Thanks to the 1-9-1 Houston Texans and the 3-9 Chicago Bears, the Denver Broncos don’t have the worst record in the NFL.
But at 3-8, the Broncos aren’t too far away from the bottom of the league through 12 weeks of the season.
How do the Broncos go about turning around the organization? What’s the first step?
The DNVR Broncos Crew breaks it down.
All odds below are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
What’s the first step to fixing the Broncos?
Zac: Tearing down the defense to build up the offense around Russell Wilson — Denver’s franchise quarterback needs help. A lot of help.
For all intents and purposes, Wilson will be the Broncos’ quarterback for at least the next couple of years due to his $245 million contract extension. With nine Pro Bowls to his name when Denver acquired him in the offseason, there was legitimate reason to believe Wilson would elevate every offensive player around him as well as lead one of the best offenses in the league.
That certainly hasn’t happened.
So it’s time to get him all of the help possible to take Denver’s offense from one of the worst in the NFL over the past 25 years to one that can be competitive in the AFC West.
Teams can win a championship with a dominant defense. But teams cannot win consistently by building their team around their defense. The Broncos have found that out the hard way since Super Bowl 50.
For over the past half decade, the Broncos have built their team around their defense. Because of that, there is plenty of talent on that side of the ball. George Paton, or whoever is calling the shots in the offseason, needs to use those defensive pieces to build an offensive line in front of Russ and get him at least one play-making receiver.
That is why Denver must trade away their defensive assets in order to build up their offense.
RK: Get a running game — When Nathaniel Hackett was hired, he was clear about what he wanted the Denver Broncos offense to be: A pure west coast scheme full of wide-zone runs and big play-action fakes.
Well, the bad news for the Broncos is you can’t have the second part of that without the first part. Ever since Week 1 of the season, a game in which the Broncos offense actually looked formidable, defenses have disregarded Denver’s running game, making things damn-near impossible for Russell Wilson and the rest of the passing offense.
Denver needs big help on the offensive line, then they need a running back, as Javonte Williams likely wont be a go for the start of next season, and finally they need better run calls.
It likely won’t be Nathaniel Hackett running the offense next season, but whoever it is is going to need Denver’s running game to make a massive improvement to have any shot at getting Russ going.
Hank: Fix the offensive line — Dalton Risner told KOA on Thursday that the Broncos hadn’t talked to him about a new contract yet. The 27-year-old guard is a great story who had some great moments in Denver, but the Broncos are making the right decision.
The Broncos’ offensive line needs change, and investing in the current version doesn’t make much sense.
Let Risner walk and pick up a big deal elsewhere. Find a solution at right tackle, after 10 consecutive seasons of new opening-day starters at the position. Look for opportunities to upgrade at center, whether through free agency or a deep draft. Look into trading Garett Bolles to open up cap space, add assets and end a disappointing era. Only Quinn Meinerz should feel safe.
Russell Wilson is 34 and it’s time to help him out. Give him a line that allows him to hold onto the ball. Give him a running game that can take some of the workload off of his shoulders.
Football games are won and lost in the trenches.
Picks Picks Picks
Russell Wilson passing yards over/under 219.5
Latavius Murray rushing yards over/under 54.5
Courtland Sutton receiving yards over/under 67.5
Courtland Sutton’s longest catch over/under 25.5
Mark Andrews receiving yards over/under 58.5
Ravens total points over/under 23.5
Broncos total points over/under 14.5
Will Russell Wilson have one passing touchdown + Lamar Jackson have one rushing touchdown? (+175)
Broncos-Ravens total points over/under 38.5
Broncos @ Ravens (-8.5)
Chiefs (-2) @ Bengals
Zac: Chiefs. Easy.
Chargers @ Raiders (-1)