At 4-0, the formula for success in Denver seems to be a repetitive cycle that involves solid defensive play, methodical offense, and great special teams. It has been a great show to watch, and once again, the defense led the way.
The Broncos first score was set up by an Aqib Talib interception. And if it hasn’t become apparent yet, Talib is becoming that guy. He’s the mouth, and he backs it up. He embodies the attitude of the Broncos defense. It is hard to pinpoint one player on the defense that is the tone-setter, but Talib is probably the closest thing to it.
He loves to rattle his opponents. When he does get an interception, he starts hunting. He wants to make you pay. His second interception set up another score, and the Broncos were off to complete the victory.
5 sacks, 2 picks (all Talib), one fumble recovery, and Jameis Winston was running for his life the whole game. Winston was by far the most impressive Buc on the field, and if it hadn’t been for his elusiveness, Denver probably would have had 10 sacks. The No Fly Zone gave the defensive line more than enough time to get to the quarterback.
Pro Football Focus ranked him No. 3 on the Top 10 highest graded players of the week as well: “Talib was targeted four times, and caught more passes himself (two) than he allowed Bucs receivers to catch (one).”
Talib did more than just grab a couple picks to set up some scores. He held Mike Evans in check. With the offensive options limited, it was a long day for the Bucs young quarterback. In a game where the Broncos second year quarterback had to give way to the rookie because of injury, the defense made on thing clear. It does not matter who the quarterback is.
With all the squabbling and bickering between fans about who the starter should be, what we know now is that it probably didn’t matter. Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, your grandmother, doesn’t matter. The defense is going to set the tone, and Aqib Talib is the guy who will lead that charge.