Russell Wilson and the Broncos' offense should be successful in 2022, according to ESPN's Mina Kimes and Football Outsiders' Aaron Schatz. On the most recent episode of her podcast, “The Mina Kimes Show featuring Lenny,” Kimes noted that Denver's run game could help Wilson take his game to a new level.
"I think Denver has the pieces in place to basically roll out a really similar offense to the ones that Wilson has been successful with," Kimes said. "Over the last two years, some of the frustrating performances from Wilson have been when it felt like he was pressing to push the ball downfield instead of taking what was underneath and available to him, and pushing the ball downfield when the defenses were playing those shell coverages, which you basically have to run them out of, and the Seahawks just couldn't. I think Denver can. This should be a very good rushing attack."
Kimes also brought up Wilson's deep ball as a strength that will continue on his new team, ranking him in the league's top five at that skill. Schatz agreed, saying he'd place Wilson at fifth or sixth.
Schatz noted that the Broncos' offensive line and rushing duo of Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon III will support Wilson's style of play well, and he was bullish on how the offense will stack up against the rest of the league.
"I think Denver can absolutely run," Schatz said. "I mean, Tim Patrick is a loss, but I think they can absolutely run the Russell Wilson offense, and I think Russell Wilson could look very good. Before the Patrick injury, we had them with a top-five offensive projection. With the Patrick injury though, they'll be more like sixth or seventh. … Wilson was really good last year, and he's got good parts around him."
Kimes and Schatz discussed some of the areas in which the defense struggled last year, but they also highlighted players that could increase the strength of the unit in 2022. Kimes mentioned that she's been impressed with Baron Browning, while Schatz noted that he sees promise in some of Denver's free agent additions.
"There is a lot of talent here," Schatz said. "There is now [Randy] Gregory, … Pat Surtain taking another step forward is big, and like I said, D.J. Jones is very underrated [and] was really good in San Francisco. A new coordinator, you don't know what direction things are going to go. This could be an above average defense."
To hear more, listen to the full podcast here.
Below the Fold
ESPN has released their preseason NFL power rankings, and the Broncos placed in the top half of teams at No. 12. Jeff Legwold chose Wilson as the Broncos player who will be on the hot seat this season, but he noted that Wilson embraces that responsibility.
"Luckily for the Broncos, the guy who faces the most heat this season is the guy most equipped to handle it," Legwold wrote. "The locker room, the city, the state and the region expect Wilson can take the Broncos where Peyton Manning did. Wilson embraces pressure, but the Broncos acquired him in a franchise-changing trade. A slow start for him or a first-year coaching staff would certainly bring about grumbling from the team's faithful — as there was in 2012, when Manning opened his first season with the team 2-3. But the Broncos didn't lose for the remainder of that regular season. Wilson has met expectations so far, but he had better get used to carrying them in a place where more than one quarterback has buckled under them."