As optimistic as Steve Atwater is about the Broncos, he’s still a realist.
Talking with Broncos Country Tonight on Tuesday, he knows that the Broncos’ four-touchdown day against a depleted Panthers’ defense, and its backup cornerback-led secondary against a covid/injury-weakened Panthers offense is not going to easily translate against a surging Buffalo Bills team.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for some excitement over the Broncos’ win on Sunday.
Not just because it was a check in the ‘W’ column, but because it brought a ton of positives.
“They came out and executed the game plan well,” he said, noting a great offensive game plan. “We were super productive; the defense held up well; especially both offensive and defensive lines. We were able to play a decent Panthers team and come out with the victory. But we’re going to need that and much more this upcoming week.”
With usual Atwater optimism, the Hall-of-Fame safety still thinks anything is possible this Saturday. But the way Buffalo’s defense is playing, Drew Lock and the offense are going to have to “be hitting on all cylinders.”
“I like the progress Drew Lock made, but it all starts with that offensive line,” Atwater said, adding the importance of protecting the quarterback and establishing the running game. “If that offensive line shows up, they can have 150-160 yards rushing, and Drew Lock can have a good day. Gotta give that offensive line props.”
Garett Bolles: 481 pass-blocking snaps without giving up a sack.— PFF (@PFF) December 16, 2020
Most in the NFL among tackles this season pic.twitter.com/bNIiLpTvY3
There have been a lot of recent comparisons of Drew Lock to Josh Allen, many fans hoping Lock goes the route of Allen by making huge improvements in his third year.
While many analysts have pointed out that Allen is an anomaly in his thriving development this year, the comparisons likely won’t stop when the two QBs take the field together this weekend.
But Allen will have the benefit of a few years in his offense going up a decimated secondary for Denver. And that could spell trouble for the Broncos.
“The Bills play hard; they’re scrappy - and their QB has gotten better each and every year,” Atwater said of Allen, who is a QB a lot of defenders don’t want to have to tackle. “He can beat you with his arms or his legs. But his accuracy is what has impressed me more than anything. He’s been putting it on the money.”
Limiting the capacity of Allen to beat the defense with either his arm or legs can only happen by getting pressure on him, Atwater believes. Fortunately, that’s been a specialty of a Vic Fangio defense.
“You got to get pressure up front and a lot of zone coverage,” he said. “We know these guys can go deep, but if we do what we did last week, get a lot of zone coverage and do well against urn...if we come out and play the way we’ve played the last couple of weeks and we’re going to have a good chance of not only being in this game but winning it and surprising a lot of people.”
More up to the defense to contain Josh Allen, or Drew Lock to keep the offense scoring?
This poll is closed
Locked and loaded, baby!
D all day, baby!