Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones (12) catches a touchdown in the fourth quarter under pressure from Denver Broncos safety Rahim Moore (26) in the fourth quarter during the AFC divisional round playoff game at Sports Authority Field. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Breakdown of Denver Broncos Pass Defense: Part 1

With the next few articles I’ll be covering our current starters, their strengths and weaknesses and some options to help our Denver Broncos improve in all positions. Starting with our pass defense, here’s my breakdown on the starters.


Rahim Moore, once he recovers will be a fine safety. According to Pro Football Focus he’s a top 10 safety in the league and the only game in which he posted a negative score was against Baltimore. However, taking a close look at his stats we can see that he allowed a 70% completion rate when thrown at and gave the opposition an average QB rating of 91.3. He’s got a lot of help with our shutdown corners, but when the balls gets thrown deep, the chances are that it’s going to get caught, and that is definitely something he needs to work on.

Mike Adams did his job for the most part, but his pass coverage is lacking. While he did put up 6 pass defenses he allowed 69% of passes thrown his way to wind up complete and allowed opposing QB’s a rating of 127.7 which is the 6th worst mark in the league. Mike has done a fine job assisting the run, but we’ve got the 3rd best run D in the league, which certainly has more to do with our d-line than our safeties.


Chris Harris performed wonderfully all season long. Much like Rahim, he had one bad game. Nobody is mad at him for having a single bad day against a team like NE. Harris only allowed 450 total yards against him. That’s 28.125 yards per game to his side. Allowing opposing quarterbacks an average rating of 68.0

Champ Bailey was up to his old tricks. allowing 479 yards over the season. Missing only 3 tackles all season long. Allowing a passer rating of 67.3 to his side. As much as I love the idea of moving Champ to safety, it is really difficult for me to want to risk losing this kind of production on the outside.

Tony Carter got the job done as well allowing a passer rating of 78.8 to his side, but in his limited number of snaps had 7 passes defensed. With another offseason of tutelage under Champ this kid can certainly do what we need him to do next season. Maybe even become a worthy replacement if and when Champ does move back to help out Rahim.


Elvis Dumervil had a better than average season against the pass. notching 37 hurries, 11 hits and 12 sacks. He lacked performance against the run, but that will be another discussion.

Derek Wolfe had a tough season against the pass. With a combined total of 25 hurries/hits/sacks He will definitely have something to address this offseason. He’s got some great vets to learn from on the team in that category, but his production against the run was fantastic.

Von Miller is almost beyond critique. The shiny new toy on our defense was phenomenal in almost every aspect of his play. He allowed a very high completion rate of 79.2% but when it was his coverage they never made it anywhere after catching the ball. He allowed an average of 8.18 yards after catch per game, which is a pretty fantastic mark. The one real problem he seemed to have this year was penalties. He took 10 penalties this season for 80 yards including 3 roughing the passer calls.

Wesley Woodyard did well against the pass. He snagged himself 3 picks and and allowed opposing QB’s an average rating of 60.9 when thrown at. He proved to be weak against the run this season, but stepping up the way he did this year was more than anyone could have hoped.


Keith Brooking had a less than sparkling season against both the pass and the run. He allowed an almost 70% completion rate to opposing QB’s. Without a single pass defense to his name.

Joe Mays sat out the majority of the season, but much like his counterpart had a rough season against the pass. Allowing a QB rating of 122.3 and a completion percentage of 85.7% this ILB spot is definitely something that needs to be addressed in our offseason.

The only blemish in this defense seems to be our issue covering the deep ball. One of my top priorities this offseason would be to address our Safety and ILB positions. Next time, we’ll take a look at who we can pick up in both the draft and free agency that may be able to patch up some of the holes in this vicious Denver D.

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Tags: Denver Broncos Pass Defense Rahim Moore

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