In the hours following the Denver Broncos loss to the Atlanta Falcons, I’ve heard everything in regards to the Broncos defense. There is one side that is saying, that defense scares me. There’s the other side that says; considering the four turnovers, the Broncos defense did a great job keeping them in the game. As the game was being played out and right after the game, I was in that first group and I was wrong. The pass rush needs to improve, no doubt, but that game could have been 28-0 in the first quarter without the efforts of the defense.
The Falcons’ first seven points came after a one-yard drive following an interception, and it took them three plays to navigate that one-yard. The Falcons’ next three points came after another turnover, and went about fifteen yards before kicking a field goal.
Their next three points came following a fumble by Knowshon Moreno, and again had a short field to work with. In the first half, the Falcons scored seven points where they actually drove the length of the field. That’s a pretty solid half of defensive football against a very good offensive football team.
Fast forward to the second half, the Broncos gave up seven points and got the ball back to Peyton Manning and the offense on multiple occasions. In the fourth quarter, the Broncos defense held the Falcons to three consecutive three and outs. No matter what the circumstances are, holding an offense like the down for three straight series is pretty impressive.
Now I suppose people can criticize them for not getting the ball back to Manning one more time at the end of the game, but they had all ready given the offense three chances in the final quarter. The offense took advantage of two of them but could not get that last score. In the end, not counting turnovers and short fields, the Broncos defense gave up fourteen points to an offense that scored 40 the week before.
I realize that turnovers a part of the game and the defense needs to make stops in those situations too, but no one can blame any defense for a one-yard drive. So even if you put the two field-goals, following turnovers, on the defense that’s still only twenty points allowed to a great offense. If anyone would have said the Falcons are going to score twenty points on Monday night, almost every Bronco fan would have signed up for that.
They are nowhere near where they want to be and they have to get a more consistent pass rush, but the Denver Broncos defense has been good enough to win in the first two weeks of the season. The Broncos defense is built to play with a lead and outside of a few minutes versus the Pittsburgh Steelers, that has not happened.
If they allow twenty points or less in every game, they are going to win a ton of football games. Manning and the offense played awful for most of the game versus the Falcons and scored twenty-one points. Yes, the defense needs to improve in spots but they have done some good things as well.
Follow me on Twitter @Jemorrone7