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Reason #11: Defenses led by Steve Atwater were pretty good

The Denver Broncos were among the league leaders in defensive DVOA in most years Steve Atwater was on the field.

Leonard Russell Chargers

As we continue our countdown of reasons Steve Atwater should be in the Hall of Fame Class of 2019, I dove into the Denver Broncos defensive DVOA rankings during his career with the team.

Aside from reaching the Pro Bowl in seven straight seasons and being a two time First-Team All-Pro, Atwater also led the Broncos defense to some impressive DVOA rankings in his career. He played at a time when the franchise was going through some upheaval, with plenty of turnover at the head coaching position and defensive coordinators too.

Despite all that, he and the Broncos defense finished in the Top 10 in DVOA under all three head coaches Atwater played for: Dan Reeves, Wade Phillips, and Mike Shanahan. That’s quite a feat for any team to achieve and Atwater was that defenses best player in most of these seasons:

This is something most Hall of Fame voters will likely overlook, because most of them just didn’t care about the Broncos until the late 90s. Steve Atwater was the best safety in football for half his career. Usually, that assures a player a first-ballot consideration when it is time to vote for a player to enter the Hall of Fame.

However, Atwater’s eligibility is quickly running out. I find that unacceptable.