Good morning, Broncos Country.
It’s hard to believe that three years have passed since the Denver Broncos secured their third Lombardi Trophy — a feat that wouldn’t have been possible without a ferocious and top-flight performance by their defense that stopped Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.
In 2015 and 2016, the Broncos’ defense ranked in the top four league-wide in respect to points and yards allowed. They were also one of the best units in terms of sack production and turnovers. Without question, the those two defenses were some of the best in the modern era, with their Super Bowl winning unit deserving recognition of one of the greatest to ever grace the gridiron. It was an incredible privilege to witness them play and an aspect of Broncos history fans shouldn’t take for granted.
Alas, the dominance Broncos Country came to expect from their defense just wasn’t there in 2017. Sack production and turnovers were down, the play-calling seemed a bit precarious and their inability to cover running backs and tight ends was a bane of theirs all season long. More than anything, Wade Phillips, perhaps the most important figure in the Broncos’ route to defensive acclaim wasn’t on the sideline. For many players on the defense, last year’s performance was a wake-up call and something they are set to correct in 2018.
“That wasn’t us last year as far as the caliber of what we play to,” remarked inside linebacker Todd Davis, who was named a team captain for the forthcoming season. “We were good in some areas, but we’ve got a lot of areas that we have to clean up and we focused a lot on that in the offseason. We’re going to be crisp this year and really focus on being great all around,” he went on to add.
But just how good can the Broncos’ defense be? They added talent to numerous positions through the draft and free agency, but lost a handful of quality contributors such as Aqib Talib during the offseason. Nevertheless, Davis remains confident and optimistic about this year’s defense. Most importantly, he believes wholeheartedly that the unit will return to dominance once more.
“I’m super excited. I feel like we’re going to be a dominant defense in the run game and in the pass game,” stated Davis. “I feel like we have so many great weapons and lot of depth at different positions. We’re really set up to have a great year this year.”
With a revamped offense featuring a plethora of new weapons coupled with a reinvigorated defense, the outlook for the Broncos in 2018 looks much better than just a year ago. The prospect of earning another AFC West title is extremely realistic, but first things first — starting off the season with a revenge win against the Seattle Seahawks.
As always, thank you for reading and here is today’s offering of Horse Tracks.
How Will Parks and Dymonte Thomas earned their place in Broncos’ secondary
Denver will need more from both in light of safety Su’a Cravens’ injury (knee) absence.
A glance at the Denver Broncos’ first-round quarterback picks
Over the course of Denver’s history, the franchise has drafted four quarterbacks in the first round -- none of whom lasted more than three seasons in the Mile High City.
Power rankings roundup: Where the Broncos sit before Week 1
Here’s where national experts rank the Broncos ahead of the team’s season opener.
Now with his fourth NFL team, Kevin Hogan looks to continue his development in Denver
Hogan will serve as the team’s third quarterback after stops in Kansas City, Cleveland and Washington.
Kansas City Chiefs give OT Cameron Erving contract extension
The Chiefs and offensive lineman Cameron Erving have come to terms on a two-year extension, a source told ESPN's Adam Teicher.
Derek Carr -- Oakland Raiders players over shock of Khalil Mack trade
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said Monday the shock of teammate Khalil Mack being trade has worn off "because we're back to work."
Steelers players not worried about Le'Veon's absence - NFL.com
Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said Monday he's "disappointed" that Le'Veon Bell hasn't rejoined his squad yet. However, his teammate said they won't let the RB's absence be a distraction.
Thomas not expected to play for Seahawks in Week 1 - NFL.com
Earl Thomas was in Seattle this week, but don't expect him to return to the Seahawks' facility ahead of their Week 1 clash with the Denver Broncos.
NFL: Issues raised by Kaepernick deserve attention - NFL.com
The NFL said in a statement Tuesday that the "social justice issues" raised by Colin Kaepernick and other professional athletes "deserve our attention and action."