The entire state of Colorado is stoked about the Denver Broncos, as their quarterback carousel of the past several years is over with the arrival of Russell Wilson.
Wilson brings the benefit of nine Pro Bowl selections, and he is the proud owner of a Super Bowl ring, which ironically came against the Broncos when they had Peyton Manning under center.
Despite its recent struggles, Denver already had a few things going for it before trading for Wilson. The team is now expected by many to have at least some chance of winning the world championship.
Surely, Wilson will be a huge upgrade over the likes of Teddy Bridgewater, Drew Lock and Joe Flacco, just to name a few of its previous starting QBs.
No Broncos QB has had more than 18 passing TDs since 2015…
Russell Wilson has thrown at least 25 TDs every season since then 👀 pic.twitter.com/CuK9VNPNPd
— PFF DEN Broncos (@PFF_Broncos) March 26, 2022
But how much better will it be with Wilson on board?
Is it a frontrunning contender, or more of a pretender?
Wilson Is Due For A Bounce-Back Year
Wilson had a very strong 2020 season, which led some to predict a great year for him and the Seattle Seahawks in 2021.
But it didn’t happen, partly due to a finger injury that caused him to miss a couple of games.
Wilson was also reportedly upset that Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was looking to run the football more instead of letting him run the show more.
He had a career-low output in yards last season, and although his passer rating was, as usual, one of the best in the NFL, many felt he had an off-year.
A change in scenery, as well as playing for a new coach in Nathaniel Hackett who will let him sling the ball more often, could add up to a big individual 2022 season for Wilson.
After all, he is just 33 years of age, and if what Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady have done at a far more advanced age is any indication, Wilson has lots of tread left on his tires.
Denver May Not Have A Stud Wide Receiver
A possible impediment to the Broncos becoming true title contenders is their collection of wide receivers.
In Seattle, Wilson had DK Metcalf, who is considered one of the best young wideouts in the game, as well as Tyler Lockett to throw to.
The Broncos’ top receivers are Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick, neither of whom are considered by most to be anywhere near elite.
On the other hand, Sutton did put up 1,112 yards and six touchdowns in 2019 while being named to the Pro Bowl, so perhaps he has a little bit of next-level potential in him if paired with a top-shelf QB like Wilson.
But it remains to be seen if Wilson will indeed elevate him or Patrick to the level Denver needs them to play at in order to make a serious run at the Super Bowl.
The AFC Is Stacked
Even if Sutton has another Pro Bowl season, the Broncos simply don’t have as much talent on paper as several other teams in their conference.
An argument could be made that the Los Angeles Chargers, Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and possibly the Miami Dolphins have more in their arsenal than Denver, at least on the offensive side of the ball.
Perhaps if the Broncos make another significant move, they can then speed up their development process, and it seems like it’s exactly what Wilson is thinking.
“Russell Wilson isn’t just cooking on the field on Sundays. Russell’s right now cooking in his phone.”@JasonLaCanfora on how the Broncos can build on the Wilson trade. pic.twitter.com/YW5rSjNNSE
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) March 25, 2022