2011 Denver Broncos NFL Expert Predictions, Picks, 2012 Vegas Super Bowl Odds and Schedule – Denver Broncos NFL Football Season Preview: It has been a long time since John Elway and the Denver Broncos were at the top of the NFL, and the glory days seem even further in the past after a 4-12 season. The Broncos never fully clicked on offense, and the defense was an absolute disaster. After hitting rock bottom a year ago, new coach John Fox will try to remedy the situation with a more conservative style on offense and a rededication to defense. Whether or not he can return the franchise to the top of the AFC West remains to be seen.
It is impossible to talk about the Broncos without mentioning the Tim Tebow saga. The talk early in the offseason was that quarterback Kyle Orton would be traded, opening the door for Tebow to get his chance to start. However, Denver decided to keep Orton, and Fox has been anything but impressed with the former Heisman winner. Tebow has slipped to third on the depth chart behind Brady Quinn, and it appears that Orton will be running the show as long as fox is in town. At this point, Tebow could be the one getting moved out of Denver in the not so distant future.
Having Orton under center may not be such a bad thing for the Broncos. After all, the seventh-ranked passing attack was the one bright spot for Denver last season. Orton was able to stretch the field on a consistent basis, and receiver Brandon Lloyd ended up leading the NFL in receiving yards. Lloyd returns this season, and although Jabar Gaffney was lost during free agency, Orton will have speedy slot receiver Eddie Royal at his disposal as well as Demaryius Thomas. Blessed with a massive frame, Thomas showed flashes of serious talent before getting injured in his rookie year. Throw in running back Knowshon Moreno’s ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and break big plays in the running game and Willis McGahee’s nose for the goal line from close range, and Denver’s offense should be able to put some points on the board.
While the offense has some nice pieces, it is the defense the Fox needs to retool. Last year, the Broncos ranked 25th against the pass, second last against the run, and dead last in terms of points allowed. In response, the front offense focused on that side of the ball in both the draft and during free agency. The defensive front was bolstered with the additions of Ty Warren and Broderick Bunkley. In addition, defensive end Elvis Dumervil returns from injury after missing the 2010 season, hoping to return to his 2009 form that saw him record 17 sacks. The most important addition could be first-round pick Von Miller. The versatile linebacker did it all in college. From piling up tackles to intercepting passes and sacking opposing QBs, Miller’s presence in the middle of the defense should immediately help the Broncos unit.
In the end, Fox’s biggest contribution as coach is going to be deciding who to start at quarterback. Orton is his early his choice, and as long as he sticks by the decision, the Broncos have a legitimate chance to improve. However, the season could unravel if Tebow ends up working his way back into the conversation. It’s not that Tebow can’t necessarily play in the NFL, but the Broncos were a team without direction or a style of play last season. More than anything, Denver needs consistency in order to start the rebuilding process. In an ideal scenario, Orton starts all 16 games, and the Broncos move closer to the .500 mark. Regardless, the playoffs seem out of reach in 2011-12.
Preseason 2011 Denver Broncos NFL Odds:
Odds to Win 2012 Super Bowl: +12500
Odds to Win 2011 AFC Championship: +5450
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2011 Denver Broncos NFL Football Schedule
1 Monday Sep. 12 10:15 PM Raiders – – Tickets
2 Sunday Sep. 18 4:15 PM Bengals – – Tickets
3 Sunday Sep. 25 1:00 PM at Titans – – Tickets
4 Sunday Oct. 2 4:15 PM at Packers – – Tickets
5 Sunday Oct. 9 4:15 PM Chargers – – Tickets
6 Bye Week
7 Sunday Oct. 23 1:00 PM at Dolphins – – –
8 Sunday Oct. 30 4:05 PM Lions – – Tickets
9 Sunday Nov. 6 4:05 PM at Raiders – – Tickets
10 Sunday Nov. 13 1:00 PM at Chiefs – – Tickets
11 Thursday Nov. 17 8:20 PM Jets – – Tickets
12 Sunday Nov. 27 4:15 PM at Chargers – – Tickets
13 Sunday Dec. 4 4:05 PM at Vikings – – Tickets
14 Sunday Dec. 11 4:05 PM Bears – – Tickets
15 Sunday Dec. 18 4:15 PM Patriots – – Tickets
16 Saturday Dec. 24 1:00 PM at Bills – – –
17 Sunday Jan. 1 4:15 PM Chiefs – –
Check out NSAwins.com’s official 2011 NFL Over Under Team Wins Odds and Predictions and 2011 AFC West Odds and Predictions articles.
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