There is no other way to put it. The Denver Broncos season was disastrous and I really hate to say I told you so.

Just a year ago we were at the pinnacle of NFL glory, finding unlikely ways to win football games, beating the mighty Patriots in the AFC Championship, and then silencing Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. How quickly things change.

People said the Broncos won the Super Bowl because of the defense, not because of Peyton Manning. People said the Broncos would be fine when Peyton left, because of the defense.

Now, I'm not usually right about these things. However, I was right when I predicted in September of 2015 that the Broncos would, in fact, win Super Bowl 50. I was so happy to be right.

However, in September of 2016, I would have been just as happy to be wrong, but, sadly, I wasn't.

Inexperience is a huge liability in the NFL, and the Broncos have an abundance of it at the most important position on the field. This is where the Broncos’ season begins to crumble. My apologies to Trevor and Paxton. This is an offense that will struggle to score points and the result will be an eight-win season for the Broncos.

Meanwhile, the Kansas City Chiefs are up and coming and hungry for a crown. They were tough last season, and I have no reason to think they won’t be at least that good and maybe a little better. The Raiders are going to be a tough out this year, and will be in the playoff chase, but ultimately it’s the Chiefs that will end the Broncos reign in the AFC West. - Zane Mathews, September 8, 2016

Okay, so I was off by a win, but there is no question the Broncos offense struggled to score points this season. Five times they failed to score more than 16 points and lost all five games. Only once did they score more than 30. We missed Peyton Manning. A lot.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not blaming the Broncos' bad season on Trevor Siemian. But, the fact is, the Broncos missed Peyton Manning a lot more than many fans thought they would. Last year, the offense wasn't great, but Peyton found a way to win, despite a terrible offensive line. Because of their inexperience, Siemian and rookie Paxton Lynch were incapable of working the same magic.

The new head coach of the Broncos will have the task of fixing the broken offensive line - whether it's via a change in scheme, the draft, free agency - or a combination of all three. If he can do that successfully, it's possible, come September I will be predicting an 11 win season for the Broncos and a return to the top of the AFC West - and will be hoping I can say I told you so.

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