NFL Season Preview: Denver Broncos

Joe WillettSenior Writer IJuly 29, 2008

The Denver Broncos missed the playoffs for back-to-back years for the first time in over five seasons.

Last season, they were 7-9 under the leadership of developing quarterback Jay Cutler, and they tried to help him this offseason by adding four veteran receivers this offseason.

So how are they going to play this season?

Key Addition/Subtraction

Darrell Jackson- From the 49ers

Jason Elam- To the Falcons

Key Games

Sept. 08, at Raiders- The Raiders are up-and-coming and hoping to leap frog the Broncos this year.  Winning on opening night would be a nice way to say that they are still in charge.

Nov. 06, at Browns- This could be a close game between two possible Wild Card contenders.

Nov. 30, at Jets- These two teams are pretty close on skill level, this should create a good close game that might go until the final minutes.

Dec. 21, vs. Bills- This is another game between two teams that are about equal in talent and should be hard fought until the final whistle is blown.

Season Outlook

The Broncos have a lot of questions going into the 2008-09 season.  First of all, they are starting two players who have never started an NFL game in their lives at the tackle positions on the offensive line.

Also, their starting center has injury concerns and we can't get an update because, well, Mike Shannahan doesn't let his offensive line speak to the media.

Another question comes with Brandon Marshall.  He is likely to be the No. 1 receiver going into the regular season and we still don't know if he can be the playmaker that the Broncos staff believes he can be.

They are likely to go with the running back by commitee system with Selvin Young getting the bulk of the snaps, but they don't have a true star running back to take the pressure off of Jay Cutler who is starting just his second full season.

They tried, however, to give Cutler help through the air by adding four receivers who have at least a year of pro experience under their belt through free agency.

Also, they drafted Ryan Clady in the first round to help give extra help to the vaunted offensive line that has created great holes for the likes of Clinton Portis as well as many others who have went on to Pro Bowls with the Broncos but have dropped off after leaving.

My Prediction

There are a lot of questions, and if everything goes right, they could be really good.  However, everything could go wrong and they could be really bad.

I am going to go with the safe bet and put them at 7-9, exactly where they were last season.

I'm Joe W.

Joe also writes for, a Chicago Cubs blog, and, a basketball fan's site.