Big Lead Sports Bar

8/29/2007

Why the Broncos Will Be Better Than the Steelers in 2007

I've thrown out a challenge to the followers of every other NFL out there: tell us why your team will be better than the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2007. And plenty of eager writers are lined up to tell you exactly why they will be superior to the Black and Gold. In the coming weeks, be prepared to get a gauge on exactly where the rest of the country ranks us in the NFL hierarchy this season.

Today's author is Brian Carriere, a diehard Bronco fan living in, of all places, Nashville. In the land of PacMan, he flaunts the orange and blue of John Elway, Terrell Davis, and Maurice Clarett. If nothing else, he's brave.
Why the Denver Broncos Will Be Better Than the Steelers in 2007
To be said honest I am a displaced Bronco fan. I lived in Pittsburgh for two and a half years, where by a strange set of circumstances I was befriended by one “Raul Mondesi.” I currently live in the country music capital of the world, Nashville, TN. Being an outsider in two very football crazy cities has increased my resolve that the Broncos are the best team to ever play football. That being said I did not feel that ripping on the Steelers was the best way to put forth the greatness of the Broncos. Seriously, how many more ways can we hear about how “underrated” Fast Willie Parker is, or how Grande BENJAM√ćN is a super awesome death defying quarterback who gets a bad rap? I have decided to help the Mondesi nation (to whom I show complete loyalty) with a fantasy football summary of the best players available from the Broncos roster.

Quarterback:
Jay Cutler:
2006:
CMP-- ATT-- YDS --CMP%-- YPA-- LNG --TD-- INT-- SACK-- RAT
81 -- 137 -- 1001-- 59.1 ---- 7.31 --- 71 ----9 --- 5 ---13 -- 88.5

Broncoholic Summary:

The preverbal word on the street is that the Broncos coaches are willing to accept the youthful mistakes because the incredible upside. With a solid running game behind him, Cutler (like every Broncos QB since HOF John Elway) will not be asked to win games. The upside is that the coaching staff believes that Culter has the tools to pull victory from the jaws of defeat, unlike his predecessors Griese and Plummer. One thing that will probably be an X-factor is that Cutler is an exellent runner, he lead the SEC in QB rushing as a freshman and has shown flashes of this ability to keep plays alive. Culter will have a solid if not above average year (2,500-3000 yards passing, 20-25 TD’s and 10-15 INTs), and will be a steal in the 3-4 round of your fantasy draft.

Broncoholic Projection
YDS -- CMP% --YPA-- LNG-- TD-- INT-- SACK-- RAT
3,000 - 58% ----8.0 ---99.99*- 25--- 15--- 22 --90.00

Running Backs:

Travis Henry:
2006:
ATT --YDS-- AVG-- LNG --TD-- REC-- YDS-- AVG-- LNG-- TD-- FUM-- LST
270 ---1211 -- 4.5 --- 70 ----7 --- 18 ---- 78 --- 4.3 --- 12 --- 0 --- 3 --- 1

Broncoholic Summary:

One of the most amazing stats about Travis Henry is not that he has rushed for 1000 yards on two terrible teams (Buffalo –’02-’03, Tenn ’06), but that he has 9 kids with 9 different women. The genius of Lord Shanahan was to sign him to a 5 year $22 million dollar offer, with incentives of $25K a month for each consecutive month in which he doesn’t father another child. All joking aside, everyone in Bronco land is ecstatic about having a proven commodity at running back. With the “any RB can gain 1K yards in the Broncos Scheme” mentality, anything over 1K yards is a testament to the RB’s abilities, so expect 1,400 to 1,600 yards. Unlike in the past few years, where running back by committee has been the rule for the Broncos, expect Lord Shanahan to play Henry as his primary back, much the way he used Terrell Davis and Vaughan Hebron (who?...exactly…Hebron rushed for 400 yards in sparse duty…while TD rushed for over 2,000). Expect Henry’s TD total to increase; Shanahan likes to punch the ball in with the run. Although there is a scare with a partially strained MCL during the 2nd preseason game, all indications are that Henry will be completely healthy for the season opener. Henry should be drafted in the first 3 rounds. Premier backs are a hot commodity, and Henry will be a primary back in a ground oriented attack.

Broncoholic Projection
YDS--AVG-- LNG --TD-- REC-- YDS-- AVG-- TD
1600-- 4.2---- 44--- 18 ----30 ---150---- 5---- 3
WR and TE
Javon Walker -
2006
REC--YDS-- AVG-- LNG-- TD --ATT-- YDS-- AVG-- LNG-- TD
69 - 1084 -- 15.7---83 ---- 8---- 9 ---- 123--13.7 ----72---- 1

Daniel Graham - 2006

REC--YDS-- AVG-- LNG-- TD
21---- 235--- 11.2--- 29---- 2

Broncoholic Summary
No Bronco has taken the death of DB Darrent Williams harder then Javon Walker. Walker has been reported to be sporting a “championship belt” (WWF style I assume) with the pictures of Williams and fallen running back Damien Nash. He has not talked about the incident on New Year’s Eve 2007, in which the young Williams died in Walker’s lap, but has reported that he is going to dedicate this season to Williams and Nash. Enough talk about the unfortunate events of the Broncos off season. Walker established himself last year as a serious WR threat in a Denver Passing attack run by the now retired Jake “the Snake” Plummer. He has an excellent relationship with Cutler and will be the primary weapon of the Broncos air attack. Behind Walker are receivers Brandon Marshall (Lil’ T.O., because he is 6’5” 220lbs and fast, but very young) and newly acquired slot receiver Brandon Stokley. Any venture beyond Walker is a gamble, but Marshall is your best bet as a reserve, ‘bye week replacement’ player. Walker will be a viable pick in rounds 3-4, but due to the Broncos likely strategy of run first, pass second, his numbers will be good but not all-pro caliber.

Daniel Graham is an interesting player. He is primarily a blocking TE, but the TE in the Broncos passing attack is a valuable commodity in FF leagues. He will be on the field for most downs, since he is an excellent blocker, and the TE routes are the safety route for the young QB Jay Culter. Although his personal stats don’t scream “offensive weapon” he is going to be an excellent TE, by TE standards. My guess is that he will put up numbers to be mentioned with Gonzalez and Gates (again, both in the same division). Graham will be a steal in the late rounds of your draft due to the fact he had only 21 receptions in 2006, which will undoubtedly drop him in FF TE rankings.

DEFENSE….DEFENSE….(and special teams).
The Broncos defense has looked less then stellar this preseason with the first string defense accounting for 44 pts against in 6 quarters. The word out of Broncoland is that newly hired Assistant head coach/Defensive head coach Jim Bates has yet to install a “game plan” during the preseason, and has been more focused on teaching the new “fatty plug middle” scheme. The additions of Sam Adams, three young draft picks to solidify the interior of the defensive line and Dre’ Bly make the Broncos defense a considerable threat…on paper. The defense has yet to gel, the LB corp is beaten up (the loss of Al Wilson, the change in position from WS LB to MLB by DJ Williams) and the specials teams look like they just got off the short bus. The Broncos defense will increase the number of take-aways from last year, but unless something happens fast they will be giving up a lot of points. My suggestion would be to draft the Broncos D as a back up (but who really does that?), or wait a few weeks to see how they do. If they are drafted (because someone reads last years stats, in which they are very good…instead of being a part of the Mondesi Nation) just wait and two weeks in they will be dropped. Don’t expect great things from this defense until after the bye week, which is week 6.

I hope that this helps those of you that have not had your drafts yet.
And for those of you that have…good luck.

Peace,

Brian “the drink”