John Elway explains why Broncos are ready for Paxton Lynch to start soon

“He’s a young guy with tremendous athletic ability, he’s got the strong arm, can make all the throws, he’s smart, and he’s a guy that can fit into this offense real well,” Elway said.

The system in question was a perfect fit for a hyper-athletic talent like Elway back in the day (Kubiak was his boss’ quarterbacks coach when Mike Shanahan ran things in Denver) and it makes sense for Lynch.

Roll him out, get him on the edge, let him take shots down the field and use his athleticism to make plays where necessary … it’s a perfect fit.

The Broncos should be scary not because they have to play Lynch in 2016 but because they can play Lynch. He has weapons (Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders) and fits the offense, and they’ll run the ball and play tons of defense.

Denver already won a Super Bowl with Peyton Manning limping through the season. It’s not unreasonable to expect success with a rookie either.

Outfield options: Ryan Braun, Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Conforto, Dexter Fowler, Carlos Gonzalez, Bryce Harper, Odubel Herrera, Matt Holliday, Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen, Marcell Ozuna, Angel Pagan, Joc Pederson, Hunter Pence, Stephen Piscotty, Gregory Polanco, Yasiel Puig,Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich

Holy crowded outfield.

Outfield picks: Bryce Harper, Nationals; Yoenis Cespedes, Mets; Dexter Fowler, Cubs

Harper is easy and doesn’t need discussing.

So, yeah, fair to say I am less than convinced this is the answer to the Texans’ lingering QB problem. Coach Bill O’Brien will have to stick with him, but after drafting more weapons on offense there won’t be any excuses here. While Houston’s defense made strides in the second half of last season, this isn’t the 2015 Broncos defense.

Playing in the AFC South would generally make things much easier for Osweiler, only that division might actually be halfway decent this year, too.

My crystal ball says: There will be some tears and disappointment here. And I have a hunch that this ends up being only a two-year, $38 million deal that leaves a fair amount of carnage in its wake.

Kirk Cousins
This can’t be all doom and gloom.

The fourth inning in Wrigley Field was pretty wild on Saturday. First up, the Pirates scored a pair of runs off Jake Arrieta, erasing a streak of 26 straight scoreless innings against the Cubs’ ace, which included a shutout in the 2015 NL Wild Card Game.

That top of the fourth Saturday ended when a hard grounder up the middle hit Arrieta’s lower leg and redirected into a double play to kill the rally.

And then Jeff Locke gave it right back. Jason Heyward singled, Kris Bryant walked and Anthony Rizzo hit a three-run homer. A Ben Zobrist walk followed, and then pitching coach Ray Searage went to the mound.

As the Pirates broadcast noted, that’s a rarity. Searage did appear to be giving home plate umpire Brian Knight an earful.

Dick’s Sporting Goods has released its latest jersey report — an “official ranking of the best-selling players jerseys nationwide” through the first three weeks of the NFL season, according to sales at their stories — and suffice it to say, there is plenty of shake-my-head data on the most popular teams in certain states.

Neither the Giants nor Jets sells the most jerseys in the state of New York; the Bills somehow hold that distinction.

The Redskins have apparently taken over Nebraska, while the Ravens own not only their own state of Maryland, where the Redskins also play home games, but DC as well.

Despite residing nearly 4,700 miles away from the stadium, football fans in Hawaii are big supporters of the Carolina Panthers.