BRONCOS

Justin Simmons thinks Denver’s defense can be better, despite top ranking

Nov 16, 2022, 5:58 PM
Justin Simmons...
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The Broncos defense is carrying the offense this season.

That’s no secret. The team could legitimately be 0-9 if Denver’s defense wasn’t so good. Even QB Russell Wilson said on Wednesday that the offense is letting down “the best defense in the world.”

But even though the Broncos are giving up the fewest points per game in the NFL at 16.6 per game, star safety Justin Simmons thinks the unit can be even better.

“At the end of the day, it’s not like we’re losing games 3-0. We’re getting scored on, regardless of what those stats look like, defensively. First place and this, this, this and that. There is still room for improvement and that has to be our mindset,” Simmons said.

It’s a diplomatic stance, but one that still has to pain Simmons. Even though he’s missed five games, this group hasn’t missed a beat without one of the best NFL’s safety. Simmons was on IR for four games in September and October, and couldn’t go against the Titans last Sunday due to a knee injury.

Still, no matter who’s out there, defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero’s group has been special. Simmons is one of Denver’s longest tenured players, joining the Broncos right after their Super Bowl 50 win. He says this group is the best he’s ever played with.

“In my opinion and me playing on it, yes. This is the best defense I have been a part of,” Simmons said.

Even wearing street clothes during the game in Tennessee, Simmons saw some things that make him think the defense could’ve done more. Again, no one is blaming them for the loss, but they did have a double-digit lead at one point.

“Did we accomplish the No. 1 goal, stop the run? Yes, but we gave up way too much in the passing game. That’s obviously a result of trying to stop the run, but the flea-flicker touchdown and that one deep crosser, I think, hit for like 42 yards and put them in position to kick that field goal. The touchdown there on that two-minute drive, we have to be better. You go into halftime (up) 10-0, you never know what type of ball game that is after that,” Simmons said.

It’s a credit to Simmons’ leadership and maturity to go the microphone and say the right thing week in and week out. It’s not the defense’s fault this season has been a bust, and everyone knows that. But for Simmons to not say it out loud and create possible division in the locker room is admirable.

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