This offseason Giants.com will take a closer look at each of the Giants opponents next season and how they've changed this past offseason.Today, we look at the Denver Broncos. The Giants play in Denver on October 15 on Sunday Night Football.
Last Season: 9-7. The Broncos finished one game behind the Dolphins in the wild-card standings after struggling towards the end of the year.
Point Differential: +36
Key Additions: OG Ronald Leary, OT Menelik Watson, NT Domata Peko, DE Zach Kerr, LB Kasim Edebali, RB Jamaal Charles,
Key Losses: OT Russell Okung, DT Sylvester Williams, OLB DeMarcus Ware
Draft Class: OT Garrett Bolles, De DeMarcus Walker, WR Carlos Henderson, CB Brandan Langley, TE Jake Butt, WR Isaiah McKenzie, De'Angelo Henderson, QB Chad Kelly.
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The Broncos started their season strong by winning four in a row and six of eight overall, but they faltered down the stretch. They won only three of their final eight games and closed the season losing three of four. Denver was carried by an excellent defense last year while young quarterbacks Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch developed. The Broncos have a new head coach in Vance Joseph, and Mike McCoy is his offensive coordinator. Joe Woods will be a defensive coordinator for the first time after being promoted from defensive backs coach.
27th yards per game
27th rush yards per game
21st pass yards per game
22nd in points per game
31st Third down %
26th Red Zone %
T 13th Turnover Margin (+2)
The Broncos offense struggled last year for a few different reasons. First, their two starting quarterbacks, Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch, were starting their first ever games in the National Football league. Both Siemian and Lynch, along with seventh-round pick Chad Kelly, will compete for the starting job in camp. Last year, the young quarterbacks didn't have a ton of help. The Broncos were 25th in the league in sack rate allowed, and had no running game to speak of to support their quarterback.
Some of that blame can be placed on the offensive line. The Broncos spent most of their offseason trying to remake that line. They used a lot of money in free agency to sign former Cowboys guard Ronald Leary and former Raiders tackle Menelik Watson. Then they went out and drafted tackle Garett Bolles. Other than center Matt Paradis, there might not be another offensive lineman starting this season in the same position they ended the season in last year.
The Broncos also tried to bolster their running game by signing Jamaal Charles in free agency to add some explosiveness to a backfield that lacked it last year with C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker. Third-round pick Carlos Henderson might also get the chance to help there. Jake Butt, once recovered from his ACL injury, will help out Virgil Green at tight end, while Carlos Henderson will try to learn from two good starting wide receivers in Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas.
4th yards per game
28th rush yards per game
1st pass yards per game
5th sack rate
5th 3rd down percentage
10th red zone percentage
To put it plainly, the Broncos have one of the best defenses in football, and that isn't likely to change in 2017. They return all but two starters (Sylvester Williams and DeMarcus Ware) but replace them with quality players in Domata Peko and Shane Ray. Ray has made great progress as a pass rusher, while Peko hopes to solidify the Broncos run defense at defensive tackle.
Von Miller might be the best defensive player in football, and he is a handful for every right tackle in football. In the secondary, Aqib Talib and Chris Harris are right there as one of the best starting duos in all of football. T.J. Ward and Darian Stewart are solid at safety, while linebacker Brandon Marshall patrols the middle of the field.
Conclusion: If the Broncos' young quarterbacks can take a step forward, and the new-look offensive line plays better, the Broncos should be a playoff team and will be a huge challenge for the Giants on the road on Sunday night football.
Photos from Landon Collins' breakout season in 2016.