Sure, Coach Shanahan. You’re absolutely right. The Broncos defense does not have a problem. Not at all. It was the offense’s fault that the Broncos lost their first game to the Chiefs. Okay, stop the sarcasm here, Kim.
Shanahan said that the Broncos’ offense put the defense in tough positions to stop a Kansas City score. He said,
“When you take a look at a game like that, people will point to the defense, and that is so far from the truth…There is a lot that goes into a football game, and everybody wants to throw it at the defense. Any offense that does that gives your defense no chance” (Denver Post).
He does make a valid point about the Broncos offense. They did have 4 turnovers, and along with poor kickoff coverage, they allowed the Chiefs to start six drives in Denver territory. The offense only scored 1 TD after making four trips into the red zone. They did hold the Chiefs for three quarters, but that’s easy to overlook when you analyze the Broncos’ entire defensive season.
The Broncos’ defense has allowed 30+ points in the past three games, and they’ve only recorded six sacks against opposing QBs. Overall the team ranks 30th in total defense and 24th in pass defense.
Despite the offense’s performance, one would think that this defense could put a stop to the ailing Chiefs even if they were playing at Arrowhead. The Chiefs scored 33 points against the Broncos. Before Sunday’s game, they had scored 32 points combined in their 3 losses. They had experimented with 4 QBs, and Larry Johnson had 1 TD and was averaging 3.8 yards per carry in their first three games. Against the Broncos defense, Johnson exploded for 198 yds., 2 TDs, and 7.1 yds. per carry. He ran for 65 yards virtually untouched during the Chief’s first drive. The Chiefs converted 5-13 on third down, which isn’t too bad from the defense’s perspective, however, they converted on third and longs as time was winding down and after the Broncos had made two big defensive stops. Damon Huard had 5+ seconds to throw the ball on each play when no one was blitzing and Dre Bly was always 10 yards away from Dwayne Bowe when he caught the ball. Easy tackles were missed and when that happens, it keeps the Broncos offense of the field. Maybe the offense couldn’t get into any kind of rhythm because of the defense.
Anyone who thought that the Broncos offense could continue averaging 38 points per game was off their rocker. We knew it wasn’t going to keep up the entire season, and the defense needed to improve quickly for when there was an offensive collapse. We didn’t think it would happen against Kansas City, but it did. Now, is the time for the defense to step up.
What do you think about the Broncos defensive play? Leave a comment below.