Michael John Schon: You just nailed the single biggest sports question being asked in the Mile High City this week – and in all reality it's a little of both. The Broncos played an outstanding game, far above anyone's expectations, but it's weighed out against the fact they played a team with about as much depth as a South Park episode. Obviously, Cutler's got the arm, Eddie Royal's going to be a stand-out and releasing Jason Elam wasn't the end of the world, but whether they've got what it takes to reach the postseason remains to be seen.
LT Ryan Clady
MJS: Clady is solid and could turn out to be one of the best selections of the Shanahan era, at least as far as offensive linemen are concerned. Physically, he's got what it takes, but it'll take a little time to get it set against the NFL's best. Shanahan's banking on a quick learning curve. As far as Harris, it's a work in progress. We won't get a real handle on it until we see how he matches up against the best of the AFC West.
ML: Eddie Royal made a fantastic debut, catching nine passes for 146 yards and a touchdown. What will his role be now that Brandon Marshall is back from his one-game suspension?
MJS: Eddie Royal is going to be this year's Rod Smith. The guy came out of nowhere for most Broncos fans; now he's looking like one of the brightest stars in the League. With Marshall back from his one-game suspension, it gives Denver a double threat, and with Shanahan's threat of the rush, Royal becomes the perfect go-to second option. Look for the rookie to be prominently displayed in the Broncos' home opener. Within a month he'll be doing local pizza commercials – he really is that good.
RB Michael Pittman
MJS: It'll be a fantasy player's nightmare. You can bet all three – Selvin Young, Andre Hall and Michael Pittman – will carry the load. When it comes down to the red zone and the short-yardage game, Pittman's got the edge, but Hall and Young can both break it on the long ones. For the Broncos to have success, the running game has come through. Don't be surprised to see a run-first approach if they break it off early.
ML: How will former Charger safety Marlon McCree match up against his old team? How much does he have left in the tank?
MJS: I love it when a reasonably successful player changes teams within the division, then gets to face his former team in the home opener. You couldn't ask for a better story line. Apparently, Shanahan feel he's got enough left in the tank to name him the starter against Oakland, and he did come up with four solo tackles. Then again, you can go back to the first question and decide for yourself how much that really means. Suffice to say, his backup has started a grand total of 11 games over the past three years, so somebody's got some faith in the 30-year-old. Sunday will definitely be the litmus test for McCree.
Michael John Schon has covered the National Football League and the Denver Broncos for the past twelve years. As a member of the Pro Football Writers Association he has published and syndicated columns to both newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and Canada. His syndicated radio broadcast "Schon Live" airs weekly on various radio stations around the country.