Pat Higgins 


The Broncos significantly upgraded the secondary by adding Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby in free agency, in addition to drafting Patrick Surtain II at #9 in the 2021 draft. Fuller was an All-Pro last time he was paired with Vic Fangio in Chicago, while Surtain has had an instant impact in camp. Broncos’ GM George Paton called Surtain “an incredible chess piece” for Vic Fangio, while rumors at camp are that Fangio will use Surtain in a ‘star’ role in which he’ll move around and play multiple positions throughout the secondary, sometimes tasked with matching up one-on-one with opposing tight ends.

The secondary will be anchored at safety by 11-year veteran Kareem Jackson and Justin Simmons, who is off the first Pro Bowl of his career after notching 5 INT’s and 96 tackles in 2020. Von Miller missed the entire 2020 season with an ankle injury he suffered in September. If he can return to full strength, he and Bradley Chubb are among the best pairings of pass rushers in the league.

Denver opens the season against Daniel Jones and the Giants on the road, where they are a current -2.5 / -3 point favorite. Daniel Jones led the Giants to the 28th ranked passing offense last season behind an Oline that ranked 31 in the league in sacks allowed with 50 on the season. Jones finished with a league worst 34% completion percentage under pressure, and is slated to be under heavy pressure in Week 1 behind an Oline that looks to once again be among the league’s worst in 2021 – Giants first round LT Andrew Thomas has been terrible most of the summer and Nate Solder at RT is passed his prime. Jones was sacked 45 times in 2021 with 10 INTs and 11 fumbles in 14 starts.

Last week, Kenny Golladay remarked that “people have been in and out of the lineup, so we’re probably going to be a little probably slow to get off,” which is not what you like to hear from your top receiver seven days ahead of the home opener against a Broncos defense that is slated to be one of the top 3-4 defenses in the league,

Jason Garrett didn’t provide a resounding endorsement of his offensive line heading into Week 1: “I think we’re getting better and better … There are certainly examples of stuff where it wasn’t good enough, so we’re just in that process of trying to build on the good stuff and learn from the stuff that wasn’t quite as good. Some of it is recognition, some of it is technique, some of it is just experience, but they’re working hard every day and I think they’re getting better.”

Look for Daniel Jones to struggle early and often in this matchup against a completely revamped secondary playing behind a defensive line anchored by a healthy Von Miller and Bradley Chubb and directed by defensive mastermind Vic Fangio. His O/U on passing yards in this matchup opened at 219.5 (-115) on DraftKings.