The defending Super Bowl champs face the Panthers Thursday night in a prime-time matchup.
Here are 5 things to know today about the opener:
- Denver just two days ago picked its starting quarterback. That’s right. And it’s Trevor Siemian, a Northwestern grad who wasn’t expected to get drafted in 2015 and who didn’t really play well his senior season (7 TDs, 11 INTs, 105.9 passer rating).
- The Broncos defense should be stout again with Super Bowl starters Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Taliq, Brandon Marshall, Derek Wolfe, Sylvester Williams, Darian Stewart, TJ Ward and Chris Harris all returning.
- This is a tough opener. It’s the Super Bowl rematch, so the Panthers are likely out for a little revenge. It’s also a big test for Siemian. Can he handle the pressure?
- Denver’s offensive line is thin, but veteran linemen Russell Okung and Donald Stephenson, the team’s bookend tackles, should keep things running smooth.
- Will the Broncos revert to the pass game despite not gaining much success from it last season? Tight end Virgil Green, who won the starting job three days ago, should have something to say about that. He did a fantastic job in training camp but health has always been an issue.