New-look Denver Broncos offence will struggle in NFL opener

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The Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 with superb defence and as the reigning champions get a new campaign underway against the team they beat in the big match, they’ll need to be at their resistant best once again.

Iconic quarterback Peyton Manning has retired, his deputy Brock Osweiler left in free agency and Mark Sanchez – acquired to be the Broncos’ starting passer this season – was cut.

That leaves Trevor Siemian – a player picked in the seventh round of the 2015 draft – as the team’s leading quarterback.

Such phenomenal turnover in personnel at the most important position on the field means Denver will likely need to be even better without the ball than they were last season if they want success.

Their first assignment in defending their Super Bowl crown comes at home against the Carolina Panthers, who they beat 24-10 in California to become champions seven months ago.

Unlike their conquerors that day, the Panthers have endured little changes over the off-season. Star cornerback Josh Norman bolted to the Washington Redskins for mega bucks, but beyond that this is largely the same group that went through the regular season losing just once last term.

That continuity, coupled with the many question marks about Denver’s ability to score points on offence, helps make Carolina the favourites for the NFL season-opener.

We make them 5/9 on the money line and give them a three-point handicap in the point spread, which they are 4/5 to overcome.

Considering the hosts’ capacity to struggle with the ball, investing in the 10/11 that the Broncos score less than 19 points looks a potentially profitable play. While 1/2 that they score less than 2.5 touchdowns is another to consider.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.