Post by championrings on Jul 30, 2019 7:22:34 GMT -5
The 2019 NFL season(nfl championship rings) gets underway with the preseason opener in primetime from the home of the Hall of Fame. The Denver Broncos kick off the preseason slate with the Atlanta Falcons in a matchup of teams looking to bounce back after disappointing 2018 campaigns. Denver finished the 2018 season 6-10 and third in the AFC West race, missing the playoffs. Atlanta ended the 2018 campaign with a 7-9 mark and missed the postseason as well, finishing third in a tough NFC South race. The Broncos own an 8-6 advantage in the regular season head to head series though the Falcons took a 23-16 road win in the most recent meeting on October 9, 2016.
Denver missed the playoffs for the third straight year in 2018 and that led to the end of the Vance Joseph era in the Mile High City. The Broncos now turn the head coaching reins over to Vic Fangio, who has been the defensive coordinator for five different teams. He spent the last four seasons running the Bears’ defense and now has the task of leading Denver back to the postseason. The Broncos have overhauled at the skill positions but it remains to be seen if the moves will pay any dividends this season or if Fangio will be doomed to struggle in season one of his reign. Denver was 24th in the league with 20.6 points per game while ranking 13th in scoring defense by allowing 21.8 points per contest in 2018.
The Broncos(Denver Broncos championship rings) bid adieu to QB Case Keenum after one season with the team: in his stead, Denver acquired Joe Flacco from the Ravens during the offseason. Flacco completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 2,465 yards with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions in nine starts with Baltimore before getting injured and then benched in favor of Lamar Jackson. Denver’s run game has a solid 1-2 punch with young backs Philip Lindsay (192 carries, 1037 yards, nine TD, 35 receptions, 241 yards, TD) and Royce Freeman (130 carries, 521 yards, five TD, 14 catches, 72 yards) leading the way.
Fangio on Flacco, who is starting to get comfortable in the Broncos offense.
“I think Joe’s getting more comfortable. It’s a new team, new system. We all know he can throw well. I think he’s just got to get a little bit more efficient. Efficiency means a lot of things: throwing it to the right guy a little bit quicker; throwing it a little bit more accurate; getting more work with these routes and these receivers. We’re not there yet, but we’re getting better.”
The passing game will be interesting as Courtland Sutton (42 grabs, 704 yards, four TD) and DaeSean Hamilton (30 receptions, 243 yards, two TD) are going to have to step up in the early going as Emmanuel Sanders (team-high 71 grabs, 868 yards, four TD) is recovering from a torn Achilles suffered in early December. First-round pick Noah Fant will lead the way at tight end, which has been a void for the Broncos for several years. Brandon McManus hit all 35 extra points and 20 of 25 field goal tries last season: all of his misses came from beyond 50 yards. He was just two of seven from that distance last season.
Atlanta struggled in 2018 as the team saw their playoff streak end at two seasons as they went from 10-6 in 2017 to 7-9. While that was good enough for a tie for second in the NFC South(championship rings), they were a whopping six games behind the Saints in the division race. The Falcons hope that they can get back on track in the fifth year of the Dan Quinn era. Atlanta did make a change in the coaching staff as the team parted ways with Steve Sarkisian after the season: Dirk Koetter hopes to rejuvenate an offense that finished last season 10th in red zone TD percentage at 64 percent. There are serious questions on the defensive side of things: while the Falcons were 10th in the league with 25.9 points per game, the team was 25th in scoring defense by allowing 26.4 points a contest.
The Falcons’ big moves on the offensive side of the ball came on the offensive line. Gone are guards Andy Levitre and Ben Garland: in their stead are first-round pick Chris Lindstrom from Boston College along with Jamon Brown and James Carpenter, who likely will battle for the other spot. The hopes are that fellow first-round pitch Kaleb McGary can beat out Ty Sambrailo for the starting job at right tackle. Matt Ryan is back under center after hitting 422 of 608 passes for 4,924 yards with 35 touchdowns against seven interceptions while getting sacked 42 times.