If you thought the Falcons had a rough start to the season with three NFC South teams and the rising Raiders on the docket, wait until they face one of the NFL’s best defenses.
Offensively, it’s hard to know how the Broncos are going to fare with a muddled running back situation, Mark Sanchez competing at quarterback, and an offensive line with a couple of holes on it. Defensively, they were dominant a year ago and they’ll likely be dominant again, with one of the best pass rushes in the game. This won’t be an easy one for Atlanta.
With a little help from our friends at Mile High Report, here’s your Broncos scouting report ahead of that matchup.
Notable free agent additions: OT Russell Okung, OT Donald Stephenson, QB Mark Sanchez
Notable free agent departures: DE Malik Jackson, QB Brock Osweiler, ILB Danny Trevathan, S David Bruton Jr, others
Trades: Traded up in First Round of NFL Draft for Paxton Lynch
Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies:
QB Paxton Lynch (1st Round) - Not expected to contribute, but one sure hopes he surpasses Sanchez on the depth chart sooner rather than later.
RB Devontae Booker (4th Round) - Seems to be a perfect fit for Gary Kubiak’s zone blocking scheme.
FB Andy Janovich (6th Round) - Again, another perfect fit for Gary Kubiak’s zone scheme.
P Riley Dixon (7th Round) - As the punter, he’ll see some major action as a rookie.
Biggest offseason addition: Paxton Lynch - With all of the turmoil the defending Super Bowl champions faced from the onset of free agency, it was the drafting of Lynch that seemed to calm the waters some. The kneejerk reaction to the loss of a few good players has begun to give way to the reality that the Broncos didn’t really lose any of their great ones.
Biggest storyline heading into training camp: Von Miller. Any rational person knows that a contract will get done by the July 15th deadline, but the drama is slowly eating away at the fan base. TMZ is now even stalking a drunk John Elway for updates on the Von Miller situation.
Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp: With the Broncos drafting two safeties in Justin Simmons and Will Parks, it would appear 2016 could be the final year we see the No Fly Zone in all its glory. The Broncos had three big time players needing extensions in Emmanuel Sanders, Brandon Marshall and Darian Stewart. Elway got Marshall signed and has stated over and over he wants to lock in Sanders long term. However, he has not once mentioned Stewart as guys he wants long-term. It sure looks like this will be his final season with the Broncos.
Notable injuries heading into training camp: Aqib Talib shot himself (maybe) in the leg. Talib’s people are in lockdown mode, so it would appear there will be no formal charges of any kind. Whether the NFL takes action against Talib is another matter, but he’ll at least be playing at some point in 2016.