Denver Broncos star safety Justin Simmons enters Year 7 having never played in a postseason game.
Following the Broncos' Super Bowl 50 win in the 2015 season, Denver drafted the playmaking safety in the third round. Since then, the club hasn't returned to the playoffs a single time.
With a new coaching staff and quarterback Russell Wilson in Denver, Simmons said Tuesday on Good Morning Football that he likes the Broncos' chances of ending the streak of postseason futility.
"In terms of the playoffs, I'm really excited," Simmons said. "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."
The Broncos have had talent on defense during Simmons' first six seasons but have been unable to climb into contention in an AFC West dominated by the Kansas City Chiefs. In the past two seasons, Denver finished in the cellar in the division.
With Wilson helming the offense, weapons galore at the skill positions, and key pieces still in place on defense, optimism is overflowing in Denver. However, they also watched their division rivals make upgrades this season.
The AFC West will be the toughest division in football in 2022, but that doesn't bother Simmons.
"I think the confidence level is at an all-time high," the 28-year-old 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 (Justin) Herbert, (Derek) Carr and (Patrick) 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."
If the Broncos are to return to the postseason, they'll need plenty of fireworks of their own to come out on top in the AFC West.
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