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Broncos vs. Raiders: No Bull Answers

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Now that week 2 is over and the Denver Broncos have defeated the Oakland Raiders, let’s look back at our pre-game questions and see what we learned.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

This week we had a big focus on the trenches for the Denver Broncos. Here are my takeaways from watching the game and my review work Monday:

What is making the offensive line look so good early in the season?

I hate to throw out a fluff statement, but they just look right. The linemen to a man are engaging their blocks, holding their ground (for the most part), and most importantly understanding their reads on stunts with excellent execution.

I really think they look like a far better coached line than the past two years is my initial take. One week isn’t going to give me a clear picture, so this is something I plan to follow up on later in the season as we grow the sample size we’re working with.

How are the interior linemen on the front seven doing as far as stopping the run?

Domata Peko, Derek Wolfe, Shelby Harris, Adam Gotsis, and Zach Kerr are doing a pretty darn good job up front of eating up blockers. The rotation is really more focused on what most guys think of a typical 3-4 defense doing with their down linemen: get push and eat up multiple blockers to let your linebackers Brandon Marshall and Todd Davis attack the ball.

Note: I’m seeing this as a focus shift in what the DC is doing / what talent we have on the field. DeMarcus Walker is our one lineman that I see as a 1-gap attacker. Most of the guys in front of him can do that a little, but are more about holding their blocks and crashing in on runs that come to their gaps. It will be interesting to see if Walker gets any snaps this season and if the defensive focus shifts with him on the field.

Who is generating interior pass rush either by collapsing the pocket or straight up getting hits on the QB?

This was a poor example of a game to really look at this. The Oakland Raiders get rid of the ball far too fast to see if there’s any serious internal pressure being generated. Add in the defense playing a lot of off man coverage, and there was never enough time for the interior pass rushers to seriously make an impact.

Is Marquette King going to step up his game?

This was a fun story line to look at against his former team, but ended up largely being rather boring (like most punting is in the NFL). In general, he did improve his net average over week 1 so the answer at the end of the day is, “Yes.”

What did you learn from this game?

We’re only 2 weeks into the season, but I think you guys know the drill. Share your thoughts below on what answers you found. If you posted questions in last week’s question post, paste them below and share!