We are just a few days away from the Denver Broncos season opener, and fans are certainly excited about what’s to come this season.
New ownership, a new coaching staff, a new quarterback who was just extended, and some new faces on the roster, along with a solid core returning, give Broncos Country plenty of reason for optimism going into the 2022 season.
With each new season, of course, come predictions. There are those who are predicting a certain number of wins for the Broncos, a playoff trip, perhaps even a Super Bowl run.
But there are other items we can have fun predicting, and we can go bold with them. Here are my bold predictions about certain Broncos players for the 2022 season.
Who knows? Maybe one or two will come true.
1. Russell Wilson Will be a Top-3 MVP Candidate
Wilson has had a great career thus far and he’ll be approaching a couple of milestones this season, those being 300 touchdown passes and 40,000 yards passing for his career.
But while Wilson has 10 Pro Bowl nods in the past 11 seasons, he’s never won the MVP award. Here’s betting that Wilson reaches new heights, to the point that he’ll be a serious candidate and finish in at least the top-3 in voting.
2. Javonte Williams Will Score at Least 10 TDs
Last season, Williams averaged 4.4 yards per carry, and scored four rushing touchdowns, plus he had three receiving scores. It’s expected he’ll be even better this season, as he takes over as the primary back.
Here’s betting that Williams hits double-digit touchdowns this season. He could also threaten to break the 1,000-yard rushing mark, but 10 touchdowns, rushing and receiving combined, seems like a good bet.
3. Jerry Jeudy Will Break Out with 80-Plus Catches
Jeudy was targeted 113 times as a rookie but caught just 52 passes. Between drops and ineffective quarterback play, he was unable to take advantage of those targets.
However, better quarterback play plus improvement from Jeudy himself could translate to more receptions, as long as he stays healthy. Let’s bet on him surpassing 80 catches this season.
4. Bradley Chubb Hits Double-Digit Sacks
Chubb’s 2021 season was a disappointment and he’ll have plenty to prove this season, particularly as he enters the final year of his first-round draft pick contract.
However, we’ve seen Chubb hit double-digit sacks before when he was a rookie, and he wasn’t far from that in 2020 when he got his first Pro Bowl nod. A healthy Chubb, along with more players who can create pressure, should mean a 10-sack season isn’t out of the question.
5. Patrick Surtain II Doubles his Interceptions
Surtain showed a lot of promise as a rookie, breaking up 14 passes and intercepting four. I expect him to be in line for even more interceptions this season.
It may be difficult for Surtain to approach, say, Trevon Diggs’ 14 picks last year, because teams may be more reluctant to target Surtain. But they may target him enough for Surtain to reach eight picks.
6. Broncos’ Special Teams Finishes Top-16
For the past few years, the Broncos have been among the worst at special teams, ranking in the bottom five, per Football Outsiders‘ DVOA. Bet on that changing this year.
Between a bona fide return man in Montrell Washington, better coaching from coordinator Dwayne Stukes, and players who should do more to contain opponents, the Broncos should be in line to be in the top half of the league on special teams. That would undoubtedly be quite a turnaround.
7. Justin Simmons Earns First-Team All-Pro
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Justin Simmons has been one of the top safeties in the NFL and has a Pro Bowl bid to his credit. Unfortunately, because he has played on a team that’s been one of the league’s worst, All-Pro voters haven’t looked his direction in the first-team voting, though he has earned second-team honors twice (2019, 2021).
But with the Broncos in line to be a playoff contender, that should get more voters to pay attention. I’m betting Simmons plays at a high level, to the point that voters have to give him a first-team All-Pro nod for the first time in his career.
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