The past three weeks have been a struggle for the Denver Broncos. The defense has been the team’s safe haven; without them, they easily would’ve lost to Miami this past Sunday.
After losing to both Atlanta and Las Vegas before sneaking a win past Miami, where have the top players on Denver’s team been trending?
Simmons is one of the most overlooked players on the Broncos team. The safety is a valuable position due to its versatility—they tackle runners, cover wide receivers, intercept the ball, and cover the field. Simmons does his job perfectly. Against the Falcons, he put up 5 tackles, 2 passes defended, and 1 interception. Against the Raiders, he had 9 tackles. Finally, against the Dolphins he had 7 tackles, 2 passes defended, and 1 game-ending interception. Simmons never lets his guard down; from the minute the game begins to the minute it ends, he is always on. His energy is critical to Denver’s continued defensive success.
Gordon and Lindsay are the ideal running tag team. Neither running back could handle being the sole go-to runner—they would either get too tired or injured. The combo ran for a combined 255 yards and 2 touchdowns over the past three games, with both obtaining the majority of their yardage against Miami. Gordon is responsible for both touchdowns, but he wouldn’t have those scores without Lindsay’s help getting the ball downfield. Gordon and Lindsay are the reason Drew Lock doesn’t have to rely on his wide receivers for yardage.
Jewell is representative of the entire Broncos defensive line. Without him, the defense wouldn’t be the same. Jewell brings an edge to the game that shows in his play. He put up 23 total tackles and another 1.5 tackles for loss across 3 games. Denver’s defense is vicious; the line accumulated 8 sacks across 3 games, with 6 of them coming against the Dolphins. There is always room for growth, but there are no major complaints regarding the defensive at this point in the season.
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The only player who truly needs a lot of work is Lock. Everyone knows Lock has been riding front seat on the struggle bus this season. Between two injuries and an entirely new offense, the Mizzou alum certainly had his hands full. However, even with the injuries, Lock has a very iffy record. The quarterback has thrown 6 interceptions across the past 3 games. His pass completion is only 52.8% from these last few games. Finally, Lock has only thrown 3 touchdown passes over 3 weeks. Those are pretty horrible statistics, even for a rookie. A lot was expected from him as a second year NFL quarterback. He likely wasn’t ready to step into the driver’s seat right off the bat. However, Denver currently has no other options for quarterback. The future of the Broncos offense depends on if Lock is able to overcome his inconsistencies and grow into the leader Elway thought he would be.
Denver sits at 4-6 going into week 12. While a playoff run is out of the picture, there is one big thing the team can work on: offensive chemistry. Lock is the reason his wide receivers aren’t getting many catches—his passes are always overthrown. When/If Lock becomes more consistent in his passing, the offensive chemistry will begin to fall into place and their record would improve drastically.
–Caitlyn Allen covers the Denver Broncos for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. Follow her on Twitter @caitlyyyn_allen