The Broncos may need 10 victories to break their five-year playoff drought. With this in mind, here are the 10 most indispensable players for the team to participate in Sunday’s opener with the New York Giants:
1. WR Courtland Sutton
As long as Sutton proves that he fully recovered from the ACL that was torn last September, the pass game should pass him. He is effective on various medium and long routes and knows how to use his 6 feet 4 inches to win the red zone duel. Equally important, his efficiency will divert attention away from the other skill positions of the Broncos and allow them to thrive.
2. LT Garett Bolles
Bolles was able to achieve such a high ranking is his credit. Will he be in the top 10 two years ago? Do not. As a full-pro second team player last year, Bolles felt that he was still at his peak and he needed to be equally effective in blocking the edges in running games and as a blind side protection for Teddy Bridgewater.
3. CB Bryce Callahan
Isn’t the player who is in 3rd place among all competition participants? Absolutely when it comes to Callahan. At the time of a foot injury in November last year, he was the Broncos’ second best defensive player after safety guard Justin Simmons. Callahan must remain available (his new character and fewer snapshots should help) because he is an elite slot machine cover character. If he gets injured, the Broncos will be affected.
4. OLB Bradley Chubb
Looking forward to an important year for Chubb as he is another offseason removed from the ACL that was torn in September 2019. There are 12 and 7 1/2 sacks seasons (18 and 20 years) on his account books, and now he has a healthy von Miller standing opposite him. Chubb opposes a tackle from the left. If the Broncos find a way to lead in the fourth quarter, please pay attention.
5. Justin Simmons
As one of the most durable players in the NFL, Simmons has not missed any defensive fast breaks in three years and has 16 professional interceptions in five seasons. If the Broncos lead in the second half, Simmons will get rid of the burden of playing with the franchise (new four-year contract), and he will be able to patrol the court for takeaway, thus benefiting from a more useful offense.
6. RB Javonte Williams
The Broncos’ obvious but unannounced offensive intent: smash the team by running to establish game action. Entering Williams, a 5 feet 10 inch, 220-pound strong, he showed the ability and willingness to pass contact in two preseason games. Melvin Gordon may start the game, but Williams may be the one to end the game.
7. WR Jerry Jeudy
Setting aside the five-game losing streak against the Chargers in Week 16, Jeudy ushered in the usual rookie receiver season. Some jaw-dropping games (touchdowns against the Jets and Raiders) and some games he’s hard to find (only three or fewer catches in eight games). He should be the biggest beneficiary of Sutton’s return, because he will not face a trumpet stable diet.
8. QB Teddy Bridgewater
This is not a team built around quarterbacks, which is why Bridgewater ranks eighth. Since he was selected as the starter in Week 1, the coaches have trusted him to a certain extent, believing that he can take good care of football, play well in three-pointers and red zone, and is the one who throws 9 touchdowns and Players with only 2 interceptions headed to New Orleans in 2019.
9. CB Ronald Darby
The Broncos need more interceptions, but Darby did not intercept in 16 games in Washington last year. But he was on the football field (16 missed passes). He had two or more interceptions in 2015, 17 and 19, so he can take it away. If he plays well in a perimeter position, the Broncos can move rookie Pat Surtain II on the court.
10. OLB von Miller
Is he the 18 1/2-sack Von in 2012? maybe not. Is he a 10-sack Von in 17 years? A double-digit sacking should still be Miller’s goal. He was 32 years old and missed the entire season with an ankle injury last year. He will fight a right tackle, and if Chubb rolls, it may mean Miller has more one-on-one.