Nobody is worried about the mighty Broncos defense. As Will Petersen suggests, there’s no need for concern. Why would there be? Per Petersen, 12 of Denver’s best 14 defensive players are back and the depth beyond those guys is an embarrassment of riches.

The offense?

Well, that’s a different story. Not only were the Broncos pedestrian on offense last season (16th in total yards, 19th in points, 31st in passer rating), they were a unit in flux from the very beginning. Blame injury, blame inconsistency, but whatever the cause, there was nothing consistent about the O. Consider the following truths from the 2015 season:

  • Only twice during the regular season were the Broncos able to feature the same starting 11 in back-to-back weeks (vs. Minnesota and Oakland, Oct. 4 and 11; and vs. Indianapolis and Kansas City Nov. 8 and 15). 
  • Along the offensive line alone, there were five different combinations of starters.
  • In the “11th” position on offense (either a fullback, a third wide receiver or an additional tight end), five different players earned starts. They opted for a third wide receiver six times, a second tight end eight times, and a fullback twice. Virgil Green started at both tight end and fullback.

You following so far? No?

Okay then, here’s a look at starts by position:

Position Player Starts
WR Demaryius Thomas 16
LT Ty Sambrailo 3
Ryan Harris* 13
LG Evan Mathis* 12
Max Garcia 4
C Matt Paradis 16
RG Louis Vasquez* 15
Max Garcia 1
RT Ryan Harris* 3
Michael Schofield 13
WR Emmanuel Sanders 15
Cody Latimer 1
TE Owen Daniels* 16
QB Peyton Manning* 9
Brock Osweiler* 7
RB C.J. Anderson 6
Ronnie Hillman* 10
OTHER Jordan Norwood (WR) 5
Virgil Green (TE) 4
Virgil Green (FB) 1
Vernon Davis* (TE) 4
Bennie Fowler (WR) 1
Juwan Thompson (FB) 1

*Did not return to the team in 2016

In case you weren’t counting those asterisks, that’s eight different players who aren’t on the roster this year for one reason or another. Now the question becomes, can those who earn starting jobs keep them? Can the Broncos offense find some semblance of consistency?

Surely, things can’t be worse.