DENVER (KDVR) — The Denver Broncos are a week away from starting the 2023 regular season, and with that comes a lot of expectations.
Last season, the team only won five of its 17 games, continuing a losing-season trend that started with the 2017 season. The team’s playoff drought goes back even further.
But this year, with the help of Sean Payton calling the shots from the sideline, the expectations are much higher.
“Sean Payton’s ground-based offensive schemes provide the foundation for fixing Russell Wilson, who’s coming off the worst season of his career under Nathanial Hackett, who proved way in over his head as a first-time head coach last year, one who didn’t even make it through his first season,” an analysis by the Associated Press said.
It’s not all rosy though.
“The Broncos have paid hefty prices for both Wilson and Payton, parting with five premium draft picks combined. Without those three first-round and pair of second-round selections, their depth is thin across most position groups. The wide receiver room was their deepest position to start camp but they’re down three of last year’s top four pass catchers with Tim Patrick (Achilles) missing his second straight season, KJ Hamler out with a heart condition and Jerry Jeudy sidelined by a pulled hamstring,” the AP’s analysis said.
Betting site FanDuel Sportsbook had the over/under betting line for total wins at 8.5 as of noon on Aug. 31. If they go over that and get nine wins, they will break the losing-record streak, but anything under means the streak continues.
Across the division, the Kansas City Chiefs have the highest expectations with the over/under set at 11.5 wins. The Los Angeles Charges line is at 9.5 wins and the Las Vegas Raiders are the lowest at 6.5 wins.
For fantasy football players, the Associated Press’ analysis suggested running back Samage Perine as a player to watch, saying, “Perine will get a heavy dose of the workload early on as the Broncos ease Williams back into the flow and wait for Jeudy to return and bolster the passing game.”