Stuff that matters

Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller is extremely bullish on the outlook for his team this fall.

Via Mike Klis of 9NEWS, Miller believes this is the best team the franchise has been able to put together in several years.

“This is the best team we’ve been able to field in a long time,” Miller said. “The offense is going to be ridiculous. We’ve got Courtland [Sutton], Jerry Jeudy, Noah Fant, Albert [Okweugbunam] – I don’t want to go through the whole thing — Melvin Gordon and all these other big-time guys. The defense is just as stacked.

“A lot of guys are motivated. Everybody’s tired of losing. Everybody wants to win and I’m excited. Not being able to go to the playoffs the last five years, everybody’s feeling it at Dove Valley. From John Elway to G.P. (George Paton), the chefs and cooks, everybody involved. We should be highly motivated to go out here and play some good football this whole season.”

The Broncos have managed just one winning season since winning Super Bowl 50 at the end of the 2015 season. They managed a 9-7 record the following season in 2016 and haven’t managed more than seven wins in the four years since.

A couple things that could hold the Broncos back are the quality of the team’s quarterback play and the quality of the AFC West overall.

Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater will have to deliver at least a competent level of quarterback play to get the most out of the talent the team does have on offense. Somehow getting Aaron Rodgers in trade from the Green Bay Packers would definitely check this box as well.

However, the Kansas City Chiefs have proven to be the best team in the league over the lat two seasons with a pair of Super Bowl appearances, the Los Angeles Chargers look talented as well after a strong rookie season at quarterback from Justin Herbert, and the Las Vegas Raiders aren’t a pushover either.

The 2015 Broncos won a Super Bowl in spite of diminished quarterback play from Peyton Manning in his final season in the NFL. Perhaps the 2021 edition of the team is similarly talented enough to win big without major production from the position.

Miller said he’s comfortable with Lock as the team’s quarterback and he might be poised to take a step forward entering his third season in Denver. But the road ahead will be a difficult one for the Broncos even if they are better on paper.