Broncos defense ‘needs to take care of business’ in crunch time
The Denver Broncos have the third-best defense by points allowed in the NFL, allowing only 17.1 points per game at this juncture in the season.
If the Broncos offense simply scored 18 points per regulation, they’d be 9-1 right now. Instead, Denver’s constipated offense has managed a meager 14.7 points per contest, leading to a 3-7 record. But the Broncos have taken many leads this season, including on Sunday when they had an 87% chance to win the game according to ESPN’s win probability. The late and high chance to win the game has happened a bunch this season; Denver’s defense simply isn’t closing games out.
In fact, only twice has the Broncos defense held an opponent without points in the fourth quarter and/or overtime, and those efforts came in the first two games of the season. So eight straight times, Denver’s stout defense started bending and breaking, coming to the end.
“All the stats and stuff are great, but like, but it’s what you do in those critical moments,” Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero said. “We just have to execute better; it’s execution. It’s better clarity from the coaches; it’s better play from the players. We could be as good as you want those first 55 minutes, but it’s not going to matter if you don’t take care of our business down the end.”
And it hasn’t mattered, given the Broncos record. What could be an Orange Crush-like season for Denver is more of a wasted year of decent defense lost in late-game execution and lousy offense.
“We have to lock in, “Evero says. “I think we just have to lock in and play better and make plays and coach better.”
As far as it being the offense’s fault for not scoring enough, Evero doesn’t buy that.
“I don’t believe in excuses,” the coach said. “I think we have more than enough to get it done. And we just have to lock in all of us collectively and get it done.”