Fall is in the air here in Denver. Also, so is the smell of victory. In Week Six, the Broncos picked up their second consecutive victory over the Titans. Even more, it was a shutout with a 16-0 win. In what is the best performance of the season so far, there is a lot to discuss. Still, as usual, we will limit ourselves to the top five takeaways from the week six win.
The Success of the Front Seven
In the preview to the week six matchup, we discussed the importance and emergence of the Broncos front seven. Well, that front seven showed up and showed out on Sunday. Also, the front seven did so in a couple of different ways. Firstly, there is the pass rush. Neither Mariota nor Tannehill had much success as they didn’t have time to breathe. Five different defenders had at least half a sack. Derek Wolfe led the way with two sacks, but it was more than just the pass rush yesterday.
Another key to victory in week six was the effectiveness in stopping the run. The Titans had 21 carries for 39 yards on Sunday. More importantly, Derrick Henry only had 28 yards on 15 carries. It seems like Fangio and the defensive coaching staff took a long look at the film from the Jaguars game. Henry did not have the success Fournette did in the Jags win. The Broncos front seven dominated the Titans in the trenches.
No-Fly Zone 2.0
In 2015, the Denver secondary was the unsung hero of that nasty, Super Bowl winning defense. In the past two weeks, especially in Week Six, the Broncos secondary is flexing its muscle as the No-Fly Zone once again. Sunday, the Broncos secondary allowed only 165 passing yards. For the season, the unit ranks fourth in the league. They allow only 196 yards per game. When you consider the league shift to a passing league, it’s something that should make them proud. The three interceptions in Week Six are not bad either.
Offensive Line Continues to Improve
Last week, the offensive was sufficient enough to help the team win. In Week Six, I daresay that the offensive line was pretty damn good. The Titans only had one sack and two quarterback hits. Don’t get me wrong. I nowhere near want to crown this unit as the best in the league. Still, considering how bad they can be, the offensive line has played well in the last couple of weeks. There are still areas to address in the draft, but the team has pieces it can work with moving forward.
Lighting and Thunder
The Broncos running backs had another solid game in Week Six. Phillip Lindsay finished with 70 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, which was good for 4.7 yards per rush. Rolls Royce finished with 34 yards on 11 carries but also had five catches for 42 yards. It just goes to show that the more this offense leans on these two studs, the better it runs.
Lindsay and Freeman accounted for 56% of the Broncos 270 total yards in Week Six. In the Week Five victory, Lindsay and Freeman accounted for 61% of the Broncos 350 total yards. Phillip had 17 total touches, and Royce had 16 total touches. I still think they can handle more, but the current workload seems to be working. So, no need to rock the boat, but the Broncos need to stick with this formula if they want to keep winning.
Turnovers Served Fresh
In their two wins this season, the Broncos are plus three in the turnover battle. In Week Six, Denver forced three turnovers to the Titans one. Again, another point the Mile High Review has beat to death is the need for turnovers. When the defense gets turnovers, it takes a lot of pressure off the offense. Taking the pressure off the offense means keeping the ball out of Flacco’s hands as much as possible. The defense continuing to get turnovers is key to the Broncos having any chance of winning.
This week, the Broncos are in the Thursday night game against the Chiefs. Without question, this will be their most formidable task yet. Preview for that game will be coming soon!