Denver Broncos Defense Gaining Chemistry At Perfect Time


Some wins for the Denver Broncos have qualified under the ‘not so pretty’ category, but this game against the Buffalo Bills didn’t quite have that type of feel. Perhaps for Peyton Manning, the last month or two has been a struggle. Sure, the reigning MVP has had moments of brilliance this season, but if you think about it, when was the last time you can remember number 18 stringing together four great quarters of football?

Perhaps Broncos fans have unfair metrics based on the video game-like success the offense had last season with Manning throwing four touchdowns per game, it felt like. Last season, the Broncos didn’t have defensive prowess to give them the luxury of establishing the kind of power offense they have this season, but 2014 has been a different story.

The Broncos’ defense is catching fire, and it starts up front with the pass rush. On Sunday against Kyle Orton and the Buffalo Bills, Denver had four sacks and was making Orton uncomfortable for a majority of the game, and even when he started to get on a roll, someone was there to kill the momentum.

Denver’s defense had to overcome three turnovers by the offense, one of which was a Jacob Tamme fumble that came on a drive where the Broncos were close to pushing their lead to 21-3 before halftime. Orton was forced into throwing 57 passes, so obviously some of the Bills’ receivers had some success. He wasn’t going to miss on every throw, but the majority of the game belonged to Denver’s defense.

Linebacker Brandon Marshall played one of the best games of his young NFL career to date, picking off his first pass when he undercut a route by Bills tight end Scott Chandler. Marshall’s improvements in coverage throughout the year have been remarkable, and the Broncos’ linebacker group is going to be getting a huge boost this next week in the form of linebacker Danny Trevathan returning to the lineup.

Safety T.J. Ward had one of his better games as a Bronco, reading screen plays and doing a great job of attacking the line of scrimmage and putting an end to plays the Broncos initially struggled defending a bit. David Bruton did a great job as well playing some safety, which we haven’t seen a lot of this season. With Quinton Carter banged up, Bruton took his role as the third safety and actually did really well. He was attacking the line of scrimmage and making some great plays busting up short passes as well as nearly notching a pick-six on one of Buffalo’s two touchdown drives of the game.

Almost undoubtedly most impressive was the play of Chris Harris Jr., the Broncos’ star cornerback who has been doing nothing but making plays all year long. Harris is considered underrated but only because people aren’t paying enough attention. If Harris Jr. went on national television and decided to act like a buffoon for a moment, would he be the best corner in the league then? He plays all over the defensive formation, and Kyle Orton couldn’t really shake him all game. Harris picked off an Orton pass intended for Robert Woods on one of the Bills’ best drives of the game offensively. He also blitzed from the nickel spot and sacked Orton.

Like I said, he was all over the field.

And the Broncos as a defensive whole are doing a great job of attacking the football. They are making things really difficult on opposing quarterbacks, which is improving their coverage, and Jack Del Rio has done a much better job these last two weeks of scheming blitzes. He’ll have to do much of the same against Philip Rivers, who really struggled against the pass rush of the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football.

Things are looking up for the Broncos’ defense, which is going to be key for a big playoff run.