Oct 12, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) is sacked by Denver Broncos defensive end DeMarcus Ware (94) during the fourth quarter of their NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. The Broncos defeated the Jets 31-17. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
The Denver Broncos defense can’t win games.
In fact, all we have heard for two seasons is the defense costs the Broncos wins and will keep Peyton Manning and his team from the Super Bowl.
For the third time this season, the Denver defense gave this team a win, this time 31-17 (the score doesn’t indicate how close it was) over the New York Jets.
For the third time this season, the Broncos offense couldn’t get going in the second half in a game in which they had a double-digit lead.
Credit the Jets for that, but a lot of the blame falls on offensive coordinator Adam Gase, the awful play of the Denver offensive line and stupid penalties.
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The Denver defense allowed two late drives to make the score 24-17 late in the fourth quarter, but as is becoming custom for the defense, it puts the hammer down to end games.
With the Jets backed up on their own side of the field, the Broncos got after Geno Smith, locked down his receivers and made the play to seal the win. This time it was cornerback Aqib Talib with the pick-six. It is the fifth in the last six years for Talib, behind Charles Tillman’s six during that time.
For the game, the Denver defense didn’t allow the big play and held the Jets in check.
New York had 204 total yards (31 rushing, 173 passing), was 5-for-14 on third down and scored 17 points.
If there’s a key stat for the Broncos defense it’s that 17 points.
Oct 12, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) misses a pass during the second half against the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
With Sunday’s game included, Peyton Manning is now 100-3 when his defense holds the opponent to 17 points or less. With Denver he’s 15-0.
If the Broncos defense does what it did against New York the rest of the season, they will not lose.
There are still areas the defense can improve upon. The big one is consistency. Don’t give up those two late drives to the Jets. Lock them down at 7 points and don’t allow the game to become interesting.
There are going to be times in the NFL and professional sports when a part of a team struggles.
On Sunday, that was the Broncos offensive line. It suffered from penalties, mistakes, mental errors and the inability to get out of its own way. That’s when teams need other areas to rise up and take control, as the Denver defense did.
With the First Pick
Yet even with those struggles, the Broncos still had a 100-yard rusher and put up over 350 yards of total offense.
Rest assured if Manny Ramirez has another game like this, he will find a comfy spot on the bench.
Thanks to the Denver defense, the offense can correct those mistakes after a win.
The awesome aspect of this defense is Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware are back. The two combined for three sacks and now have 10 on the season. Miller is atop the league leaders with six.
Cornerback Bradley Roby looks the early favorite to win the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Chris Harris is Chris Harris.
The big guys led in the middle by Terrance Knighton and Sylvester Williams don’t allow anything on the ground.
And that will only get better.
When this season started, I wanted to see if the Broncos defense could step up and meet the expectations.
All they’ve heard for two seasons is that they’re terrible and will keep Manning and this team from winning a Super Bowl.
With Denver at 4-1, three of those wins have been thanks to the defense.
And they will only get better.
I asked before this season started if this is the return of the Orange Crush.
It’s closer than most realize.
Oct 12, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) has his pass batted down by Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller (58) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports