Broncos Line Faces Stiffest Challenge Yet vs. Bills


Things never seem to get easier in the NFL as the season wears along. The Denver Broncos will certainly be battle tested come time for this year’s playoffs having faced one of the toughest stretches of defenses I’ve seen in recent years. Going up against the Seahawks and every other NFC West team was tough as it is, but the Broncos also faced the AFC East this year as well as the NFL’s first place schedule.

In a three week stretch, they will have faced the Miami Dolphins’ stout front seven led by Cameron Wake, the Chiefs’ front seven led by NFL sack leader Justin Houston and Tamba Hali, and this week, the Buffalo Bills.

In case you’ve missed it, the Bills’ front seven is the best in the NFL, arguably. They boast stud pass rushers on the interior as well as off the edge, Pro Bowl caliber players at each position. Under the watch and coaching of Jim Schwartz, this Bills defense has flourished this season in terms of its pass rush. They have 48 sacks through 12 games, and have three players among the league’s leader in that category.

Getting pressure on opposing QBs this season has been obviously a treat for Bills fans to watch, with Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams terrorizing offensive lines on the interior, and Mario Williams with Jerry Hughes coming off the edges. As a result of their outstanding pass rush, the Bills have forced quite a few turnovers and are coming into Denver as a team hungry for a playoff bid.

There aren’t many teams that have been able to come into Denver and win since Peyton Manning arrived. In fact you can count them on one hand, and probably can remember every game off the top of your head. I don’t expect the Bills to buck the Broncos’ home field trend, but I do think the Broncos are going to have to find another level of nasty on the offensive line this week.

In the past two games, the Broncos have played outstanding football in the trenches on both sides of the ball, and really started to find their stride last week against the Chiefs where they were borderline dominant. With the new alignment up front of Ryan Clady, Orlando Franklin, Will Montgomery, Manny Ramirez, and Louis Vasquez, the Broncos have been physical, they’ve protected Peyton Manning, and they’ve added a completely new element to the offense.

They are going to have to be on top of their game this weekend, and scheming for the Bills this week, it won’t be hard to see why. Every team in the NFL presents a unique challenge, but the Bills have the capability of getting that interior pressure that the Rams were able to get on the Broncos. Jim Schwartz will have his guys ready, so Adam Gase is going to have to draw up a great game plan to neutralize this Bills defensive front, and I believe he can.

The Broncos know they are going to have to buckle down and play tough, physical football if they want to win the Super Bowl. These last couple of weeks, they’ve proven that they can do that. With the offensive line just starting to get some chemistry and really get rolling, this will be one of the most interesting matchups to watch in the NFL this week.