The Denver Broncos kick off their preseason schedule tonight at home against the Minnesota Vikings and the long wait for football is finally over. The preseason is a chance for undrafted players to earn a roster spot and for veterans to shake off some rust.
Some of the best Broncos of all-time earned their roster spot during the preseason (Rod Smith, Terrell Davis, Chris Harris Jr.) and Denver could find another diamond in the rough starting tonight (Phillip Lindsay and Jeff Holland). But the odds are against the Broncos in finding another franchise all-time great and 2017 can be an indication that the preseason means nothing when it comes to success during the regular season.
2017 preseason record: (4-0)
Denver outscored their opponents 107-50 during the preseason last year. Enough said.
2017 regular season record: (5-11)
The Broncos were outscored by their opponents 382-289 during the regular season last year and had one of their worst seasons in franchise history.
2017 preseason leading passer: Kyle Sloter
Sloter was the best Broncos quarterback during the preseason (413 Yds, 3 TD, 0 Int) but failed to make the 53-man roster and was scooped up by the Vikings.
2017 regular season leading passer: Trevor Siemian
2017 preseason leading rusher: De’Angelo Henderson
Henderson was drafted out of Coastal Carolina in the sixth round, 203rd overall, in the 2017 NFL Draft and produced during the preseason (28 Att, 129 Yds, Long 41, 1 TD) and was considered to be a scatback for the Broncos during the regular season but was only activated for five games and was barely used in the offense (7 Att, 13 Yds, 2 Rec, 36 Yds, TD).
2017 regular season leading rusher: C.J. Anderson
Anderson had a successful season with the Broncos last year (245 Att, 1007 Yds, 3 TD) and rushed for over a 1,000 yards in a season for the first time in his career.
2017 preseason leading receiver: Jordan Taylor
Taylor led all Broncos receivers in yards (110) and receptions (8) during the preseason but failed to contribute once the regular season kicked off (13 Rec, 142 Yds, 0 TD).
2017 regular season leading receiver: Demaryius Thomas
Thomas was mostly absent during the preseason last year (3 Rec, 23 Yds, 0 TD) but was the Broncos leading receiver once again during the regular season (83 Rec, 949 Yds, 5 TD).
2017 preseason leading tackler: Jamal Carter
Carter was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Broncos after the NFL Draft in 2017 and was the leading tackler for Denver during the preseason (13). The Naranja, Florida native beat out ‘No Fly Zone’ member T.J. Ward for the final safety spot on the team but failed to make a significant impact during the regular season (6 Tkl, 1 PD).
2017 regular season leading tackler: Brandon Marshall
Marshall only recorded 2 tackles for the Broncos during the preseason but was the leading tackler on the team during the regular season with 75.
Other notable performances during the 2017 preseason:
Juwan Thompson (14 Att, 85 Yds, 1 TD) was productive for the Broncos during the preseason but was a veteran cut and failed to make the 53-man roster.