubiak
New Faces for 2016 - OL Russell Okung, DE Jared Crick, TE Garrett Graham
OFFENSE: The big shakeup for 2016 is at quarterback after Peyton Manning retired and Brock Osweiler opted for free agency, signing with the Houston Texans.
Mark Sanchez comes over from Philadelphia (616 passing yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions) and along with Trevor Siemian and rookie Paxton Lynch (Memphis) is looking to become the starting quarterback.
The running game is in more solid hands with Ronnie Hillman 863 yards, 4.2 ypc, seven TD) and C.J. Anderson (720, 4.7 ypc, five TD) combining to give the team a more than adequate running attack.
The receivers are Demaryius Thomas (105 receptions, 1,304 yards, six TD) and Emmanuel Sanders (76, 1,135, six TD) along with tight ends Virgil Green (12, 173, one TD) and Garrett Graham, who comes over from Houston for the 2016 season.
DEFENSE: Derek Wolfe (5 1/2 QB sacks) and Jared Crick (ends) along with nose man Sylvester Williams (three sacks) form the front line of the 3-4 defense.
The linebacking crew is perhaps the best in professional football with Super Bowl MVP Von Miller (11 QB sacks) and DeMarcus Ware (7 1/2 sacks) on the outside while Brandon Marshall and Todd Davis are the inside linebackers.
The secondary boasts corner men Aqib Talib (three interceptions) and Chris Harris along with safeties T.J. Ward and Darian Stewart.
OUTLOOK: The Broncos are looking to repeat as Super Bowl champions and that's never easy.
Head Coach Gary Kubiak knows he has a tall order to fill the shoes of Manning and Osweiler, who filled in admirably last season while Manning was injured. If Sanchez can just get back to where he was in his first two NFL seasons (with the NY Jets) the job should be his. If not, then anything is possible in Denver's training camp.
That's the wild card this season for the Broncos.
The running game should provide stability and the receivers are top notch for Sanchez or someone else to throw to this season.
On defense, the Broncos were the best last year, especially when the post-season began. They ranked number one overall, giving up just 283 yards per game, including only 199 yards passing per game (1st in NFL) while also ranking third against the run, allowing 84 yards per game. The Broncos were fourth in scoring defense, giving up 18.5 points per game.
As long as the defense stays healthy and plays the way they are capable, the Broncos will be in the mix once again for the AFC West title. They led the league with 52 QB sacks last year and Miller and Ware are beasts on the outside rushing the passer. Talib and company in the secondary are solid and enforce a strict hands off policy against opposing passing attacks.
Fearless forecast - 10-6 this year (playoff team)
2016 TEAM SCHEDULE
Week 1 - vs. Carolina
Week 2 - vs. Indianapolis
Week 3 - at Cincinnati
Week 4 - at Tampa Bay
Week 5 - vs. Atlanta
Week 6 - at San Diego
Week 7 - vs. Houston
Week 8 - vs. San Diego
Week 9 - at Oakland
Week 10 - at New Orleans
Week 11- BYE
Week 12 - vs. Kansas City
Week 13 - at Jacksonville
Week 14 - at Tennessee
Week 15 - vs. New England
Week 16 - at Kansas City
Week 17 - vs. Oakland