Good morning, Broncos Country!
Much of the focus the last few days has been on the offense. Rightfully so.
The last two weeks, the Denver Broncos have been dreadful on that side of the ball, capped off by one of the worst offensive performances in recent memory on Thursday.
As Adam Malnati and I discussed on the Mile High Report Radio podcast, a recent trend has developed with this vaunted Denver defense that has become a major concern. For some reason this season, the Broncos allow first drives that turn into touchdowns. The defense has faced six game-opening drives, four ending with six points. What’s worse, all of them have been over 70 yards.
When you have an offense that isn’t very good and struggles to even get first downs, those early deficits are bigger than they appear. That 10-0 lead the San Diego Chargers had on Thursday may as well have been 20-0.
After the first quarter the Broncos are still one of the best defenses in the NFL, if not the best. But the first quarter problems have become a trend at this point and it needs to get fixed.
When you look at last season, this becomes even more perplexing. Through six games a season ago, the Denver defense didn’t allow a point in the first quarter. What has changed in that time?
This "mini bye" is the time to get the answer. Wade Phillips and his coaches will hopefully take the time to dive in and figure out what is going on when the games start. Is this on the Broncos’ side of things? Or do these offenses have the defense figured out?
One way Denver can offset this all-familiar occurrence is to take the ball to open the game. Put the offense on the field and try to set the pace that way. Of course with how this offense has looked, it would go three-and-out.
As Adam said, it appears the Broncos come out as the counter puncher. The problem with that is the team is back on its heels and then has to go for a knockout to have a chance. Come out from the start as the aggressor, as this defense did last season.
Put the opposition on its heels and give the momentum to the offense. Don’t put the team in a hole it has no chance to dig out of.
The good news is the Broncos have the coaches and players on defense to make this change. Now is the ideal time to make it happen.
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