2. It’s not fool’s gold — the D still has it
The Broncos defense in 2017 looked vulnerable compared to 2015 and 2016, but they actually finished as the number three defense overall last season behind Jacksonville and Minnesota.
The Broncos held opponents to 200 yards passing and 89 yards rushing per game.
Denver appeared to give up the big play more than Broncos Country was accustomed to.
A good portion could be contributed to opponent starting field position.
Whenever the offense turned the ball over or special teams muffed a punt, Denver’s energy on defense quickly dissipated.
Denver Broncos Defense Revitalized
The Broncos defense drastically improved on paper during the offseason. The team brought in Clinton McDonald at defensive tackle from Tampa Bay to help bolster the interior.
Denver acquired cornerback Isaac Yiadom in the draft out of Boston College and picked up veteran cornerback Tramaine Brock Sr. during Free Agency.
These moves serve as solutions addressing the departure of Aqib Talib. Talib’s transition to Los Angeles allows Chris Harris Jr to bump outside and Bradley Roby to take over the number two spot.
Von Miller has help on the other side with Bradley Chubb poised to be the week one starter at outside linebacker in Denver’s 3-4 scheme.
Offensive coordinators must now become more creative in their game plan with two tough pass rushers coming at them.
Health Is Wealth
The defensive line is healthy with Domata Peko, Shelby Harris, and Derek Wolfe returning. Shaquil Barrett will play a big role in different packages as a rush end and an outside backer.
The Broncos will also have a sense of reliability on third down pass coverage with the addition of Su’a Cravens who will serve as the teams dime safety/linebacker.
With Joe Woods’ first season as a coordinator under his belt, he’ll look to add even more to the mix defensively for the Broncos in 2018.