The preseason for the Denver Broncos is in the books after an easy 27-3 win over the Dallas Cowboys. In a week or in an hour, no one will remember that the Broncos went 3-1 in August.
The regular season is just over a week away but before the Broncos get there, they have to cut down to 53 players and it will be difficult. The roster is extremely deep and some players who don’t make it in Denver, will quickly be scooped up by other teams.
Before moving on to the regular season, let’s take one last look at the good and the bad from the preseason finale.
Things I liked:
- Isaiah Burse: He made the team with his play on Thursday night. Burse made numerous big plays as a receiver and had two good punt returns. He may not play much as a receiver but Burse should open the season as the punt returner. Unlike his predecessor, Trindon Holiday, Burse can contribute as a receiver.
- Brock Osweiler: Osweiler concluded his preseason with a strong performance versus the Cowboys. When he gets time and a clean pocket, Osweiler can throw the football as well as anyone. Obviously the Broncos would be in serious trouble if Peyton Manning was lost for the season, but Osweiler is more than capable of winning a game or two if he had to.
- Cody Latimer: Fans finally got to see Latimer’s speed when he took a simple crossing route and turned it into a 50+ yard gain. It’s that speed that is going to make him dangerous in the regular season. Defenses are going to be concerned with all of the other weapons and Latimer is going to see a lot of single coverage. Manning loves single coverage when he knows his guy is better than the defender.
- Bradley Roby: Yes I know he didn’t play on Thursday and that’s the point. That tells you how far the rookie cornerback has come since the beginning of training camp. Roby will be a key contributor to the defense and it’s becoming more and more apparent that the Broncos got a steal with pick #31.
- Kapri Bibbs: The talk of training camp has centered on Juwan Thompson when it came to the running backs, but Bibbs has come on lately. He hits the hole faster than Thompson and has a nose for the end zone. I still believe Thompson ends up on the roster and Bibbs on the practice squad, but its close. One more note on both, it’s possible that neither one makes the roster and the Broncos keep one or both on the practice squad. This is a very deep team and if they only keep three backs, the Broncos could possibly keep an additional player at another position.
What I didn’t like:
- Brandon McManus: In all fairness, the two kicks he missed were 50+ yards but it certainly leaves you with an uneasy feeling about the kicking situation. McManus did boom all of kickoffs through the end zone and made two short field goals. I expect McManus to be the kicker at least for week one because if the Broncos sign a veteran before week one, then they would have to pay him for the entire season. That’s not going to happen.
- Dallas Cowboys: I know this is about the Broncos but the Cowboys are terrible. I understand that they didn’t play any of their starters, but that defense is going to set records for points and yards given up in a season. It’s going to be a long season in Dallas.
That’s a wrap on the preseason and now we wait for the cuts; John Elway, John Fox and their staffs have some very difficult decisions ahead.