Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
Will the Broncos defense be able to stop Drew Brees and the Saints high powered offense?
MLB: Curtis Lofton
FS: Malcolm Jenkins
SS: Roman Harper
Saints Defensive Rank:
Overall Defense: 32nd
Passing Defense: 30th
Rushing Defense: 31st
Broncos Defensive Rank:
Overall Defense: 11th
Passing Defense: 10th
Rushing Defense: 18th
Saints: Backup DE Junior Galette leads the team with 4 sacks, DE Cameron Jordan has 3, and DE Will Smith has 2. The Saints don't generate much of a pass rush, they rank 18th in the league in sacks with 13. If they want to succeed Sunday Night, they will need to improve and get after Manning. The middle of the line needs to step up. The Saints defense is averaging 4.9 yards per carry allowed. If the Saints want to have any chance to win Sunday, this D-Line needs to step up.
Broncos: Elvis Dumervil needs to have a great game sunday night. Dumervil is having another solid year. Right now, Doom has 5 sacks, 28 total tackles and 4 forced fumbles. Rookie DE/DT Derek Wolfe is having a decent rookie year. Wolfe has 17 tackles and 3 sacks. In the middle of the line Justin Bannan and Kevin Vickerson both have 22 tackles. This unit will have to get after QB Drew Brees early and often Sunday Night.
Saints: Linebacker Curtis Lofton leads the team 59 tackles and 1 sack, Scott Shanle has 20 tackles and David Hawthorne only has 9 tackles. Looking at the numbers this defense has given up, these guys haven't been very good at all. I expect Denver to attack them early and often Sunday Night.
Broncos: Wesley Woodyard is making Bronco fans forget about DJ Williams so far. Woodyard has 48 tackles, 2 sacks and 1 Interception, Von Miller has 26 tackles 6 sacks and 1 forced fumble, and Keith Brooking has 22 tackles. Personally I think we'll see the Broncos in a lot of Nickel packages with Woodyard and rookie Danny Trevathan at LB. I did notice both Trevathan and Nate Irving in a lot during the San Diego game, so it will be interesting to see if these guys are in Sunday night.
Saints: The Saints secondary has been terrible this year. They have only intercepted 3 passes this year, allowed 1,827 yards and 12 TD's. Roman Harper and Malcolm Jenkins are 2nd and 3rd on the team in tackles with 46 and 43. Patrick Robinson has 30 tackles and 1 sack. Overall this unit really needs to step up. Last week they gave up 400+ yards to Josh Freeman of the Bucs, one can only imagine what Peyton Manning is capable of.
Broncos: Two weeks ago, the Broncos secondary really stepped up for the first time all year. Chris Harris had 2 Int's and 1 TD and Tony Carter had 1 big Interception and a fumble recovery for a TD. With Tracy Porter's health being uncertain right now, we'll need both Carter and Harris to step up big time. Champ Bailey has been his solid self all year and rarely picked on all year. Rahim Moore who is having a solid season as a run stuffing safety has 40 tackles. Still looking for Moore to have a good game as a pass defender though. It will be interesting to see if Jim Leonhard surpassed Mike Adams as the starting SS. Leonhard has a good game. I think we'll see both Adams and Leonhard though.