The playoffs provide a reminder. Denver resides in the same division as the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. And, oh yeah, their offense runs on nitromethane with the league's most dangerous quarterback in Patrick Mahomes.
The Chiefs scored an NFL-best 177 points in the second quarter this past season. The Broncos scored 282 points overall. The Broncos need a more dynamic offense.
As such, they added experienced offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur last week and are interviewing Mike Shula on Thursday, per sources. Shula is the clear favorite to land the quarterback coaching job.
Coach Vic Fangio is discussing the position with Shula at UCHealth Training Center. Shula has been the target after working as Shurmur's offensive boss for the past two seasons with the Giants. Shula has served as an OC for the past seven years with New York and Carolina. When Fangio hired Shurmur, it was with a clear vision for the offense: he wants more deep strikes, more gadget plays and creativity off the 15-play script that requires a better feel for in-game adjustments.
Shumur and Shula, if he gets the job as expected, will be charged with boosting an offense that averaged 17.7 points per game last season, while continuing to accelerate the development of quarterback Drew Lock. Shula attended Lock's Missouri Pro Day last spring, showing genuine interest in his skillset and potentially drafting him. It could serve as a good starting point to a new partnership in Denver.
The Broncos went 4-1 in Lock's starts, with the former Missouri star showing promise with his talent and leadership.
"This offense, these guys, we are stuck together. I think Drew brings a fire to this team. He's passionate, he's energetic. He wants it," left guard Dalton Risner told Denver7. "He's hungry. That's what we all are. We are hungry to be great."
In New York, Shula's offense finished second behind Kansas City with 15 touchdown passes of 20-plus yards. The Giants also averaged 22.8 points per game over their final eight contests. The Broncos are looking to reach 23 points per game, minimum. Of the 15 teams that reached that mark last season, 11 reached the playoffs.