AFC West

Mapping Out The Potential Of Each AFC West Team In 2022

Denver Broncos

There are a lot of people who see the Broncos as a legitimate threat in the AFC West. You can count me out on that one.

In my eyes, the Chiefs will finish with another division title, Los Angeles and Las Vegas will fight it out for the second and third seeds, and Denver will watch it all happen from the ground. That’s just how I see it going down.

Since last season, a popular statement has been that the Broncos are a quarterback away from being contenders. I don’t buy it.

Let me start with their offense. As individuals, the pieces are fine, but I don’t find their fits all too enticing. Russell Wilson has made his money in the scramble drill with receivers such as Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett, who were elite in this facet of the game, but Denver doesn’t have that type of player. It isn’t Jerry Jeudy, it isn’t Tim Patrick, and it’s not Courtland Sutton either.

One player that does pique my interest in this category is K.J. Hamler, who will fill in as a starting wideout after Tim Patrick’s season-ending injury. Can Hamler be Wilson’s new Baldwin or Lockett? It’s far from a given, but it’s definitely possible.

The Broncos’ lack of receiver depth is a red flag

It’s worrisome that the Broncos [potentially] don’t have a receiver who can thrive in the scramble drill with Wilson. Be that as it may, their defense is the true cause of my concerns with Denver—the front seven, in particular.

I have no real doubt that the secondary will be fine, but the trenches worry me big time. In 2021, Dre’mont Jones earned a run defense grade of 50.8. DeShawn Williams performed even worse, and his 43.8 grade against the run reflects that. Of all the defenders in the front-seven, only two players earned a grade north of 65 against the run, with just one above 70. Teams should have no trouble rushing against Denver, and when you go up against the likes of Derrick Henry, Jonathan Taylor, and Christian McCaffrey, that’s a big problem.


I’m just not high on the Broncos, or at least not as high as everyone else. Denver is a formidable team, but there is still clear work that needs to be done. Offensively, there are too many questions about how the scheme fits. Defensively, the front-seven is one of the weaker units league-wide. Still, Russ is a nine-time Pro Bowler, and that has to count for something.

Record: 11-6


In my eyes, the bad sticks out in Denver much more than the good. After all, even the positives have questions. Russell Wilson is a positive as an individual, but can he make magic happen in this new system? Javonte Williams is a positive, but the Broncos didn’t make Wilson the second-highest paid quarterback annually to run the football so frequently. The secondary is a positive, but will a weak front-seven plague the defensive backs?

Record: 7-10

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*Top Photo: Courtesy of

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