Cleat Geeks

NFL Report Card: Denver Broncos


Our NFL report card for the 2015-2016 season will be assigning a letter grade to each of the 32 teams and offering an explanation why that grade was chosen. After the evaluation, we will point out one specific area the team will need to address this off-season. Want some extra credit? Comment down below what grade YOU would give the team, and tell me on Twitter (@FantasyFlurry) your thoughts on the team’s report card for that day!

Packers Broncos Football

The Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos accomplished the goal they set heading into the season. They grabbed the #1 seed in the AFC with a 12-4 record, then finished the season by hoisting the Lombardi Trophy at Levi’s Stadium. Although the Broncos finished as champions, this team was far from perfect.

There was an internal battle the whole season between Peyton Manning and Gary Kubiak. Coach Kubiak wanted to transform Manning into a completely different quarterback. When that happened, he looked like, well, Matt Schaub when he was at Houston with Kubiak. When Manning tried to go off-script in Kubiak’s formation, the offense was stagnant. The rest of the players didn’t know how to run it from that formation. When the offense needed to move the ball in the fourth quarter, Manning shifted back and spread the offense, as well as the defense, out. He did not have the arm strength that he used to, but he was able to exploit the defenses and move the ball.BK14ZGoQ32iY16ChUjsGymlYaXyvFoeLgdNdDfGDkOTzfawHvkFaddKXhbdBR2KN

Many look at Manning’s performance in the Super Bowl and think anyone could have led them to a championship. In reality, it was his adjustments at the line that helped move the ball, and the offense could have put up more points if they needed to. Outside of Peyton Manning, the rest of the offense did not do much either. The running game struggled because of the poor offensive line. Demaryius Thomas barely put forth half effort because of the routes and plays he was asked to run (also because he got paid), but he still was able to lead the team in receptions and receiving yards. The offensive MVP for the Broncos this season was easily Emmanuel Sanders. He was the go-to guy on third down when they needed to keep the drive going. Unfortunately for him, he is small, so he seems to always be banged up.

This defense was easily the best in the league. Not only were they the best, but they were the main reason why the Broncos had success this season. They combined the toughness, speed, and coaching that an elite defense needs. The Broncos gave up the least yards in the league with only 283.1 per game. Highlighted by Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, they also led the league in sacks with 52! It seemed like health was a problem for the defense this year, but they were able to get most guys moderately healthy for the playoffs. This group was able to show their versatility in the postseason this year. Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips clearly put a lot of time in the film room analyzing the upcoming opposing offenses, and it paid off greatly. You’ve heard the phrase a million times: defense wins championships.

Final Grade: A+ (They won the Super Bowl)


Biggest Off-Season Need?

The Broncos need to find a quarterback to run Kubiak’s system if they are committed to this plan moving forward. They will need a quarterback that is a game manager, but also is able to push the ball downfield about four times per game.

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