Take a trip with back to when the Denver Broncos lost to the New England Patriots when the defense was rightfully criticized for how they played in that game. There’s was a lot of concern inside the organization and a lot of panic from outside of the organization. The defense was supposed to be better and it looked like the same defense that gave up 40+ points in two games versus the Patriots in 2011.
Now jump back on the bus with me and let’s head to the game with the San Diego Chargers this past Monday. Let’s start with this question for all of you to answer, how many points did the Broncos defense give up to the Chargers? If you said, 24 then sorry you’re wrong. In reality the Broncos defense gave up 7 points! Seven of the Chargers’ points we scored by their defense and the other ten were scored on drives of less than twenty yards after Bronco turnovers. If you really want to haggle with me and say that the defense should have held the Chargers to another field goal following the second fumble on special teams, then I can live with that. The bottom line is this, the Broncos gave up 17 points and 10 of those came after turnovers that gave the Chargers the ball inside the Broncos 20 yard-line. It’s difficult to blame the defense for those 10 points.
No one is saying that the Broncos went from one of the worst defenses to one of the best over the course of a week, but there was substantial improvement in that week. There was a pass rush from Von Miller, Elvis Dumervil, and Derek Wolfe. The secondary featuring Chris Harris and Tony Carter were all over the receivers and came up with four interceptions off of Phillip Rivers. Rivers claims the interceptions were bad throws on his part, but the secondary for the Broncos was fantastic. They also forced two fumbles and scored two touchdowns themselves, six forced turnovers and 14 points scored is a pretty special day for any defense.
In addition to the improved defense versus the pass, the Broncos were also better versus the run. Ryan Matthews had some good runs early but was contained in the second half. The Denver Broncos still have work to do but progress was made in the win over the Chargers. The key is the same key it has been all along; if the Broncos play with a lead then they can be a very dangerous defense.
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