Despite some rough outings against the run, the Denver Broncos defense has retained elite status purely due to their pass rush and the secondary. What makes their secondary so good? Oh, only have the two best cornerbacks in the NFL.
Pro Football Focus gave a list of the 25 best cornerbacks in the NFL this season and Aqib Talib graded out first, with Chris Harris Jr. at third. Oddly enough, Harris finished with a higher PFF grade than the second place guy on the list, Malcolm Butler. Not sure what that means, but oh well.
1. Aqib Talib, Denver Broncos, 90.8 overall grade
Aqib Talib has long possessed one of the most impressive skill-sets in the league among cornerbacks, flashing the ability to shut down any receiver, but 2016 has been a career year for him, as it’s the first season he has done it consistently week-to-week, with no real lapses to date. Talib has allowed just 9.3 yards per reception, 53.7 percent of the passes thrown his way to be caught, and opposing QBs have a passer rating of just 37.0 when throwing into his coverage. That’s 2.6 points lower than if those quarterbacks just threw the ball out of bounds every snap, thanks to three interceptions and no touchdowns surrendered this year. Aqib Talib has been the league’s best corner this season.
3. Chris Harris Jr., Denver Broncos, 87.2
There is little doubt at this stage that Chris Harris Jr. is an excellent corner, even if he doesn’t have the same responsibilities as some other players on this list. Harris will play outside and in the slot, and does go up against legitimate No. 1 receivers when Denver elects not to track them; more often than not, he does just as well against them as anybody else. This season, Harris has allowed under 10 yards per reception, and just 53.8 percent of passes thrown into his coverage to be caught.
These kinds of stories are always nice to read as they validate our biased opinions, which is always a good thing.
The Denver Broncos Swarming Pass Rush - Inside The Pylon
The defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos have one of the most feared defenses in the entire NFL. With high caliber players at all three levels of the defense, their game plan for the last year and a half has been to rely on their defense to win games, and it has certainly worked.
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