Sep 14, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos defensive end DeMarcus Ware (94) rushes against Kansas City Chiefs tight end Anthony Fasano (80) during the second half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
The Denver Broncos are 2-0 and on their way to what they hope to be another division crown, another AFC crown, and hopefully an NFL title. The ultimate goal is there, but the task at hand is to take care of business. That’s what the Broncos have done through two games, and that’s what defensive end DeMarcus Ware has done since coming over to the team in March after being cut by the Dallas Cowboys.
Ware has not provided the Broncos with two or three sacks per game (yet), but he has provided them with a relentless pass rusher who can get the job done in a variety of ways. If not for Alex Smith’s “pass” at the end of the Kansas City game, Ware would have been credited with another sack and his first game winning forced fumble as a member of the Broncos. We all know that didn’t happen, but the Broncos were able to fend off the Chiefs’ late drive that could have tied the game at 24 apiece, and through two games, it’s clear that Ware’s pass rushing ability hasn’t been lost.
In fact, he’s back on top of the NFL.
Despite not leading the league in sacks, Ware still has 1.5 on the season but more importantly, he leads the NFL in total QB pressures according to metrics by Pro Football Focus.
Ware appears to be in peak physical condition. He’s so quick off the snap, sometimes to a fault (see KC game), but offensive linemen really can’t deal with his blend of speed, quickness, strength, and instincts when it comes to rushing the quarterback.
Right now, it’s hard to see the positives of what the Broncos are doing defensively other than two fourth down stops in do-or-die situations these first two games standing out, but they are making plays and it starts up front. Ware and company are getting pressure on the quarterback, the problem is the Broncos have now played two quarterbacks that have great escape ability with no one left to spy and when the pocket collapses, these QBs have been able to break free and find big gains on the ground with their legs rather than through the air.
It’s clear that the addition of DeMarcus Ware is not only going to pay off big time for the Broncos, it’s already showing signs of being one of the best additions any team made this offseason. The Broncos will need more than just hurries and pressures on Sunday against the Seahawks, though. They are going to need hits and sacks, because Russell Wilson is a better runner than either Andrew Luck or Alex Smith.
If Ware and the Broncos can force Wilson to make plays from the pocket, this game favors Denver in a big way. Hopefully the league leader in QB pressures can help bring a ‘W’ back to the Mile High City and a little more revenge of the Seattle team that dismantled Denver in the Super Bowl.