It's been just two games, but that's been enough time for anyone to be excited about the Denver Broncos defense. There are some flaws, but overall this defense could very well be the best defense the franchise has had since the original Orange Crush defense of the 1970's.
After two games, this is what the Broncos have defensively and this was against two playoff-caliber AFC opponents:
|18.5 - 9th (11.5 w/o pick sixes)||243.5 - 2nd||135.0 - 1st||108.5 - 21st|
The Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs are the only two teams to have played more than one game, so I would imagine the Broncos will maintain their total yards and passing yards rankings and maybe even improve on the other two.
The Broncos defense has also put up six sacks, 13 pass defenses, four interceptions and three fumble recoveries to go along with two defensive touchdowns already in 2015. Those are some gaudy numbers and that doesn't even count the fact that they have 33 quarterback hurries or about half of all passing plays opposing teams have had this year.
Legion of Boom, move over, it's the No Fly Zone that is the dominant force in the NFL now. To back up that claim, the Broncos defense is a near perfect 2/20 against their opponents when a penalty isn't called on third downs.
John Elway saw what the Seattle Seahawks did to his Broncos in Super Bowl 48 and set about transforming this defense into something that would be historically special. It's a long season, however, and this defense has 17 more games to prove to the world that they are here to stay.
According to Pro Football Focus, the Broncos defense is by far the highest rated team in their database. After two games, the following players have already accumulated a season score above +2.5:
- OLB Von Miller (+7.6)
- OLB DeMarcus Ware (+7.6)
- CB Aqib Talib (+5.1)
- DL Vance Walker (+5.0)
- OLB Shaquil Barrett (+4.7)
- DL Sylvester Williams (+3.5)
- DL Malik Jackson (+2.6)
- CB Chris Harris Jr (+2.5)
Darian Stewart, Brandon Marshall, Antonio Smith and David Bruton are also all above +1.0 in PFF's rankings. In fact, the only start with a negative grade is T.J. Ward (-0.4) who was probably quite rusty in his first game back from suspension.
Overall, the Broncos are a whooping (+40.2) after just two games. That's ridiculous.
It's not all sugar plums and gum drops, though.
The Broncos defense scored just a (+5.9) against the run. Much of that from the inside running lanes as pass rushers streak by the tackle position and the running streaks inside that tackle position for good gains.
In order for this defense to truly become Orange Crush 2.0, they need to tighten up on the inside. The return of Derek Wolfe could be just the dose of run stopping power they need to keep opposing running backs contained and quarterbacks running for their collective lives.
So to answer my question of just how good is this Broncos defense?
I'd have to say its the best defense I've seen this franchise field in decades and if they continue on this trajectory they must be coined the nickname Orange Crush 2.0. I couldn't imagine calling an historic Broncos defense anything less than a clone of the greatest defensive unit ever to wear the Orange and Blue.
What do you think Broncos Country?