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The big takeaway: Broncos’ D has turned a corner

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It took four weeks, but the last two have shown that the Broncos’ defense is figuring things out.

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The first winless month of the season has given way to back-to-back wins. The Denver Broncos didn’t just get their first home win of the season against the Tennessee Titans. They harassed Marcus Mariotta so badly he was removed from the game. Ryan Tannehill in relief fared only slightly better. The Broncos defense bottled up a dangerous Derrick Henry, keeping him to just 28 yards on 15 carries.

On the MHR Radio Podcast (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify), the big takeaway from the Broncos’ 16-0 shoutout of the Titans is that Vic Fangio’s defense is finally coming together. Anytime a defense can hold an NFL team scoreless, it is doing something right.

And it all comes from the players finally grasping the concepts that Fangio and defensive coordinator Ed Donatell have been implementing. It started against the Chargers, and the defense continued its march against Tennessee for the first home win of the season. But it wasn’t just about players figuring out the scheme.

AJ Johnson had another big game. His second in two weeks. Fangio may have found his inside linebacker. With 1.5 sacks and 6 tackles, Johnson is the impact player Denver was missing at the beginning of the season.

Johnson is a prime example of the coaches also figuring out which players fit their plans. DeMarcus Walker is another player who had a big game, and seems to have found where he fits into the defense. He added two sacks, and was a monster on the field. It shows how well the defensive line is coming together. And of course, moving Shelby Harris to defensive end from nose tackle has paid huge dividends for the entire line.

Kareem Jackson put the game away with an interception in the end zone. His presence has been incredibly important for the back-end of the defense. He is the tone setter on defense, and shows each week how important he is to the Broncos’ success.

The offense continues to show flashes. Phillip Lindsay shows every week why he is a stud. Courtland Sutton and Joe Flacco are building a solid rapport. It wasn’t the prettiest offensive performance, but they did enough to get the win.

This game, however, was all about the dominant performance of the defense. They rendered the Titans offense inept. It was a great way to grab the first home win of the season. It was also a big statement about what the team is capable of.

With a wounded Chiefs team coming to Mile High for a Thursday night game, shutting out the Titans announced to the league that the Broncos have turned a corner. They are a dangerous team and won’t roll over for anyone.

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