After a tough 2016 season, the Denver Broncos offense is ready to make a statement.
If the Broncos are serious about shaking off last year’s offensive reputation, Monday night is the perfect opportunity. All eyes will be on them as they close out the first week of the 2017 NFL season.
The Broncos have done their best to correct the issues from 2016, and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas knows what it would do for his team if they can jump out to a hot start on Monday night.
“It would be big,” Thomas said Thursday. “The first year for a lot of new faces. A new offense for a lot of new faces. If we can go out and score like the way we want to, that would be a big statement starting off Monday night for the rest of our season, especially having a defense like we’ve got. If we can average 28-35 points, it will be tough to beat us.”
After what the offense showed last season, 28-35 points seems like a tough task, but that might be the Broncos’ magic number in 2017. The Broncos won both of the games they were able to eclipse that number in in 2016. They won three of the four the games in which they scored 27 points, with the only loss coming to the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime. It would be a big leap, though, for a team that averaged only 20.8 points per game last season.
For Denver to make that leap, they’ll need productivity from multiple offensive positions.
Everyone knows the kinds of plays that Thomas and fellow Pro Bowl wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders are capable of making, but Thomas believes that the Broncos have a few playmakers that will catch some people by surprise in 2017.
“The biggest surprise—of course everybody knows that we’re running the ball. But with this offense, they think it’s all pass, pass, pass, because you’ve got me, [WR] Emmanuel [Sanders] and [WR] Bennie [Fowler],” Thomas said. “Then you’re going to be surprised with the tight ends making plays. I think our running game is going to pick back up where it was the last couple of years. I’ll say that last year wasn’t our best, but our running game is going to be big this year and it’s going to help us out all around.”
A number of members on the Broncos offense know what it feels like to be the number one offense in the NFL. Thomas, Virgil Green and running back C.J. Anderson were all members of the 2013 Broncos offense that set NFL records for points and touchdowns.
Averaging 37.8 points a game like they did in 2013 might not be realistic, but that magic number of 28 isn’t out of reach. They have put the work in, they have a number that they can shoot for, all that’s left is to go out and prove it.
“No limit,” Anderson said on Thursday. “The sky is the limit. We want to be explosive. Whether it’s with running or passing, we want to be really explosive. Monday night, we have the opportunity to go out there and be explosive and put our mark on Week 1, and just try to get better every week.”