While the Denver Broncos’ prolific offense is having a record-breaking season, their defense has helped them win eight games this season. Champ Bailey might have been out of the lineup against the San Diego Chargers, but that didn’t stop the Broncos from leaving Qualcomm Stadium with a victory.
Bailey has been a defensive leader for the Broncos since 2004 when he was traded from the Washington Redskins. He has been ruled out of action since Week 7 because of a foot injury, but that hasn’t slowed the Broncos’ defense down. Going into the game against the Chargers, the Broncos were ranked 12th in the NFL in third down conversion defense. They allowed opposing offenses to convert a third down 38 percent of the time. In addition, the Broncos have allowed 380 yards of offense per game, which ranks ninth in the NFL.
The Chargers fell victim to the Broncos’ stingy defense. Philip Rivers had a difficult time hooking up with his receivers. He only completed 7-of-12 passes for 86 yards in the first half and led the Chargers to just six points in that same time frame.
The Broncos’ steadfast defense only surrendered 198 passing yards to Rivers and allowed the Chargers to convert 44 percent of their third downs in the game. Rivers’ mediocre game was only the third time this season in which he was held to under 200 passing yards.
Any concerns about the Broncos’ defensive pressure disappeared as Denver recorded four sacks in the game. Heading into the game the Broncos were ranked 17th in the league in sacks with 22.
The Broncos have a defense that should not be overlooked going further into the season. Even though their defense doesn’t have the reputation of the Carolina Panthers, San Francisco 49ers or the Seattle Seahawks, they are a talented group of players.
The Broncos’ defense could ultimately be the deciding factor between winning and losing the Super Bowl. If Champ Bailey is healthy in time for the playoffs the sky is the limit for this Denver defense.