The memory that is most poignant from the Denver Broncos’ season a year ago is clearly the deep bomb over the top of their coverage in the closing seconds of the AFC Divisional playoff game. Joe Flacco hooked up with Jacoby Jones on a 70-yard strike that left the Denver secondary looking bewildered, sent the game into overtime, and eventually propelled the Baltimore Ravens rather than the Broncos to a Super Bowl XLVII trophy.
Many fingers were pointed in the aftermath of that play, but the main culprits certainly hailed from the secondary. Cornerback Chris Harris allowed Jones to get behind him and veteran corner Champ Bailey was thoroughly abused on the other side of the field by Torrey Smith who torched him for multiple touchdowns on the day.
How all of this pertains to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is quite simple: the Broncos need their newest free agent signing to come in and help shore up the weakest link on their defense. Misused and down on his luck with the Philadelphia Eagles, many have forgotten just how skilled he was during his days with the Arizona Cardinals. Rodgers-Cromartie could prove to be quite the bargain signing for a team that needs to put the finishing touches in place in order to make a Super Bowl push.
Obviously the depth chart still has the stalwart Bailey on one side, but Rodgers-Cromartie figures to start on his opposite. Having two corners with lockdown status attached to them at some point in their respective careers should greatly enhance the championship aspirations in Denver.
Of his 16 career interceptions, only three of them have come during the past two seasons in Philly. Now moving to a defensive scheme that will complement his skill much better it wouldn’t be a stretch to see Rodgers-Cromartie haul in a handful of picks in his debut season with the Broncos. He also made a habit out of scoring defensive touchdowns during his three years in Arizona with four scores during that time span. Don’t be surprised if he finds the end zone once or twice in the upcoming year as well even though the Broncos won’t need help putting points on the board.
The only thing that will erase the haunting memories from last year’s AFC Divisional game is an appearance in the big game this coming February. With Rodgers-Cromartie on board to help fortify what was a suspect secondary, the Broncos are much closer to booking that trip.