Let’s Call it Wednesday

Posted: September 7, 2016 by Sports Time Radio in sports
Tags: , , , ,

I hope you’re ready for it; because it starts tomorrow. That’s right the Carolina Panthers are at the Denver Broncos in a rematch from last seasons Super Bowl to kick off the NFL season.

Now both teams should bring top defenses to the game, but the offenses from each team will look a little bit different. The biggest change for the Broncos is under Center. Peyton Manning did retire after the Super Bowl win and it looked like Mark Sanchez was going to take over at quarterback. The Broncos signed Sanchez as a free agent, but he didn’t play all that well in the pre-season and ended up being released. Now the Broncos did draft Paxton Lynch in the 1st round of the draft, but he’s not the starter either. Denver is going with Trevor Siemian. Siemian is in his 2nd season with the Broncos; he took 1 snap last season, but it was a kneel down. Siemian is making his 1st career NFL start against one of the toughest defensive in the leagues. Siemian still has a pair of top wide receivers to work with in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Virgil Green is the starting tight end, but he hasn’t really broken though in the passing game. C.J. Anderson was resigned in the off season and should get the majority of the carries when the Broncos run the football. Now there has been a lot of talk that the Broncos like rookie Devontae Booker; so expect him to get some carries as head coach Gary Kubiak is known to use more than one running back. As a new quarterback Siemian will have some weapons to work with; so as he goes so should the Broncos offense.

Now the biggest change for the Carolina offense is health. They’ll get wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin back after missing all of last season with a knee injury. Tight end Greg Olsen was dinged up pretty much all of pre-season and may start the regular season injured. Olsen produced as the feature receiver in Carolina’s offense last season and they need him to be healthy to start the season. Ted Ginn Jr. looks like the receiver teams thought he would be years ago and Devin Funchess will also catch some passes for quarterback Cam Newton. Newton should be an MVP contender this season. Jonathan Stewart is the #1 running back for the Panthers, but Mike Tolbert is still on the roster to get those tough yards and short touchdowns. If Newton continues to mature as a quarterback and if his legs are good to go the Panthers look to have one of the top offenses in the NFL and should be the NFC front runner to got to the Super Bowl.

On the defensive side of the football Denver did lose defensive tackle Malik Jackson in free agency this off season, but they where able to work out a long term deal with Super Bowl MVP Von Miller. Miller will man the strong side linebacker spot and cause havoc for quarterbacks league wide. DeMarcus Ware is going to start the season on a play count, but you can bet he’ll be on the field in all passing situations. The other key for the Broncos last season was the defensive backfield. Aqib Talib, Chris Harris Jr. and T.J. Ward all return in the secondary where they’ll be joined by Darian Stewart. Denver’s defense should be one of the better ones in the NFL and with a young quarterback it may be counted on to keep them in games early in the season.

Josh Norman was the top cornerback in the NFL last season as part of this Panthers defense. He signed a big money deal with the Washington Redskins; so the Panthers will have to replace him. James Bradberry, Daryl Worley, Robert McClain, Teddy Williams and Bene Benwikre will be the guys looking to fill that role. Luckily the secondary may be working with the best group of linebackers in the NFL. Luke Kuechely is the top linebacker in the NFL and Thomas Davis is very good as well. Shaq Thompson fills out this trio of linebackers and his play will dictate how this group is ranked. Kony Early played well in the Super Bowl, but will that carry over into this season. It’s a good group and should be one of the top defenses in the NFL.

The Miami Marlins entered play last night 5 games out of the 2nd wild card spot in the National League. Before last nights 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies the Marlins activated 1st baseman Justin Bour and outfielder Giancarlo Stanton from the disabled list. Both player pinch hit in last nights game. Bour drew a walk on 4 pitches while Stanton single in his at bat. The loss last night did drop the Marlins to 6 games back in the wild card race and with just 23 games left in the regular season and three teams to get past; is there enough time for the Marlins to get into a wild card spot? I don’t think the Marlins can get there. Here’s the rest of their schedule and you can tell me what you think. They wrap up their series with the Phillies today then the Los Angeles Dodgers are in Miami for 3 games. Then it’s on the road for 3 against the Atlanta Braves and then 3 in Philadelphia. The Marlins return home for 3 against the Washington Nationals,3 against the Braves and 3 against the New York Mets. The finish the season with 3 games in Washington against the Nationals. I don’t think they have a very favorable schedule and they are still dealing with some pitching injuries. Don’t forget that Wei-Yon Chen, Adam Conley and David Phelps are all still on the disabled list. They do still have Jose Fernandez in the rotation, but he can’t pitch everyday. Can Andrew Cashner, Tom Koehler and Jose Urena support Fernandez enough to get the Marlins in the playoffs; sorry I just don’t see it.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com you can also find the podcast any time you want on TuneIn.com

Don’t forget that I’m on Twitter @Burketime

 

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