Full Stat Predictions for Denver Broncos' Regular Season
We know the passing game will be on point, but the ground game's potential production is a huge question mark at this time.
Defensively the Broncos may struggle due to Von Miller's six game suspension. We'll see a mix of players worked in to take his spot during that time.
The schedule is setting up nicely for the Broncos to win double-digit games again this season. Let's take a look at how their players should produce in 2013.
5,013 Yards Passing, 39 TDs, 10 INTs, 67% Completion
We could see Manning throw for over 5,000 yards for the first time in his career. The Broncos added Wes Welker in free agency to strengthen an already dangerous passing game. The addition of Welker, plus the emergence of Julius Thomas, could help Manning reach heights never achieved before. The Broncos are a pass happy team and will use uptempo offensive plays to take defenses by surprise. A questionable ground game only means the Broncos will pass even more than some expect.
190 carries, 800 yards, four touchdowns, 35 catches, 304 yards, two touchdowns
The Broncos are going to use a running back committee approach in 2013. The leader of that committee is Ronnie Hillman as he's received the most work with the starters throughout the offseason and training camp.
Hillman added 20 pounds of muscle this offseason to better handle a starter's workload. He's bigger, more decisive and still has retained his explosive long speed.
The Broncos moved up in the third-round of the 2012 NFL draft to select Hillman. Last year we saw him worked in as a change of pace back where he averaged 3.9 yards per carry. With a bigger workload Hillman should be around 4.2 in 2013.
150 carries, 550 yards, eight touchdowns, 16 receptions, 140 yards, one touchdown
Ball was selected in the second-round of the 2013 NFL draft to compete for the starting job. In fact, most expected him to enter training camp and win the job outright. That hasn't been the case as Ball hasn't been able to unseat Hillman from the top spot.
John Fox does not give rookie runners a big workload. During his time as a head coach with the Broncos and Panthers, the most carries a rookie has seen was Jonathan Stewart (184 carries) back in 2008. Those expecting Ball to receive a huge workload are going to be sorely mistaken.
Ball has a tremendous nose for the end zone. He finished his college career at Wisconsin with more touchdowns (83) than any other player in NCAA history. The Broncos should give Ball plenty of opportunity near the goal line. Last year the Broncos finished in the top 10 for rushing attempts inside the red zone.
80 carries, 325 yards, 20 receptions, 210 yards, three total touchdowns
Moreno gives the Broncos veteran insurance as their third running back. He could be a spot starter for this team but durability concerns make him better suited as a reserve player.
20 carries, 75 yards, 15 receptions, 120 yards, two total touchdowns
The Broncos are going to be very creative with the ways they use Hester. He'll help blast open holes for the ground game, get a few carries himself and also be used as a receiver out of the backfield.
150 targets, 90 receptions, 1,500 yards, eleven touchdowns
When Peyton Manning is in trouble he looks to Demaryius Thomas. Entering his fourth year we could see Thomas cement his spot among the NFL's elite. Thomas has the size, speed, wingspan, and leaping ability to make difficult catches seem routine.
Some think with the addition of Wes Welker it will negatively impact the numbers produced by Thomas. That's simply not the case as it's Thomas who is the centerpiece of the passing game.
120 targets, 85 receptions, 1,025 yards, four touchdowns
Welker was a prized addition by the Broncos in free agency. The former Patriots wide receiver comes to Denver to help the Broncos move the chains on underneath routes.
We've seen Welker and Manning working hard to establish chemistry during training camp. Welker won't get quite as many targets as he did in New England, but he'll still finish as the Broncos' second leading receiver.
110 targets, 75 receptions, 900 yards, eight touchdowns
Decker is entering the final year of his contract but should see a slight dip in his production in 2013. The addition of Welker will take away some targets and opportunity from Decker.
We will still see Decker be one of Denver's best red zone targets, and he could get close to double-digit touchdowns this year.
17 targets, 15 receptions, 170 yards, one touchdown
Caldwell has made a positive impression at training camp. He gives the Broncos veteran depth at the position and will see the field when the team goes with a four wide receiver formation.
10 targets, 10 receptions, 120 yards, no touchdownsKing is a rookie wide receiver from the University of Georgia. He was selected in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL draft and has good upside. As a rookie he'll see the field sparingly.
10 targets, 5 receptions, 55 yards, one touchdown, 10 carries, 100 yards, one touchdownHolliday is one of the most dangerous returners in the NFL. Denver won't feature him much as a receiver but could mix in a few carries for Holliday from time to time.
80 targets, 40 receptions, 480 yards, five touchdowns
Thomas was a basketball star in college at Portland State. He knows how to use his large frame to box out defenders, and he can high point passes with ease. Thomas is extremely athletic and creates mismatches every time he's on the field.
His first two seasons in the league were cut short by an ankle injury. Now Thomas is finally healthy and has been the most targeted player in the preseason. He's the starter and the lead tight end in this committee.
50 targets, 30 receptions, 300 yards, five touchdowns
Dreessen will see his role stay the same in 2013. He's the best red zone target on the roster and Dreessen is also the best blocker among this unit.
He has been held out of training camp with a minor knee injury but should be ready to go by the start of the regular season.
25 targets, 17 receptions, 165 yards, one touchdown
Tamme sees his numbers sharply decline with the emergence of Thomas. He gives the Broncos veteran depth at the position. Tamme is not quite the player he used to be and has been slowed down this preseason by a quadriceps injury.
10 targets, 10 receptions, 117 yards, zero touchdowns
Green has greatly improved his blocking ability and is still a quality receiver who can make difficult grabs. He's fourth in the pecking order and won't see much playing time unless there's injuries in front of him on the depth chart.
35 tackles, 15 assists, 10 sacks, two forced fumbles, two passes defensed
Wolfe suffered a scary neck injury in the second preseason game but avoided serious injury and will be ready for the start of the regular season. The second year player could see the number of sacks double as this team looks for pass rushing help without Von Miller for the first six games of the season.
20 tackles, five assists, two sacks, one forced fumble
Ayers is mostly an edge setter for the Broncos' run defense. He's not going to put up big sack numbers but is a quality starter who does a good job of keeping contain.
15 tackles, seven assists, six sacks, two forced fumbles, two passes defensed
Jackson is an exciting second year player who could produce more than some think. He's not a refined pass rusher but Jackson plays with a ton of aggression, strength, and determination.
12 tackles, five assists, four sacks, one forced fumble
Smith was selected in the fifth-round of the 2013 NFL draft out of Western Kentucky. He's still recovering from a knee injury that cut his final season in college short. If healthy, Smith has the edge speed, length and ability to bend in order to create pressure on the quarterback.
30 tackles, 11 assists, two sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery
Vickerson is a team first player who can stuff the run. The Broncos may see a lot of teams try to run on them early in order to keep Peyton Manning and the offense on the sidelines. This will create greater numbers for the interior players on the defense.
20 tackles, 9 assists, five sacks, one forced fumble, two passes defensed
Williams was the Broncos' top pick in the 2013 NFL draft. He's functionally strong, can control the point of attack, and has a good closing burst to get after the quarterback.
14 tackles, 7 assists, one sack, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery
Knighton was added in free agency to help bolster the run defense. He worked under Jack Del Rio before during their time together with the Jaguars. Knighton's playing time will be cut into as the rookie Williams emerges.
12 tackles, 5 assists, one sack, one forced fumble
Unrein is a quality depth player for the Broncos but won't be on the field much in 2013.
75 tackles, 40 assists, five sacks, two forced fumbles, two interceptions, seven passes defensed
Woodyard is a team-first player who is now going to be manning the middle of the defense for the Broncos. He's got a nose for the football and is clearly the Broncos leader on defense. Woodyard also has improved his coverage skills during his time in the NFL.
50 tackles, 20 assists, two sacks, one forced fumble, two fumbles recovered, two passes defensed
Trevathan now moves into the starting lineup for the Broncos as weak-side linebacker. He's built like Woodyard and is known for his athleticism and ability to close quickly on the football.
35 tackles, 10 assists, two sacks, two forced fumbles
Irving was supposed to win the starting middle linebacker job in training camp. That didn't happen and now he'll be rotating in as strong side linebacker while Von Miller is suspended.
35 tackles, 14 assists, 10 sacks, three forced fumbles, two fumbles recovered, two passes defensed
Phillips was a key addition by the Broncos in free agency this year. He was originally going to help fill the void left by Elvis Dumervil. Now, he's going to be the team's leading pass rusher while Miller is out for the first six weeks of the season.
40 tackles, 10 assists, 10 sacks, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovered, three passes defensed
Miller is going to miss the first six games of the regular season due to a suspension. When he comes back to the field it should be with a vengeance. Miller may take a week or two to get up to speed but so long as he's healthy he should look like the player we're used to seeing on Sundays.
60 tackles, 10 assists, one sack, one forced fumble, two fumbles recovered, two interceptions, 10 passes defensed
Bailey is not quite the same player he used to be, and opposing quarterbacks should test him now more than they did in the past. He's up to the challenge and will see a statistical jump because of the added targets thrown his way.
45 tackles, 10 assists, one sack, one fumble recovered, four interceptions, 15 passes defensed
Rodgers-Cromartie was a key free agent addition for the Broncos this offseason. Playing opposite Bailey, we could see him targeted quite often. Opposing teams will have to go into pass happy mode in order to keep up with the Broncos offense.
40 tackles, 12 assists, one sack, one forced fumble, three interceptions, 12 passes defensed
Harris has emerged as a quality player for the Broncos, going undrafted in 2011. He can line up outside if injuries force him to do so. Harris is best served as a nickel corner for the Broncos. They used their nickel defense around 65 percent of the time in 2012, according to Andrew Mason of denverbroncos.com, and should do the same in 2013.
19 tackles, five assists, two sacks, two interceptions, nine passes defensed
Carter will once again work as a sub-package player for the Broncos in 2013. He's a gambler who doesn't back down from a challenge. Sometimes his chances pay off, and sometimes his chances get him burned.
65 tackles, 15 assists, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, two interceptions, 10 passes defensed
Moore has his confidence back and it's showing up on the practice field. He should be able to handle coverages better this year and get his hands on a few passes as quarterbacks will try to pick on him.
45 tackles, 15 assists, three forced fumbles, two fumbles recovered, one interception, five passes defensed
Ihenacho has been the standout player of camp. He's always around the football and is known for making big hits. Those crushing blows will intimidate opponents and lead to a few forced fumbles in 2013. Ihenacho plays with a lot of fire and that should be infectious for the players around him on defense.
25 tackles, 10 assists, one forced fumble, one fumble recovered, five passes defensed
Adams lost his job as the starter with the emergence of Ihenacho. He still gives the team quality veteran depth at the position.
15 tackles, five assists, one fumble recovered, two passes defensed
Bruton is a special teams star for the Broncos but won't make much of an impact defensively.
30 field goals made, 35 field goals attempted
Prater will benefit from the Broncos offense and should be put into position for many field goals and extra points. Over the last five years he's average 80.6 percent on field goals and will be around that number again in 2013.
70 punts, 3,100 yards, 67 long, 0 blocked
Colquitt is one of the best punters in the game today. Last season he went without a punt getting blocked and regularly backed up opponents with his punts.
750 kick return yards, 350 punt return yards, four returns for touchdowns
Holliday is one of the most exciting returners in the league. He's dangerous every time he touches the ball because he could fumble, or take it to the house, at any time.