The Denver Broncos (finally) have their franchise quarterback in place, and with key offseason additions and hungry defense, could compete for Super Bowl LV.
Now that the Denver Broncos have identified who they believe to be their next franchise quarterback, the mission begins to catch, and eventually surpass, their AFC West rivals and defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs.
This offseason, the team made a couple of key additions on the defensive side, but focused much of their effort on the offensive side, and building around second year quarterback Drew Lock.
If the additions work out, this team has all the makings of a dark horse Super Bowl contender, and here’s why.
The Denver secondary is among the best in the NFL, and it all starts with one of the most underrated safety tandems in football: free safety Justin Simmons and strong safety Kareem Jackson.
After spending nine seasons with the Houston Texans, former first round pick (2010, Houston) Jackson spent the 2019 season with the Broncos and made an impact almost instantly. In 13 starts, he had 10 passes defensed, two interceptions and scored a touchdown for the defense, and improved the play of his safety counterpart, too.
Justin Simmons was a third-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, and has quickly become one of the best in the business. While he’s not yet earned a trip to the Pro Bowl, his 2019 season certainly turned heads and indicated that he’s ascending into his prime after recording 15 passes defensed and four interceptions on the season.
Individually, these two rank as top 12 players at their position across the NFL. But together, they form one of the top six or seven duos in football. And their impact is vital to the Broncos’ success in 2020 and beyond. Not only is their play important to slowing down the running games of the LA Chargers and the Las Vegas Raiders, but more importantly their presence is critical to help curb the movement of the Kansas City Chiefs juggernaut offense.
But, it does not stop there for this secondary, either. In March, Denver traded its fourth-round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars for cornerback A.J. Bouye, whose impact is vital as the team continues to struggle to replace veteran All-Pro Aqib Talib, whose been gone for two seasons. Fellow veteran corner Bryce Callahan will project as the second starter, and after missing the last two seasons with injury, the team will hope he can rebound to his 2018 form.
Collectively, this unit is tasked with slowing down a bevy of speedy weapons across the AFC West, and if they can, they’ll have a chance to compete for the Lombardi Trophy in February.