With two preseason games under their belt, the Denver Broncos have shown that the road to the AFC West crown will again go through the Mile High City. Gary Kubiak, Wade Phillips and Rick Dennsion are the right coaches to lead the team.
And as we saw in Seattle last week and Houston last night, the Broncos might have the deepest roster they've had in recent memory. But every team in the National Football League have their weaknesses. And the Broncos are no expception.
The biggest cause for concern comes up front on the offensive line. Barring an unforeseen change in the depth chart, the Broncos will field the youngest O-line in the league come September 13th. Two rookies, left tackle Ty Sambrailo and left guard Max Garcia, will go through a trial by fire early, while center Matt Paradis, who spent 2014 on the practice squad, is in the same boat.
As a unit, the Broncos O-line showed improvement in Week 2 of the preseason, and they'll have to continue that trend into the regular season. Peyton Manning is less than a year from 40 and the team's 2015 fortunes depend on him staying healthy all year.
The Broncos have their share of question marks on special teams, too. There's uncertainty at punter and placekicker, although both PKs Brandon McManus and Connor Barth have played very well in training camp and preseason action. The team needs clarity at both positions soon.
The return game has been inconsistent and ineffectual. The Broncos have allowed too many yards on kick returns, including a touchdown, and they've been unable to get anything going returning kicks and punts of their own.
Omar Bolden sat out the opening preseason game, wherin Solomon Patton and Jordan Norwood each fumbled at punt return. But Bolden debuted last night in Houston, but could offer no spark to the return game.
If the young O-line steps up and proves they can protect Manning, the Broncos will be very hard to beat. If special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillas can turn the ship around with his unit, the rich will get even richer.
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