Vance Joseph thinks it’s an improved running attack.
Von Miller thinks he just needs to get more sacks and create more turnovers.
Chris Harris Jr. has a slightly different idea for how the Broncos can start winning games:
The defense cannot let the opponent score any points.
Whether meant as hyperbole or stated more as fact, Harris Jr. has a valid point - the offense cannot be trusted to win games on its own.
“We need to find ways to not give up any points at all and not give up those careless drives,” Harris Jr. said. “We have to find a way to not give up any points. We can still be more dominant.”
“More dominant” primarily involves getting more turnovers because that’s about the only area the defensive unit hasn’t dominated.
It has stopped every elite running back it has faced - including Chargers’ Melvin Gordon twice. It held the Chargers to under 250 yards total offense, pressured Philip Rivers on 50 percent of his snaps, sacked him three times, stopped the offense on three-fourths of its 12 third downs and held the L.A. team to two touchdowns.
What more could this defense do?
Apparently everything - score on turnovers and keep the opponent to zero points.
“We just have to worry about ourselves. We have to worry about being better and try to give up zero points,” Harris Jr. said, adding again that the defense can be more dominant. “That’s the only thing we’re trying to focus on ourselves and what we can do. We can’t control what the offense does. That’s on them.”
Pointing out that the Broncos’ matchup against the Chiefs next Monday night is for first place in the AFC West, Harris Jr. hinted that there is plenty of frustration in that defensive room though.
“It’s not a good mood at all. You lose back-to-back games. You lost games when we felt like we were a better team than them. It’s not good at all,” he said. “Guys have to do more. This is the time you see who wants it and who wants to step up and make plays and figure out who wants to take their game to the next level.”
For the No Fly Zone this has been equally tough since opponents have been neutralizing their dominance with a lot of short schemes to go for medium chunks of yards to move methodically down the field.
“They don’t even give us any plays to gamble with. Everything comes out fast, pick plays. They’re not really throwing the ball,” Harris Jr. said. “Think about it, they don’t throw the ball down the field really. ...They’re scheming us, they’re setting pick plays and they’re figuring out ways to empty us out with three tight ends....We have to get used to how teams are playing us.”
Joseph knows the defense is doing almost all it can, especially when it can’t play with a lead.
“It’s hard for our defense to control a game without having a lead. If we get a lead, this defense will show up big time,” the coach said. “It’s hard for us on defense to be the difference if it’s not with a lead because teams are just going to run the ball, run the ball, third down, try their luck and punt it back. That’s what we’ve seen in the three losses.”
Harris Jr. may not be despondent over the secondary’s inability to truly affect the game, but he is definitely is not happy about the scenario.
“It’s hard. It’s hard to make plays, it is. Hopefully they start coming,” the cornerback said. “We have to control what we can control on defense and try to be more dominant.”
Most basic poll ever - will Broncos win it in KC on Monday Night Football?
This poll is closed
I’m a high-end roller, so I’ll go with YES!
"Saguaro Bronco" (disagree with premise of the poll)