It was a tale of three seasons for the Denver Broncos defense. The first part involved some of the worst defensive play we’ve seen in a long time and included a 70-point blowout loss to the Miami Dolphins. Then a two month stretch where we saw more turnovers per game than at any time in the last two decades. The final part came at the end where the defense was just wholly average and could not do enough to help an anemic offense to victory.
So earlier this week, we asked fans if they thought defensive coordinator Vance Joseph deserved most of the blame for the 8-9 season. The answer was a resounding yes with 72% of fans voting to have him one and done after this season.
Getting away from the extreme swings, we dug deeper into Joseph’s defense without getting overly focused on the blowout losses or the turnover frenzies. In the end, we discovered that the defense failed in two critical areas worthy of a switch at the DC coaching position.
The first was their complete inability to generate pressure finishing 28th in the NFL at getting after the quarterback. The second was their horrendous run defense. It was so bad that we didn’t even rank it among 2023 defenses. We went back to the 1970-merger and found this was the 27th worst run defense since then.
While we could discuss that Sean Payton’s offense was less than impressive, they also didn’t put the defense in terrible positions with an obscene amount of turnovers on their side of the field. Given that and how poorly the defense played in those two key areas above, I could see why fans are ready for a change there.
What do you think about Vance Joseph: should Denver give him another offseason to figure things out or make the change now and hope the next guy will fix things? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!