Broncos Grades: Defense Wins Championships, Right?


Sep 17, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Denver Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby (29) recovers a fumble and runs for a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Denver won the game 31-24. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos Country is buzzing once again, but this time it feels much different.

By some miracle, 1/8 of the way through the Broncos regular season, the men in orange are 2-0. The criticism on social media, from ESPN analysts and Broncos faithful alike shows exactly how high the expectations are for this particular team. It’s time for fans to start being realistic and understanding of what a Kubiak style offense could look like once it actually starts meshing with Manning and the rest of the boys.

Below I will layout how each core group of this Denver team has performed based on a grading scale similar to high school. Keep in mind these are the most controversial/talked about parts of the organization at this point in the season.

Sep 17, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson (22) is tackled by Kansas City Chiefs inside linebacker Derrick Johnson (56) in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports


CJ Anderson has underperformed like no one would have ever thought possible after how he finished his 2014-2015 campaign. But, is he all to blame?

Much like DeMarco Murray in Philly, CJ is getting hit behind the line of scrimmage religiously and having no where to actually run the ball. With a makeshift offensive line that looks completely different than last season CJ is only averaging 2.3 yards a carry this season.

Ronnie Hillman has looked better in the backfield for the Broncos this year, still not saying much since no Broncos running back has gotten into the end zone. Kubiak needs to be more clever with his beautiful offensive brain and get the running game on track, play action and the running game goes hand in hand….

Sep 17, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (10) catches a pass and scores a touchdown as Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Jamell Fleming (30) tries to defend during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. The Broncos won 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports


The reason for all the panic lately, not even in Denver, but across the country. “Peyton is done”, “Hang it up Peyton its Brocks turn”. The list of uneducated, rash tweets and analysis about Peyton throwing two pick sixes in two games is actually hysterical.

RELAX Peyton is fine.  He might not be in 2013 shape, his arm might be weakening, whatever the argument you want to throw in the fire, but guess what? A GOOD Peyton Manning is better than the majority of the leagues GREAT version of their starting QB. Broncos Country has been blessed with the best. Embrace it till he wants to be done. There will be more positives than negatives. AKA 3 TDs to 2 INTs on the season as of now…

Side note, Emmanuel Sanders is having a beast of a season already with 8 catches a game and 2 touchdowns to begin this young season. He is the number two target mind you. Life is good in Denver.

Sep 13, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) calls out behind center Matt Paradis (61) and guard Evan Mathis (69) in the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Ravens 19-13. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports


Yes, thats a double F minus. This has been the worst showing of an offensive line in two games that I can remember in professional football. Years when RGIII kept getting lit up in Washington doesn’t even look as bad as this. Yes, this is a new group trying to mesh, but it has been a debacle.

In the entire 16 game regular season of 2014 Peyton hit the grass 17 times. In two games this campaign Peyton has been brought down 7 times. On pace to be sacked 56 times this season. No one can stay healthy at the QB position getting dropped that many times.

One more nauseating stat about the Broncos sack totals that needs to be known, the Broncos are -1 in the sack department this season. (Denver 6 Opponents 7) In 2014 the totals were Broncos 41, opponents 17. Alarming to say the least.

Sep 17, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) is penalized for hitting Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports


+5 in the turnover column, 2 defensive touchdowns, and allowing only 487 total yards of offense through 2 games. This defense is swarming to the ball like no one has seen out of Denver in ages. The Orange Crush is a reality in the Mile High City right now. If it wasn’t for this stout defense the Broncos very well could be 0-2.

An interception and a fumble recovery for a touchdown closed the book on the first two games with victories. If the defense stays healthy down this long 16 game schedule, Denver has a legitimate shot of winning the AFC despite Peyton not performing his best.

Next: Broncos power rankings sees team taking a drop despite comeback