AFC West

The Peyton Manning Days are Over and the Denver Broncos Need to Adjust

Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos are in a bit of an unfavorable situation despite winning Super Bowl 50. With Peyton Manning retired and Brock Osweiler the new starting quarterback for the Houston Texans, the Broncos are going to have to adapt quickly in order to stay relevant offensively.

It’s highly expected that Mark Sanchez will step up into the vacant starting quarterback role. Regardless of Sanchez’ relatively mediocre professional career, on paper he’s the better option over Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch.

Having said that, there’s no denying Sanchez is a massive downgrade from Manning. But that doesn’t mean the Broncos can’t find success with him – they’ll simply need to play to Sanchez’ strengths.

Sanchez had a statistically decent rookie season with the New York Jets back in 2009. He went for 2,444 yards and 12 touchdowns. And yet, the Jets managed to reach the Conference Championship for the first time in three years. His value to the Jets increased because the Jets arranged the offense around his capabilities.

In no way shape or form is Sanchez a slinger quarterback. He’s not reliable in a collapsing pocket, and he’ll likely throw an interception or be subject to a butt fumble.

And for a starting quarterback, that just sounds plain awful.

But let me explain why it’s not.

Sanchez is a hand-off quarterback first, who will throw in a “worst-case scenario” situation. He managed to lead the Jets to the playoffs because the Jets played to his strengths – they looked for the hand off and wracked up 2,756 rushing yards in a season. Opening up the running game worked wonders for the Jets, and they advanced to the playoffs as a result with Sanchez leading the way.

But with that sort of limitation on their offense, the Jets needed to adjust accordingly on defense; which they did, allowing them to make it to the playoffs in the first place. The Jets’ defense ranked best in the league in 2009.

As we all know from Super Bowl 50, defense wins games.

And for now, the Broncos have the best defense in the league.

Sanchez has potential. His role to the Broncos isn’t necessarily as central as Manning’s once was, and that’s ok – so long as the Broncos can adapt to a new style offense for the first time since 2012.

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