Posted Tue Sep 4th by Monty
To all the fans of other teams who come across this site and accuse me of not being objective or of being a homer:
I try to be as objective as possible, but I’m still wearing sunglasses every time I write for this blog. One lens is orange, the other blue, and I offer no apologies.
The Broncos are ready for a special season this year, the first under the helm of new quarterback Jay Cutler, behind the running game of Travis Henry, and defended by one of the best cornerback tandems in NFL history. We are a good team; we’re going to win a lot of games. I’ve been thinking about the upcoming season, and I have a lot of predictions I felt like getting out there.
And as the title says, these are bold predictions. Here we go (really in no particular order for the most part).
1. Travis Henry rushes for over 1,600 yards
And 12 touchdowns.
2. Jay Cutler breaks a franchise record or two.
Who knows what. Last year he was the first rookie quarterback in the league to have at least two touchdowns in his first four starts. There are franchise records to be broken, too, and with a full year under the helm I could see Cutler breaking a yardage record or a touchdown record or the passer rating record. Some of these are held by a guy you wouldn’t expect – Jake Plummer, not John Elway.
3. The Bottom of the AFC West: Kansas City Chiefs
The Raiders offensive line is the real question mark of the team, and, at least in the preseason, it looked a bit improved. They still have one of the better defenses in the league, and if Daunte Culpepper can get protection they could even be dangerous. But, more than likely, they’ll still be awful on offense. I see them finishing around 7-9. The Chiefs, on the other hand, will have a horrible offensive line and quarterback situation. They’ll end up at the bottom of the West, and be lucky to get 5 wins.
4. Top 10 in League Ranks
The Broncos will have the #1 rush offense and a Top 5 offense in total yardage and in points scored. They’ll have a Top 15 rank in defensive yardage, and a Top 10 rank in points allowed.
5. Offensive Pro Bowls Aplenty
Last year the Broncos didn’t garner a single Pro Bowl on the offense. This year will be different – very different. First, Jay Cutler will be an alternate for the Pro Bowl, behind Manning, Brady and Palmer. Travis Henry will be the #2 behind Ladainian Tomlinson (yes, above Larry Johnson). Javon Walker will be an alternate for the wide receiver slot. And, this one I’m going out on a real limb and trusting what I’ve seen in preseason – right guard Montrae Holland, MY GUY, will start in the Pro Bowl. The latest depth chart doesn’t even show him starting, but neither did the one before Cleveland and he still got the nod. He may NEVER be listed as the starter at RG, but he will start anyway and continue to impress me. I’m really looking forward to seeing how Holland fares against real game action.
6. Dre Bly will lead the league in interceptions
Champ Bailey will make the Pro Bowl, but Dre Bly will lead the league in interceptions and make the Pro Bowl as well. Teams will target Bly more than any other #2 in the league this year, and Bly will get beat, to be sure. But he’ll beat them just as often. Can you say 20 interceptions between our two corners?
7. AFC West Champions via tiebreaker
Both the Chargers and Broncos will finish 12-4. They’ll both beat each other at home. They’ll both finish 5-1 in the division. But the Broncos will lose to an extra NFC team (yeah, hard to imagine against the NFC North – but we went 1-3 against the NFC West last year), which would leave us with the AFC West Crown.
8. Third seed in the AFC
Two teams in the AFC will finish with better records than the Broncos. I’m saving my complete breakdown of the playoffs and the season for later this week, but the Broncos will have one home game as the AFC West champs then will have to hit the road to win the Super Bowl. Unless, of course, the following takes place for the AFC Championship…
9. They’ll beat the Chargers in the AFC Championship Game
I was going to go through the entire playoff breakdown later this week, but consider this a preview – the Chargers will go on the road and win two games as the fifth seed (top Wild Card). The Broncos will win a game at home, then go to the #2 seed and win. The #1 and #4 will get knocked off by the Chargers and it will be an AFC West matchup in Denver for the Super Bowl. And the Broncos will take care of business.
10. Super Bowl XLII Champions
Denver Broncos 31, Dallas Cowboys 20.
Have any other predictions worth noting? Add ‘em here via the comments below. We’re a mere 5 days away from the 2007 kickoff – the Broncos have the potential to accomplish all of this en route to a third Super Bowl title.