Football betting doubts about Denver have to do with injuries and player departures with that 2nd half meltdown of last year that left football gambling fans stunned.
There were more than a few raised eye brows when Denver hired 32-year old Josh McDaniels to coach the Broncos after long time mentor Mike Shanahan was fired. McDaniels was best known as the wonder-kid offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots.
He immediately alienated key veterans including quarterback Jay Cutler and wideout Brandon Marshall. Culter was traded soon after McDaniels was hired while Marshall was let go after the 2009 season following numerous conflicts with McDaniels.
While that fabulous 6-0 start with the football odds temporarily won McDaniels some much needed credibility it was quickly forfeited with a final record of 8-8 and Denver got the cash in just 3 out of their final 10 games.
The offense has not only gone through the transition of player personnel changes but now must try and overcome an avalanche of injuries that leave quarterback Kyle Orton highly vulnerable.
A key loss is left tackle Ryan Clady, who was hurt in a pickup basketball game last spring. McDaniels expects Clady back but many other experts doubt he can overcome a patellar tendon blow out. It’s a key problem as Clady protects the quarterback’s blind side.
Orton is passing well in training camp but Denver will not be able to beat the NFL lines unless the receiving corps is healthy. Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker are out and Brandon Lloyd is a suspect veteran replacement.
McDaniels is trying to keep a positive spin on the situation saying that the injuries could end up rallying the team.
“Sometimes, when everybody around you thinks the sky is falling because of injuries, it could rally a team,” said the coach. “That’s what we are doing. We are going to be motivated to show we can withstand what has happened to us. We’re not sitting here feeling sorry for ourselves.”
One of the biggest challenges for the Broncos will be putting the 2009 football betting collapse behind them. Overall, the big question is which Denver team will show up in 2010; the team that started 6-0 or the one that limped home 2-8?