Being Professional Grade is all about Craftsmanship. @SBNation: How has your team shown it so far? http://t.co/oPvb3yMpbI #GMCPlaybook— Marshall Faulk (@marshallfaulk) September 24, 2014
Saith the video: Let's get professional: Great craftsmanship can come from a beautiful drive, a well-executed blitz, or even a high-arcing punt that pins a team down on the one. GMC takes great pride in the craftsmanship of its vehicles. At the quarter mark of the season, what has been the most well-crafted aspect of your team so far?
Again, I'm avoiding the obvious answer of "Peyton Manning," just for the sake of shaking things up. Denver's passing game is, without a doubt, a well-oiled machine, with Manning and Adam Gase its engineers.
Denver's pass rush hasn't been out-of-this-world this season, but there are reasons to believe it can live up to the potential of its preseason "Orange Crush" billing. DeMarcus Ware, Von Miller, Malik Jackson, and Derek Wolfe are leading the pass rush charge for the Broncos, who boast a unique look among NFL teams: a 4-3 outside linebacker who acts primarily as a pass rusher in Von Miller.
Ware, Jackson, and Wolfe all rank in ProFootballFocus' Top 25 in Pass Rush Productivity, which measures the success of a pass rush against the number of snaps rushing the passer. Ware and Jackson are both in the Top 12.
Meanwhile, Miller is the only 4-3 outside linebacker in the NFL with more than 35 snaps as a pass rusher. He has 92; other 4-3 OLBs don't even come close. Despite this huge difference in sample size, Miller is still very productive, ranking 6th among a crowd of players who ostensibly specialize in blitz packages, skewing their Pass Rush Productivity in their favor.
Furthermore, Ware and Miller have combined for 29 hurries, hits and sacks this season, ranking 2nd only to Seattle's duo of Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril (31) among 4-3 teams.
Perhaps most impressively, the Broncos have been productive as a pass rushing unit despite the quality of quarterback they have played. Andrew Luck, Alex Smith, and Russell Wilson have varying skillsets, but they are all accurate and mobile. Smith and Wilson have the 2nd and 3rd most yards rushing among quarterbacks this season, respectively, while Luck has the 7th most.
This Broncos pass rush has yet to face a "stationary QB" - a player who won't burn the Broncos pass rushers with his feet.
Maybe the defense will get a bit more "Orange Crush"-like in the month ahead as the Broncos prepare to face QBs like Drew Stanton (or Carson Palmer), Philip Rivers, and Tom Brady.
But they'll have Geno Smith and Colin Kaepernick to deal with as well.
Join the #GMCPlaybook discussion at sbnation.com/sponsored-gmc-playbook and on Twitter by following @thisisgmc & @marshallfaulk.