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Broncos have the worst defense through five games ever recorded by DVOA

According to DVOA metrics, this is the worst defense the NFL has ever seen through the first five games of an NFL season. Are you surprised by this?

Denver Broncos v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Loren Elliott/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos defense has completely imploded. This historic collapse actually began last season. Down the stretch the defense was getting gashed and trampled, but even that defense held up far more frequently than this 2023 defense.

One of my favorite ways to measure how a team or unit stacks up against the rest of the league is through DVOA. So when Aaron Schatz posted this last night on X, I wasn’t surprised to learn that the 2023 Broncos defense is, in fact, one of the worst defenses we’ve ever seen in Denver.

To give you an idea of just how bad this start is on defense, let’s take a look at where the Broncos rank in several key areas:

  • 36.2 PPG (32nd)
  • 450.6 Total YPG (32nd)
  • 187.6 Rushing YPG (32nd)
  • 5.9 Rushing YPC (32nd)
  • 263 Passing TPG (29th)
  • 124.6 QBR (32nd)
  • 12 Sacks (21st)
  • 40.7% Third Down (18th)

The list goes on. There are several more 32nd rankings once you get into yards per play and points per play. It’s an historically bad defense, which is probably why we had that report from Adam Schefter before Denver even played the New York Jets saying that the Broncos were ready to listen to trade offers for almost any player on the defensive side of the ball.

Given these statistics, I would say get the trade discussions moving right away. Head Coach Sean Payton will take a lot of heat for the poor start, but let’s be real here, he took over a franchise at the very bottom heap of a long downward trend. I say let him blow this thing up and rebuild from scratch.

It should have been done a long time ago...