The Las Vegas Raiders made the moves to get better this past offseason. However, they weren’t the only team in the AFC West to took the steps to improve. The Denver Broncos added playmakers to an offense led by sophomore quarterback Drew Lock.
What makes the Denver Broncos a rival to account for?
The Broncos had an even worse scoring offense than the Raiders in 2019. While the Silver and Black ranked 24th in points scored, Denver took 28th. Last season was far from an anomaly as they have failed to field a competent offense since Peyton Manning was at the helm. Broncos brass hopes that change will give Lock free reign of the team.
Lock completed 100 passes for 1,020 yards and seven touchdowns to go along with a 64.1 completion rate in the five games he started. The quarterback’s production is little a sample and 2020 should give Denver a better picture of where the Missouri product stands.
To make sure Lock succeeds, the Broncos added a couple receivers with back-to-back picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. First, they chose Jerry Jeudy, one of the ‘big three’ wide-outs, with the 17th overall pick. Later, they would double down at the position with the selection of K.J. Hamler in the second round.
Both rookie wide receivers will join veteran Courtland Sutton and tight end Noah Fant. Moreover, the Broncos sign Melvin Gordon to form a 1-2 punch at the running back position alongside Philip Lindsey. Even if Lock doesn’t progress as Denver projects, the talent around him should make up for any of his shortcomings the quarterback could display.
Another thing that makes the Broncos a team to be taken seriously is their defense. Last season, the unit finished 10th in points allowed and traded for defensive end Jurrell Casey and cornerback A.J. Bouye. The duo will stiffen a group that gave Denver a winning chance more often than not.
The Raiders had better not sleep on them
The Raiders have the better quarterback of the two teams, but the Broncos have a tougher defense. Both teams upgraded their wide receiver corps and running back group. One analyst believes Denver can be a playoff team, so they would likely be vying for the same spot as the Silver and Black with the Kansas City Chiefs entrenched at the top of the AFC West.
If the Raiders want to make some noise in the 2020 season, they will have start by not taking their division rivals lightly.
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