The Denver Broncos were dealt an enormous blow yesterday when it was discovered that Ryan Clady suffered an ACL tear in practice Wednesday. It was another rainy, gloomy day from Dove Valley and if you look at the numbers, the road appears more ominous.

There are several options at left tackle from the return of Ryan Harris, Chris Clark shifting over or the hopeful emergence of rookie, former Ram, Ty Sambrailo. Whoever gets the job there are some big obstacles in their way and nearly weekly, elite teams and players will line up across from them. Here’s a look at the numbers.

6. Six games will be played against top-ten defenses from last season. The Detroit Lions, the Kansas City Chiefs (twice), San Diego Chargers (twice) and the Baltimore Ravens will bring their stout defenses into games against the new left tackle of the Broncos. Additionally, the Broncos will face the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers who were both in the top-ten rush defenses in 2014.

6. Six times the Broncos will face defenses that were in the top ten in sacks. The Ravens, Chiefs, Lions, Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers represent big challenges for any lineman, especially at the critical left end position.

Whether the veteran Harris, Sambrailo or second-year tackle Michael Schofield protects Peyton Manning’s blind side they will face six edge rushers from the left side who ranked in the top-ten at their positions according to Pro Football Focus (PFF).

Ezekiel Ansah of the Lions and Everson Griffen of the Minnesota Vikings ranked fifth and eighth respectively as 4-3 defensive ends and played almost entirely from their right side of their units. The two big boys each tallied 11 sacks in 2014, had overall rating of 16-plus and were incredible balanced against the run and pass per PFF.

Of the 3-4 outside linebackers the Broncos will face, Parnell McPhee of the Chicago Bears, Terrell Suggs of the Ravens, Julius Peppers of the Packers, and James Harrison of the Steelers will be looking to create chaos from the left side of the Broncos line. Between the four of them they totaled 41 sacks and had an average overall rating of 23.3 according to PFF while ranking in the top-ten.

The Broncos have run into a little bad luck. From Jeff Heuerman’s knee tear to Clady going down evil seems to be lurking at Dove Valley. The 666 number here represents some devilish problems for the orange and blue. Broncos Country will be hoping that they can find some sunshine and the numbers that represent the obstacles are merely coincidences, not the sources of their downfall. Either way the week the team has had certainly has made the offseason even more interesting, if not down right nightmarish.

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