The Broncos’ New Gameplan After Manning’s Departure


It’s pretty easy to see why the Super Bowl Odds took a turn for the worse when it came to the Denver Broncos last year, what with the uncertainty that assaulted them in the offseason following their triumph over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.

No one really appreciated the time it took for Peyton Manning to reveal the plans for his future. The revelations that he would retire caught the Broncos off guard. The fact that Brock Osweiler, his supposed heir, chose to depart, determining that he had little interest in living up to Manning’s legacy and instead taking his chances with the Houston Texans (for a boatload of money), made a bad situation worse.

As Super Bowl Champions, the Broncos suddenly found themselves surrounded by uncertainty, and with no savory options on the table. Sure, there was Trevor Siemian, but the fact that he had no NFL pass attempts (or anything else of note) worked against his resume.

John Elway’s decision to move beyond Manning proved inspired, Elway moving quickly and swiftly to secure Paxton Lynch, in the process securing a quarterback of note for the Broncos (if he delivers as Elway hopes).

The presence of Mark Sanchez can only improve the situation. Unlike Sam Bradford, Sanchez doesn’t seem to care as much about his situation as a placeholder. As such, he isn’t as likely to whine.

One has to praise Elway’s agile footwork in acquiring Sanchez from the Eagles. And all he had to pay for Sanchez was a 7th round pick in next Spring’s Draft. Naturally, if you are any kind of sports fan, you probably have a list of Sanchez Jokes that you have been looking forward to letting loose.

However, most people do not seem to realize the fact that the veteran isn’t nearly half as bad as a lot of people suggest. Some people might go so far as to call him an upgrade over Manning.

The statistics do not present Manning in a good light, raising him up as one of the worst quarterbacks of last year. Sanchez’ 74.3 career passer rating and 86/84 touchdowns/interception ratio are unlikely to change this year. However, Sanchez is bound to benefit from the Demaryius Thomas/Emmanuel Sanders Combo, and this isn’t even taking into account the C.J. Anderson/Ronnie Hillman combination that proved so solid in 2015.

And the strength of the Broncos defense will be considerable in 2016. Sanchez just needs to minimize turnovers to succeed. At 29 years old, he is obviously looking for opportunities to prove himself.

Besides Sanchez, Elway’s decision to bring Lynch on board is bound to deliver results. Lynch is comparable to Osweiler when it comes to size. However, he is so much more athletic and quick-footed, this along with displaying an innate ability to move in the pocket and extend plays.

Lynch is also more likely to make passing plays. Lynch will soon have an opportunity to show his stuff. There is no reason to expect anything other than a stellar performance from him. Lynch has the athleticism, smarts, and arm length to deliver a consistent performance, or so Bronco Safety Darian Stewart thinks.

Manning’s departure might have left the Broncos in a difficult position but they will probably bounce back stronger than ever in 2016.

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