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Mile High Morning: How many wins analysts are projecting for the Broncos in 2020


The Lead

First off, in case you haven't heard, the Broncos' 2020 schedule will be unveiled Thursday at 5:30 p.m. MT.

But ultimately isn't the end result what we're all really interested in? In that vein, here are two predictions of how the Broncos' 2020 season might turn out.

ESPN’s Mike Clay expects the Broncos to return to the playoffs as the sixth seed in the AFC in his post-draft projections. In that projection, Clay has Denver facing off with Indianapolis in the first round of the playoffs.

Based on his algorithm, the Broncos will end with about 9 wins (rounding up from 8.7) and give up the third-fewest points in the NFL.’s Cynthia Frelund announced her projected win totals, too, and the Broncos clock in at a little lower than Clay's with 7.9 wins.

"The Broncos went all in on getting weapons for Drew Lock in the draft," Frelund said. "I love the addition of Jerry Jeudy, who pairs nicely with Courtland Sutton. Throw in KJ Hamler to go with Noah Fant and Albert [Okwuegbunam] and suddenly Denver has one of the fastest skill groups in the league."

Personally, I lean more toward the first projection. This isn't scientific or anything — just more of a gut feeling — but I feel like the defense should solidify itself as a top unit in the NFL and I think the offense has the tools to be much more productive. Will they contend with the Chiefs for the conference title? That seems like wishful thinking at this point. But with Vic Fangio entering his second year as head coach, I just think adding two wins to last season would be reasonable.

But as Lock said on Tuesday, "Nothing's in fine ink right now as far as wins and losses just because of people we drafted. We've got a lot of work to do and put together, and hopefully we'll be on our 'A' game every single Sunday."

Below the Fold

NFL analysts Aaron Schatz (who is also editor of Football Outsiders) and Dan Graziano added to the accolades for the Broncos' draft class in a recent ESPN roundtable. Schatz said the Broncos' group will make the biggest immediate impact, and Graziano voted the Broncos' selection of Jerry Jeudy to be his favorite pick of the draft.

Will Jeudy's addition and the rest of the changes to the Broncos' offense make it one of the best in the AFC? That's Denver's biggest question, according to Around the NFL writer Marc Sessler: "It all boils down to Lock taking a big step forward -- no sophomore slump, sir! -- but the potential for fireworks is real."

Is it futile to try to predict the schedule? Probably. But is it fun? Definitely! Our lead writer Aric DiLalla took a crack at it on Wednesday.

The Unclassifieds

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