The 6 Broncos That Need to Have a Big Year in 2019

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The Denver Broncos had a very disappointing 2018 season. They were the embodiment of the difference between a Buffalo Bill and a Dollar Bill and were never truly good for four quarters. On and off the field issues left the team in shambles. Injuries virtually eliminated the tight end position. Chad Kelly had two cases keeping him from the starting position. One of which was Keenum while the other was breaking and entering. With the 2019 season quickly approaching there are still many moving parts for first year coach Vic Fangio. In order for the Broncos to have success in the toughest AFC West since 2013, these 6 players will need to step up in major ways.

Noah Fant
The Broncos have not had real success with a tight end since Julius Thomas. The lack of success is due to countless injuries, including 4 last year. Now, Elway has decided to roll the dice again by taking Iowa’s Noah Fant with his first round pick. Fant, at 6’4″ 250 pounds, has all the measurables to be a successful NFL tight end. Now, he needs to repeat the same success he had in college in his first year in Denver. It’s difficult to say that a rookie needs to have an immediate impact, but this is a position that the Broncos absolutely have to have production at to have success in the AFC West.

Joe Flacco
His Eliteness will be gracing Mile High with his presence in 2019. It’s about time the Broncos added another Super Bowl MVP to the team in my opinion. Flacco losing his position to Lamar Jackson last season puts him in a difficult spot. He seems to have the the starting spot lined up for Game 1, but the fear of losing his spot to another rookie in Drew Lock has to be weighing on him. He will definitely be on short leash this season.

Denver Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco, left, watches as quarterback Kevin Hogan throws during the NFL football team’s veterans minicamp Tuesday, April 16, 2019, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Courtland Sutton
Emmanuel Sanders has been making unbelievable progress in his recovery from an achilles injury, but still may not be at 100% for Game 1. This means that Courtland Sutton will be the de facto first option receiver for the season opener. The last thing that Sanders needs is pressure to return to the field before he is ready. Courtland Sutton needs to have a big season to give Sanders all the time he needs. The Flacco specialty has always been underthrowing a receiver forcing them to run back and be interfered with by a cornerback with his back turned. Hopefully, the thin Denver air allows Flacco to actually throw the ball far enough for Sutton to put up some serious numbers.

Royce Freeman
Phillip Lindsay has the starting running back position locked up for Game 1 of next season. But with uncertainty at the quarterback position, the Broncos needs a viable second option in the backfield. More specifically, a receiving option. Flacco is a big time check down quarterback and needs a safety valve receiver. Freeman played that role perfectly at Oregon and could add a whole new element to the Bronco offense. Screens, wheel routes and swing passes may be what unlocks his potential.

Kareem Jackson
Kareem Jackson is the only newcomer expected to start in the Broncos secondary. Coming off 9 seasons in Houston and a career best year, expectations will be through the roof. But the veteran cornerback is exactly what this Broncos team needs. Joining an elite secondary with William Parks, Justin Simmons, Chris Harris, Bryce Callahan, and Su’a Cravens led by Vic Fangio’s expertise should make for a dominant season, but Kareem Jackson will need to have a big year to bring back to notorious No Fly Zone.

Josey Jewell
Vic Fangio loves to play 3-4 defense. Obviously, three of the four linebacker spots will go to Von Miller, Bradley Chubb and Todd Davis. The last inside linebacker spot will go to the next man up, Josey Jewell. Coming off a pretty good rookie year of 58 tackles (38 solo) and 4 tackles for loss, he is going to have to come up huge for the Broncos defense this season. Josey proved that he is an elite linebacker at Iowa and needs to be a presence in the run game for the Broncos to be competitive in the AFC West. Luckily, Vic Fangio is the perfect coach for a young linebacker to learn under.

One player that you should not see on a list like this, at least for the upcoming season, is Phillip Lindsay. Some people still think that he needs to have a big year in 2019 in order to prove himself. Really? Has he not done enough? He went from undrafted to Pro-Bowler in a couple of months. Saying he has proven himself is an understatement.

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Settle Down, Elway… Realistic Expectations for Joe Flacco

If you haven’t heard by now, John Elway is really high on his new quarterback, Joe Flacco. When the Case Keenum experiment did not work out, he went back to his old ways. He had to find another ridiculously tall QB to take the reigns. What’s weird is that Elway never seems to care too much about height at other positions (case and point, Phillip Lindsay), but when it comes to who is under center, he becomes a total height supremacist. Watch what he had to say about His Eliteness.

Just now entering his prime?! Let’s pump the brakes, John. Joe Flacco has had an alright career, even winning a Super Bowl MVP, but quarterbacks don’t enter their prime 7 years AFTER winning one of the highest honors a current player can achieve.

Flacco has played in Denver three times. His record is 1-2 with an average passer rating of 45.3. Sadly, that one win came in an overtime playoff win (we haven’t forgotten, Rahim Moore). So Flacco has never beaten Denver in Denver in regulation, nor have any of his performances been all that impressive. But to be completely fair, he was playing against the Broncos defense. The “No Fly Zone” typically has a negative effect on visiting quarterbacks. It will be interesting to see how Flacco plays in Denver under the Vic Fangio offense.

All I want to say is don’t write off Flacco yet, but also don’t expect as much as John Elway does.

I expect Flacco to be mad decent. Better than mediocre, somewhere between a 5 and 10. A soft 7, if you will. Expecting to win the AFC West is not what I would call a reasonable expectation, especially after the season the Chiefs and Chargers had. But, a 9-7 season and sneaking in the playoffs at the Wildcard spot is not out of the question. Even Flacco throwing for 25 TD’s and 3,500 yards is not completely ridiculous. The Broncos defense is still going to be spectacular and hopefully Phillip Lindsay can build on his rookie season success while also taking the heat off his QB. If that happens and Flacco can live up to half of what Elway expects then a Broncos playoff birth in 2019 is definitely possible.

There’s just no way that he loses his starting job to another rookie. Right?

The AAF vs Other Terrible Investments and Wastes of Money

Well, it’s over. The Alliance of American Football is officially suspending operations. RIPIP, 2019-2019. Thank you for the one highlight of that quarterback getting obliterated that one time. It will not be forgotten. What will be forgotten is the investment of $70 million that is now gone forever.

Back in February, Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon pledged $250 million to the Alliance. On top of Dundon’s ownership and investment, you probably know Dundon best from the shout out he gets at the end of every Law and Order SVU intro. *Dun Dun. His incremental payments totaled $70 million by the time the AAF was shut down.

Obviously, this ended up being a terrible investment. But in the grand scheme of things, just how back was it compared to other famous wastes of money?

AAF vs. Kirk Cousins
As far as investments with no return go, Kirk Cousins is up there with the best of them. You would think adding a better quarterback to team that finished 13-3 the previous season would make them more of a title contender. Turns out, it actually means you miss the postseason. But, was the Kirk Cousins investment worse than the AAF? Yes and no. Cousins’ contract is for 3 years, $84 million and so far, no Super Bowl. We will have to see what the next two years bring.

AAF vs. the Hoover Dam
I am blindly following Ron Swanson and agreeing that the Hoover Dam is a travesty. I don’t care how much electricity it provides. The original cost was $49 million so at least it’s not as bad as the AAF.

AAF vs. Tidal
Remember when Jay-Z bought Tidal way back in the day? I honestly can’t remember what exactly it did, but I know it flopped almost immediately. Could it have been worse than the AAF? Almost, but no. Tidal originally cost the Jiggaman $56 million to buy the company.

AAF vs. the Ponzi scheme John Elway invested in
According to the Denver Post, John Elway once invested in a Ponzi scheme run by hedge fund manager Sean Mueller. Just barely beating the AAF, John Elways investment of $15 million helped the Ponzi scheme end up with $71 million from 60 total investors

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Denver Post

AAF vs. Justin Timberlake’s Myspace Investment
After the launch of Facebook, the coolest white person in the world, Justin Timberlake, decided he would invest in the failing social network Myspace. JT purchased a $35 million stake in the company to later sell all of his shares for a total of $1. At least he got a larger return than AAF investors.

Let us know what other investments and wastes of money we left out and throw us a follow @soft7sports on Twitter.

Broncos Block Interview Requests for Gary Kubiak

John Elway and the Denver Broncos have reportedly blocked all interview requests for Gary Kubiak for Offensive Coordinator jobs around the NFL. As you may have guess from the Broncos’ terrible season, this is the first time they have blocked anyone all year.

So far, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Atlanta Falcons have requested an interview and it does not look like anymore will come. The Broncos want Kubiak to stay and work with the new Head Coach who has yet to be named.

Kubiak is widely considered one of the best candidates for an OC vacancy. He has not had too impressive of a recent track record due to not having a quarterback and Vance Joseph destroying everything he touches. There is no timetable for Elway to pick a new Head Coach, but it looks like Gary Kubiak will be in Denver for the foreseeable future.