BRONCOS

Denver’s defense needs to complete the herculean task of finishing games

Dec 8, 2022, 12:46 PM
Justin Simmons...
Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos defense has been good enough to win the team plenty of games but their offense just can’t come through.

The story all year is an offense letting down a defense and that was true again in last week’s 10-9 loss to the Ravens. But in recent weeks Denver’s defense is conceding points late, after hanging tough for most of the game. Over the year the Broncos have only been outscored 54-49 in the fourth quarter, since the bye the Broncos have been out-paced 28-13 in the fourth quarter and overtime.

In that span, opponents have converted on tying or going ahead scores with 2:59 left, 28 seconds left, 16 seconds left and a walkoff touchdown in overtime. That has undone what have been largely great defensive efforts as the Broncos are currently second in the NFL, allowing 17 points per contest. Again the offense scoring under 14 points per game is the real issue but that doesn’t stop the defense from wanting to be better or even perfect.

“We got to finish better, we got to do it from all ends, coaches, players, and it’s been very frustrating,” Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero said. “I think it’s probably the same sentiment for the whole team. We just feel like we’re right there and we just haven’t got it done. There’s  a lot of reasons, but at the end of the day, we’ve got to be better in all facets.”

Evero hinted a bit at what must be his frustration with Denver’s offense. Allowing just 10 points on the road and getting two interceptions should’ve been plenty for a win. No team across the NFL has won in nearly three decades doing what the Ravens did.

Instead of a backup quarterback and a constipated run game, Evero’s group will be tasked with MVP frontrunner Patrick Mahomes on Sunday.

“I haven’t played against them since 2018, and they were pretty good. We played them on a Monday night game was 52 to 48,” Evero said referencing the classic game the Rams and Kansas City played several seasons ago. “It wasn’t a great feeling for me, but I just feel like they’ve just been a great team over the years. They have one of best coaches of all-time, they got a great quarterback and I think they just do a good job with their personnel have utilized for their strengths.”

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Denver’s defense needs to complete the herculean task of finishing games