NFL.com's Adam Rank has taken on a rather immense challenge by predicting all 272 games in the 2022 NFL season, and his 12-5 projection for the Broncos should make fans pretty excited.
The start is favorable for Denver, as Rank has the Broncos winning an emotional season opener in Russell Wilson's first game back in Seattle after his offseason trade. From there, the Broncos win two more games for a 3-0 start before taking their first loss. Even after that, Denver rebounds and by the time of the bye week, they're sitting pretty at 6-2.
Where it all gets really interesting is in December, which is a particularly difficult month on their schedule with games against the Ravens, Chiefs, Cardinals and Rams. Though he projects a loss to Baltimore, it's not all bad.
"I'm going to have them taking a loss there, but here's the thing: I'm going to have them beating the Kansas City Chiefs," Ranks said. "The first time they will have beaten the Chiefs since 2015. It's crazy."
All told, it would be a 12-5 record for the Broncos — and a division title.
"Here's the best-case scenario: Russell Wilson is 'The Man' and proves to be the missing piece for the Broncos this year," Rank said. "Obviously, the worst case would be that he doesn't play well. But obviously, I don't believe that: 12 and 5 for the Denver Broncos and winning the AFC West."
A quick glance at Rank's predictions for the rest of the AFC West shows a few other surprises, especially that the only team from the division that misses the postseason would be the Chiefs.
Below the Fold
Over on CBSSports.com, analyst Pete Prisco has created his list of the top 100 NFL players, and Russell Wilson is the lone Bronco to make the cut at No. 42.
"Wilson was traded this offseason to the Broncos, where he will inherit a nice group of pass [catchers] and an offensive-minded coach who will let him play free," Prisco wrote. "Wilson threw 25 touchdown passes and six picks in 14 games last season, but the offense was run-based, which hurt his numbers."
Perhaps in a year's time, we'll see several more players from Denver on the list.