Damarri Mathis has had a pretty awful start to the 2023 NFL season, and in Week 7, he hardly saw the field and clearly got benched. This move should have happened weeks ago. It took nearly half the season to see Mathis replaced in the starting lineup, and it seemed to have worked out for the Denver Broncos.
Mathis, 24, started the first six games of the season for the Denver Broncos and was a total liability in coverage, amassing just one PD and 32 total tackles. Teams knew they couldn't pick on Patrick Surtain II, so they picked on Mathis, and that was to their benefit. I was truly wondering when we'd see a change in the starting lineup, and veteran CB Fabian Moreau got the nod.
Moreau was a full-time starter in each of the last two seasons and in 30 total games in 2021 and 2022, Moreau had 21 passes defended. He's also played in 96 total regular season games, so he's also got some of the most experience of any player on defense as well. I'd expect Moreau to remain in the starting lineup going forward, as he held his own in Week 7.
Mathis likely remains the backup behind Moreau, and the struggling CB played in just three snaps in Week 7. On a side note, rookie CB Riley Moss was inactive on Sunday, and a lot of us are waiting for Moss to get his chance. After all, Denver did give up a third-round pick to draft Moss in 2023.
As a unit, the Denver Broncos defense has given up just four touchdowns over the past three games and has allowed just 22.3 points per game during that time. They have played like one of the better units in the NFL recently, and we'll see if that can continue.
They did hold Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs to under 20 points in Arrowhead, which is an accomplishment. Perhaps Vance Joseph is finally breaking through to the players. The defense apparently simplified some of their calls to make things easier, and having a veteran like Moreau in the lineup is also something that I assume helped out a ton in Week 7.