The return of Miller ensures the edge rush will remain a dominant force. We expect second-year linebacker Shane Ray to improve his production and spell DeMarcus Ware more this season.
The Broncos also boast one of the top corner trios in the NFL with the perennially underrated Chris Harris, Aqib Talib and Bradley Roby.
Davis spent last season with the Browns, who released the fifth-year passer in August. An undrafted and cheap jerseys and unremarkable arm talent out of Southern Miss, Davis has made just 10 NFL starts with 13 touchdowns and 12 picks for the Rams and Cleveland since 2012.
Nothing more than a depth addition for the Broncos, Davis will grasp a clipboard behind starter Trevor Siemian. With first-round rookie Paxton Lynch also on the roster, Broncos general manager John Elway confirmed that Davis is simply “coming in to learn the offense,” per NFL Network’s James Palmer.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sunday night was an incredibly good time for the Kansas City Chiefs. They trounced their AFC West rival in front of a nationally televised audience on Christmas. They clinched a playoff berth before that 33-10 win over the Denver Broncos actually ever kicked off. They also unveiled something that will be critical to any success they hope to enjoy now that they’ve punched their ticket to the postseason: an offense that might have enough juice to get them where they hope to go.
This year’s Chiefs have excelled at finding different ways to win games. What they haven’t done often is what they did against a defense as elite as Denver’s. The Chiefs ran the ball for 238 yards. They threw it for another 246. The big plays were there as well, as rookie wide receiver Tyreek Hill produced a 70-yard touchdown run and tight end Travis Kelce scored on an 80-yard pass play.
Since Andy Reid and Alex Smith arrived to jumpstart a new era in 2013, the knock on Kansas City has been a lack of explosive playmaking ability offense. With dynamic rookie Tyreek Hill joining stud tight end Travis Kelce as the twin centerpieces, that skepticism is fading.
This performance stands as the high-water mark for an offense steadily growing more dangerous throughout the season. For the first time in nearly 50 years, the Chiefs had two offensive scores of 70 or more yards in the same game. The Broncos’ defense has not allowed a 100-yard rusher and 100-yard receiver in the same game since November of 2014. By halftime of Sunday’s tilt, Kelce was over 100 receiving while Hill was sitting on 99 rushing yards. The scoring ended with 350-pound nose tackle Dontari Poe tossing a short touchdown pass to Demetrius Harris out of the Wildcat formation. By game’s end, the Chiefs had gashed Denver’s normally stout defense for a season-high 484 yards. This was one of most lopsided AFC West matchups of the season.
Siemian is coming off his worst game since early in the season — before Kubiak opened up the offense for the seventh-round pick. The second-year player has proven he’s not a liability at quarterback — he can make deep throws and read defenses. His issues have stemmed from injuries, a nonexistent running game and poor blocking. It’s nearly impossible to fully evaluate Siemian given all the surrounding troubles.
For a team out of the playoff hunt, playing both young players makes sense. Siemian started 13 games this season but is still in the developmental phase of his career. Lynch made two up-and-down starts, and it’s clear the talented rookie needs more seasoning.
Pick your jaws up from the ground; I know it might seem like a shocking idea in light of Denver’s troubles, but I truly believe deemphasizing the quarterback position in order to build a balanced team that features prominent playmakers on both sides of the ball is the approach of the future. The lack of elite quarterbacks in the pipeline should prompt more teams to look for alternative approaches. The Broncos’ plan was not only sensible in the short term, but it can help them remain viable contenders over the long haul.
Remember, the Broncos lost Super Bowl XLVIII despite having a high-powered offense directed by a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback (Peyton Manning) playing at an MVP level. The offense-heavy squad lit up the scoreboard like a pinball machine and waltzed through the NFL with a “score more” philosophy — that is, until it was bullied by a rugged Seattle Seahawks defense on Super Sunday. The 43-8 loss prompted Elway to tweak his approach, with Denver committed to building a team fueled by a dominant defense, powerful running game and efficient quarterback play.