NFL

Simmons confident Broncos can end seven-year playoff wait and win Super Bowl

By Sports Desk August 16, 2022

As far as Justin Simmons is concerned it doesn't matter that the Denver Broncos lost 10 games in 2021 to finish in last place in the AFC West.

Or that the team hasn't made the playoffs since the 2015 season.

The way Simmons sees it, the Broncos are equipped to win this year's Super Bowl.

Simmons was drafted by Denver in 2016 just months after the team's last playoff appearance – a win over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.

The Broncos have four double-digit loss seasons in the six years since winning it all, but with the addition of Russell Wilson at quarterback and a new coaching staff, Simmons believes this season will end differently.

"In terms of the playoffs, I'm really excited," Simmons said Tuesday on Good Morning Football. "Like you said, I just missed the Super Bowl with Denver; got drafted the year after, and then since then, the best record that I've been a part of was 9-7, just missing that playoff berth. 

"Guys are hungry, and obviously, Russ is hungry. We got a hungry group, we've got a talented group, and that's what I'm really looking forward to. I feel like if you have that - as long as we don't beat ourselves - I like our chances to host playoff games and eventually hoist the Lombardi trophy at the end of the year."

A Pro Bowl selection in 2020, the 28-year-old Simmons was tied for fourth in the NFL with five interceptions last season to help lead a defense that ranked third in the league in opponent scoring at 18.9 points per game.

With Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock lining up at quarterback, however, Denver's offense struggled to keep up in the high-powered AFC West, averaging 19.7 points per game to rank tied with Washington for 23rd.

Expectations on offense are much higher this year with Wilson taking over at signal-caller in perhaps the NFL's most talented quarterback division with the Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes, Los Angeles Chargers' Justin Herber and Las Vegas Raiders' Derek Carr.

"I think the confidence level is at an all-time high," Simmons said. "Playing in the best division in football, being in the AFC West, is going to be challenging but it's going to be fun, right? 

"I think Russ kind of hit it on the head in his opening presser when he was officially announced as a Denver Bronco, and saying, 'I'm not scared of the competition and I want to go up against the best, and there's no better division to go up against in the AFC West.' 

"Seeing Herbert, Carr and Mahomes twice a year and obviously how talented that offense is, but just as a team. The defensive additions that all those teams have gotten and things like that. I'm just really looking forward to the competitive nature that those games are going to hold. I'm excited for, you know, obviously us, but the fans to watch those games as well. 

"It's going to be really cool. It's going to be a lot of fireworks for those games."

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    The Pro Bowl has been a consistent feature of the NFL calendar since 1951.

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