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Horse Tracks: What's going on with the Denver Broncos defense?

With the Denver Broncos surviving a sloppy game against the Kansas City Chiefs to win 24-17, there are some questions about the defense now.

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Dustin Bradford

With the Denver Broncos hitting the road to face the Seattle Seahawks, many of us fans are deeply concerned about the mental breakdowns on both offense and defense in the first two week of the NFL season. In the first regular season rematch of Super Bowl opponents in the following year since 1997, this is a huge game for the fans at least. I am sure it is for the players as well, because who doesn't want to get that filthy 35 point taste out of their mouths?

I suppose my problem is how flippant Coach John Fox appears to be about everything. When asked about the discipline of the team today he replied, "Disciplined enough for a second week in a row to get a fourth-down stop to save the game in a one-possession game. So, disciplined enough for that."

That could just be coachspeak and behind closed doors he is addressing the obvious. At least I hope so, otherwise, I could be very annoyed. He also coined a term I've never heard before called "ball-possession defense", which was his way of crediting the defense for playing good defense. I think.

I'm not sure though because the question asked was about the offense having to watch that 10-minute third quarter drive by the Chiefs. To which Fox answers, "That’s ball-possession defense. All 10 minutes with no points. In all seriousness, that team struggled last week on third down. I’d say it’s fair to say, like any very competitive people, they worked very hard at it. Hats off to them for executing like they did today."

Dare I agree and say yes, the Chiefs worked hard all week on third downs.. which means the Broncos must have not given a crap all week to give up the most third and long conversions I've seen since the tail end of the Mike Shanahan era.

Speaking of third downs, what say you Nate Irving?

"Yeah, the offside and letting them complete third-and-longs on us, we have to go back and look at things on film to see where we messed up at."

Good, that is definitely a must. You all let the Chiefs convert 68% of their third downs, which almost lost the game. I'll give you credit though, because the Chiefs were 0/1 on fourth downs and really that was the one that mattered. Thank you Terrance Knighton wherever you are!

DeMarcus Ware appears to like the bend but don't break mentality, but I personally hate it. He used it twice last night in the post-game interviews. The first time was a question about how the defense has fared through the first two games and to which he responded, "It’s a bend-not-break attitude. There were some times where we didn’t play perfect, but it’s a 60-minute game. You always want to be out there and let the defense win those types of games. You don’t want it to be that close. We did what we needed to do to get that ‘W,’ but we didn’t play the game that we wanted to play, but we played a good enough game to win."

Whatever is said, this defense has some work to do before us fans can trust them to get the job done on a consistent basis. Coming up with goal line stands every game to secure victories is something that simply isn't sustainable in the long run.

All that said and complained about, the Chiefs still only scored 7 points in that atrocious second half. This defense is apparently taking this whole "bend but don't break" philosophy to entirely new levels.

Horse Tracks

Broncos jump ahead early, hold on late to beat Chiefs | ProFootballTalk
The Broncos beat the division-rival Chiefs to improve their record to 2-0 today in Denver. But it wasn’t easy.

Third-down dilemma nearly dooms Denver Broncos - ESPN
On fourth down, the Denver Broncos are game-savers; they suit up, slap on a cape and do some super-hero stuff.

Broncos seek consistency ahead of Super Bowl rematch | USA Today
Word was waiting for Denver Broncos players as soon as they returned to their locker room Sunday evening after escaping with a 24-17 win against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Broncos Bend, Don't Break, Beat Chiefs 24-17 - Mile High Huddle
The Denver Broncos held on to win in the final seconds of the 4th quarter, to send the Kansas City Chiefs home 0-2. MHH Publisher, Chad Jensen, gives you quick a quick recap and reaction.

Chiefs show improvement despite loss to Broncos - The Denver Post
Standing on the sideline, doing absolutely nothing, all dressed up in his Broncos uniform, but with nowhere to go, Von Miller represented all the pent-up frustration in this undefeated yet unimpressive Denver football team.

Manning good vs. Chiefs, but not on field enough - The Denver Post
Imagine the kind of game Peyton Manning could have had if he wasn't benched in the second half.

Chiefs vs. Broncos: Highs, lows of Denver's Week 2 victory | Denver Post
The Broncos moved to 2-0 on the season after upending the Chiefs 24-17 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sunday. Here were some notable and not-so-notable moments from the win.

Vickerson quickly gets reacquainted with old teammates | Kansas City Star
It didn’t take new Chiefs defensive end Kevin Vickerson long to make his presence known among his old Broncos teammates on Sunday.

Broncos Defense Might Bend, But Has Yet To Break - Predominantly Orange
The Denver Broncos defense had a major facelift over the offseason signing players like Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward, and Demarcus Ware. After the first two games, they have shown that there is still work to be done but that they can get the job done when needed.

Why The Broncos Coaching Staff Will Hold Them Back | Mile High Maniac
The Broncos are coming off a 24-17 victory over AFC West rivals Kansas City Chiefs and yet again, it was a game that was closer than it should be.

Richard Sherman refuses to speak to media after being "exposed" | ProFootballTalk
Unlike the Packers, the Chargers decided to throw at Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman.  And it worked.  And Sherman was in no mood to discuss it after San Diego’s 30-21 win over the defending NFL champions.

The NFL thinks you're dumb enough to fall for a scapegoat -
There's a good chance someone at the NFL office is going to get scapegoated for mishandling the Ray Rice video. But it's not going to change the consequences for Roger Goodell and the league.

Roger Goodell under siege as Ray Rice case takes new twists, turns | MMQB
The cries for Roger Goodell's resignation are reverberating across the football world after the AP reported the league office had indeed received the second Ray Rice video. At least one owner isn't sure the NFL commish will survive the saga.

Denver Fans Want Phil Simms Banned From Broadcasting Broncos Games
What do we have to do to get Phil Simms off the broadcast for Bronco games? We do not know why he is assigned to the Broncos games every year. It is sure and complete torture for us Bronco Fans to have to listen to his biased drivel every week.