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The Fan’s hosts provide their projections for the 2020 Broncos season

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

The 2020 season kicks off for the Broncos on Monday night against the Titans. How will Denver fare this season, in year two under Vic Fangio? Well, the hosts from The Fan provided their thoughts:

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Schlereth and Evans

Mark Schlereth: 6-10
With injuries/cuts on defense, a patchwork o-line, new offensive coordinator and a first-year starter at QB, the Broncos season is destined for disappointment. A big thing for me is continuity, and this team has very little of that.

Mike Evans: 8-8
I believe in Drew Lock, but with a young QB comes growing pains. The defense (even without Von Miller) should be good enough to keep them in most games. But with a tough division, a new OC and no real offseason for the Broncos young QB, 8-8 is the best he can do.

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Orlando and Sandy

Orlando Franklin: 6-10
After the Von injury, I’m knocking off two wins, including Week 1 against the Titans. The wheels really start to fall off in Week 12 against the Saints, as I have them going on a four-game losing streak finally coming to an end against the Chargers in Week 16.

Sandy Clough: 7-9
I’m only taking one game off of my original prediction, which is Week 1 against the Titans. I have the Broncos starting off 0-3 and finishing strong with a four-game win streak.

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Stokley and Zach

Brandon Stokley: 7-9
The loss of Von hurts. This offense is young, so we should expect inconsistency. The addition of a new offense and OC also will cause some adversity as they learn it.

Zach Bye: 7-9
I initially had the Broncos with a record of 9-7, but given all the circumstances that I’ve added up, I think the Broncos will end up being a 7-9 football team. The lack of an offseason, the changing of an offense, a young quarterback, young wide receivers and tight ends, a new guard, a new center, a tackle that opted out, and the loss of von Miller, I believe is too much to overcome. I think the best-case scenario for the Broncos in 2020 and the top priority is to find out if Drew Lock is the guy. If we walk away with enough evidence that this is true, regardless of the overall record, I think it’ll be a successful season to build off of.

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The Drive

DMac: 7-9
Originally, I had an 8-8 record, but I believe the Von Miller injury will cost the team at least one game and maybe more. It’s not just Von. Bradley Chubb is clearly not 100 percent. Without a significant pass rush, it leaves the secondary in jeopardy for big-time attacks. Mix that in with issues at linebacker in terms of covering tight ends and you have issues. It’s not as if the Broncos defense will be awful, but a middle-of-the-road defense will put the offense on the hot seat. The path to the playoffs would be for this potentially explosive offense to gel quickly and dynamically. While we would all love to see that happen, it seems unlikely that such a young offense with questions at both tackle spots headed by a young QB and guided by a brand new offensive coordinator will connect all at once. That being said, I don’t think the record may indicate many positive steps that have occurred and will reveal themselves most likely in 2021. I would be thrilled to be wrong and I do believe Drew Lock is the answer at QB. But, as Guns and Roses so eloquently said, “We need a little patience.”

Tyler Polumbus: 7-9
Losing Von Miller took two games away from my original prediction of 9-7. For the Broncos to not finish with another losing season, Drew Lock will have to play like a seasoned veteran. There won’t be any margin for error for the quarterback if playoffs are the goal.

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Nick and Cecil

Nick Ferguson: 6-10
Due to Von Miller injury and installing a new offense.

Cecil Lammey: 8-8
I originally had the Broncos at 9-7 and I felt they could get off to a hot start and win the first six games of the season. That all changed once Von Miller was injured. When that happened, I projected the first two games of the season as losses for the Broncos. They could win some games in the middle of the season, but their late-season schedule is tough. In fact, things could get really rough for the Broncos after their bye week. That’s when most of their divisional games will come down, and they’ll face a tougher group of teams than they will in the first six weeks of the season. A season can always go a couple of games one way or the other. This means the Broncos could climb back to the 9-7 record I originally projected. However, it also means they could fall to 5-11 in a disastrous outcome. If that happens, then expect a lot of changes to be made in the front office and the coaching staff. I’d like to avoid those wholesale changes if at all possible.

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The Fan Late Night

Shawn Drotar: 6-10
Von Miller is irreplaceable. Without opposing defensive coordinators being forced to scheme around the future Hall of Famer, the Broncos defense will have trouble overcoming their lack of depth in the defensive backfield — and that’s even if edge rusher Bradley Chubb remains fully healthy. A youthful offense now tasked with scoring at least a touchdown per game more than the 2019 version runs into one of the league’s toughest schedules, and two of their receivers (Courtland Sutton and K.J. Hamler) are battling through injuries before the season starts. If everything goes to plan, the Broncos could reach .500 and avoid their fourth-consecutive losing season. But in the NFL, nothing ever goes according to plan.

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Others

Chad Brown: 7-9
Far too many question marks (OT, OLB, ILB, 3rd CB) and youth on the field and new coaches (OC, QB) to think this is anything more than a growing season. They will be better than last year, but we might not see that until later this season.

Dan Jacobs: 9-7
The loss of Von Miller certainly hurts, but it doesn’t warrant the blanket pass most of the media seems to want to give to Elway, Fangio and Company. If Elway has truly been dominating the draft the past couple years and “winning the offseason,” his mastermind coach Fangio should be able to make the adjustments necessary to get the team on the winning track by the end of the season. After a likely bumpy start and adjustment period, the Broncos will find their stride late and make their way into the playoffs with a 9-7 record. The Broncos snap their three-season losing skid and the horse statue at the top of the stadium is replaced with a monument of John Elway.

James Merilatt: 10-6
Losing Von Miller hurts, but it may force Vic Fangio to not lean toward his conservative nature. There’s a lot of talent on offense, albeit young, so the Broncos will need to ask more of Drew Lock, Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Noah Fant, Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay than they might have if their defense was at full strength. I think those guys answer the bell, showing that Denver has a bright, bright future.