clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Horse Tracks: Broncos defense preparing for Adrian Peterson

The Denver Broncos have the number six ranked rushing defense in the NFL and look to continue their dominance in that regard as they prepare for star Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Wednesday, Broncos Country!

The Denver Broncos are 3-0 and sitting atop the AFC West while the rest of their division rivals are looking up at them from the bottom. The wins didn't come easy and weren't pretty by any stretch of the imagination, but one sure-fire take from the opening three weeks of gridiron madness is simply this: the team has one heck of a defense.

Through three weeks of play, the Broncos sport the third best scoring defense in the league, but they rank first in yards allowed. Big plays and forcing teams to many three-and-out's as well as performing well on third down in general have been the primary ingredients in Denver's early season recipe of success defensively.

Their prowess against the pass is best in the NFL, allowing just 176 yards in the air per contest. So far they have accounted for 11 sacks and six interceptions.  Additionally, opposing offenses aren't doing much better running the ball either. The sixth ranked Broncos run defense is holding their competitors to a pedestrian pedestrian 3.5 yards per carry average and 82.7 yards a game on the ground. Quite simply, what we have witnessed thus far is dominance on the gridiron in regard to the Broncos prolific defense.

But what makes this years defense so special compared to years past? Broncos safety David Bruton, Jr. credits defensive coordinator Wade Phillips for the wealth of success their unit has obtained thus far.

He just puts us in positions to make a play. We always play to our strength. We've got great corners who can lock down one-on-one on the outside. We've got safeties who can play in the box or cover tight ends or come downhill and make a big play, force a fumble or whatnot. He just gives us a chance to go out there and play. It makes it easier when you have our front seven to get pressure on the quarterback. We basically get to sit back there and just feed off of what they're doing when they get the pressure.

The 2015 Denver Broncos defense has a swagger fans haven't seen in the Mile High City for well over a decade. Even though they performed high statistically in 2012 under Jack Del Rio, there is something more formidable and potent about this years group of defenders. Phillips' defense is easily the most aggressive the Broncos have had since Larry Coyer was calling the shots in 2005 and it's comforting to know they can carry the team to victory even if the offense doesn't perform to the caliber they are capable of.

Alas, they know they face a huge test this weekend when the Minnesota Vikings, led by franchise running back Adrian Peterson come to town. He is certainly a formidable player and one of, if not the best at his position in the entire league. Players on the defensive ball recognize that stopping him is the key to victory this weekend and one that defensive end Malik Jackson is taking very seriously.

"I think it's our job to make sure he doesn't get to the second level. I think it's one of those things where we're going to game plan for him and we're going to do what we do, We've got some good inside linebackers with [ILB] Danny [Trevathan] and [ILB] Brandon [Marshall] and with [ILB] Todd [Davis] coming in there. It's one of those things that I think we're going to be alright. I think we've proven ourselves the last few weeks in a row and keep proving ourselves. Each week presents a challenge. We're just going to keep working. This week it's A.P., so I think we'll find a way to do what we need to do."

If the Broncos can stop Adrian Peterson, the Vikings will have no shot at beating Denver this weekend. Their passing offense, led by Teddy Bridgewater ranks dead last in the NFL and their group of wide receivers isn't competent enough to make plays against the plethora of Pro-Bowl caliber players in the Broncos secondary.  Expect the Broncos to game plan aggressively against Peterson and have him running at his worst "all day."

Horse Tracks:

Power Rankings: The Denver Broncos 12 best players so far in 2015
The Denver Broncos are in a good place right now for a variety of reasons. Will Peterson, one of our friends over at Mile High Sports ranks his best twelve players of the Broncos 2015 to date. Head on over there and check out his article and the rest of their awesome Broncos related content.

Detroit Lions Second Look: Tape confirms Broncos knew where Matthew Stafford was going on picks
The Denver Broncos defensive players say they knew what plays were coming each time they intercepted Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and the film seems to back them up.

David Bruton Jr. of Denver Broncos eyes more regular playing time
David Bruton Jr. has earned playing time in addition to his role as the Broncos' special-teams ace.

What will the Denver Broncos do with Cody Latimer?
Know This: Each weekday, a Denver Post sports writer shares some knowledge. In this installment, Nicki Jhabvala looks at Cody Latimer's status with the Denver Broncos.

Bennie Fowler earning larger role with Denver Broncos
Former Michigan State receiver Bennie Fowler is earning a larger role with the Denver Broncos.

Denver Broncos set new NFL rushing low for 3-0 teams
Welcome back to the history books, Denver Broncos. This time they get a mention both in the chapters of accomplishment and shame.

Denver Broncos Can’t Take Streaking Minnesota Vikings Lightly
The Minnesota Vikings are an entirely different team with Adrian Peterson on the field, and it shows from last season to this one.

Early look at Denver: Manning fine and defense great, but offensive line neither
A new weekly Access Vikings feature will take an early look at the Vikings next opponent. Here's what Mark Craig thinks about whether39-year-old quarterback Peyton Manning is washed up (and much more).

Through three weeks, Broncos have a takeaway touch
Pressure from up front is a big reason why the defense has taken the next step from stout to playmaking.

Broncos announce "Baird First Downs Program" charity initiative
The Denver Broncos and Baird on Tuesday announced the implementation of the "Baird First Downs Program" benefiting Denver Broncos Charities.

NFL Lookahead: Ranking best of league's unbeatens
No one is surprised New England and Green Bay started the year 3-0.While the 1972 Miami Dolphins don’t have to be worried yet, there could be some anxious moments for the golden boys come late November.

NFL: Chiefs’ Reid takes blame for second straight loss
In the moments after a lopsided loss Monday night, Chiefs coach Andy Reid was in no mood to talk, brushing away a series of questions about the performance in Green Bay with the same answer.

Wes Welker wants back in the NFL, concussion worries notwithstanding
Instead of getting ready for a game of his own last weekend, Wes Welker came back to Lubbock to see old teammates and root on his alma mater. That doesn’t mean the former Texas Tech All-American’s finished with football, no matter how many people want him to retire after a string of concussions the last two years.

NFL Week 4: Vikings defense faces big test in Broncos
Like that exquisite lunar eclipse on Sunday night, you can clearly see it coming. Both the emergence of Mike Zimmer’s defense as a force in Minnesota and the collision that awaits this week, when the Vikings’ young and aggressive pass rush will be aimed squarely at the vulnerable 39-year-old body of Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, with bad intentions in mind.

Panthers place Charles Johnson on IR boomerang
The Panthers will be without defensive end Charles Johnson until at least Thanksgiving. Jared Allen will slide into Johnson's spot just days after being traded from the Bears.

Rams waive Isaiah Pead, former second-round pick
The clock has run out on Isaiah Pead in St. Louis. The running back -- selected with the 50th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft -- was waived by the Rams on Tuesday.

Hakeem Nicks, Wes Welker work out for Giants
Wes Welker and Hakeem Nicks are getting another shot to latch on to an NFL team this season. The wide receivers are working out for the New York Giants on Tuesday.

Appeals court: No Brady case arguments before February
A New York federal appeals court says February will be the earliest it will hear arguments in the NFL's appeal of the lifting of a four-game suspension of Tom Brady.