Nov 23, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson (22) carries the football in the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
There are few things in this world better than irony.
Jack Del Rio thought his original attempt at motivation would prime his defense for an epic game. So to get the Denver Broncos defense fired up and show them how to create turnovers, the defensive coordinator made them watch video of sharks attacking seals.
Denver’s defense is the sharks and the ball is the seal, for those who don’t know. I know, pretty clever, right?
That didn’t turn out the way he envisioned. The Broncos defense failed in epic fashion. But they did create one turnover, so there’s that.
In Denver’s 39-36 much-needed win over the Miami Dolphins at Mile High, the defense looked like the seals.
Denver did a great job of fighting off the sharks through much of the second half, until they ripped off another flipper and had the seals dazed and in serious trouble.
If not for a safety net from the Denver offensive line, Emmanuel Sanders and C.J. Anderson, they would have been lunch.
Since the sharks and seals motivation didn’t work, Del Rio this week will use wild hyenas hunting injured zebras with the expectation it will refocus his defense.
It will cut down on the missed assignments and tackles. It will improve the pressure on the quarterback. It will help remove the stupid penalties. It will sharpen his defensive play calling, though it was a skosh better this week.
Then after that, Del Rio will show the defense a video of buildings getting blown up and say, “This is what happens when the defense blows up the offensive line. Get it?”
No doubt the Broncos needed this win in a major way.
It improves their record to 8-3. It was by no means easy. Denver had to claw and fight to get this win, as it will have to in the playoffs.
Nov 23, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos strong safety T.J. Ward (43) runs with the ball after catching an interception during the second half against the Miami Dolphins at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 39-36. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Miami is a darn good and tough football team.
It’s not easy to play and win in Mile High. Just ask the Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers and San Diego Chargers.
The theme with all of those teams is they are all over .500 and in the hunt for the playoffs.
Good teams like that don’t need help.
The Denver defense did it all could to give this game to the Dolphins.
Look no further than the last drive of the game when the Broncos were flagged for three penalties. Not just penalties, but three incredibly stupid penalties.
The sharks attacking seals video must have overlooked that aspect of the defense. That might also explain no consistent pressure on the quarterback and missed assignments in coverage and tackles.
But, hey, that’s what the wild hyenas video will take care of this week. The Denver defense got the memo on turnovers, now they just need reminding on everything else.
That’s why after the hyenas video, to get the Broncos ready for their trip to Arrowhead, Del Rio will have the defense play cowboys and Indians.
At least Denver had a few sharks show up this week to save those sorry seals on defense.
Nothing beats a good shot of irony.
Nov 23, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos outside linebacker Brandon Marshall (54) and cornerback Chris Harris (25) tackle Miami Dolphins running back Lamar Miller (26) for a loss during the second half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 39-36. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports