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Published on 10/03/2008 at Fri Oct 03 11:39.
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Champ and Boss Bailey (AP Photo)

The BroncoTalk Staff is grading the Denver Broncos through the first four games of the 2008 season. Here’s our take on the pass defense. We invite you to give your grade at the bottom of each post as well. Enjoy!

Pass Defense – Staff Grade – D

Jonathan – C- – We’re not pressuring the QB and we’re giving up short yardage passes (some of which turn into big plays). Our CB have given up one side of the field every week and produced very few deflections and interceptions. I think Shanahan is going through defensive backs (safeties and CB’s) right and left and we still don’t have an answer. I wish I had an easy fix… unfortunately, I don’t. :(

Josh – D- – The only thing not giving this unit a flat out F is that I thought the defense as a whole unit played better against the Chiefs when we thought we would need it the least.  More of the same from this group, pure inability to reach the quarterback all season. I hate to say it, but I think Moss and Crowder are starting to look like busts. We need a true playmaker.  They’ve made a few key stops all season.  I do like the switch to Jack Williams over Paymah. The kid has nothing but upside at this point because he basically looked like the same person as Paymah in a bad game against K.C.

E. Halsey Miles – F – Pass defense gets a big fat F.

Ian – F – Well, as bad as it is made out to be? No. Better than it’s supposed to be? Definitely not. It seems like the pass rush is missing the angles, coming up milliseconds from quarterback sacks. Whether Denver is employing a 4-3, 3-4, nickel, cover-2, cover-3 or stunting like Lil’ Wayne’s Daddy, they just can’t get to the quarterback. The pass rush, collectively, has gotten to the quarterback five times in four games: Kenny Peterson (two sacks), D.J. Williams, John Engelberger and Ebenezer Ekuban (all one sack), have all taken the bull by the horns this season. That puts Denver amongst interesting company, ranked 23rd in the NFL for sacks, the New England Patriots, Washington Redskins and Jacksonville Jaguars all rank consecutively below Denver. Yet, the pass rush only accounts for 50% of the pass defense. Though the Broncos didn’t blatantly come out and say it, the amount of turnover they’ve had in the secondary since training camp has basically signaled a code red. Denver cannot get an answer from their corners on who should be their nickel back, that coupled with the fact that a ball hawk safety has yet to emerge.They are ranked whiskers above dead last in pass defense, by .2 yards actually. Something’s got to give, but take into account the fact that the Broncos have faced two of the dominant passing offenses in the NFL within the first four weeks of the season.

Kyle – C- – Pass defense has a lot to do with the quarterback you face each week, and in four weeks in the NFL the Broncos have played two of the top quarterbacks in the league in 2008. How remarkable is this – both Cutler and Saints QB Drew Brees or on pace to beat Dan Marino’s season yardage record – Cut would just edge it out, and Brees would destroy it. I’m not concerned about giving up yards to him or Philip Rivers – all three QB’s are having MVP-caliber seasons through the first quarter. C- is still a bad grade – they need to pressure the quarterback better, and the coaches need to give a playmaker like Champ Bailey the opportunity to succeed – but I’m not overly concerned about passing offenses against our defense in the future.

Grade the Broncos pass defense through the first quarter of the season.

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  • T-Money

    You should make that Champ and Boss picture a create a caption….

    I think the Defense is not a bad as it looks. It’s not good by any means but i think they have done alot of good things, that no one wants to mention. I gave them a c-

  • BroncoFan18

    No matter who you have in your secondary, if you don’t get a good pash rush, you will get burned. We don’t need at shake-up in our secondary, rather we need an overhall on the d-line.

  • Roy

    If the QB has all say to throw, eventually someone is going to be open. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

  • http://no olen

    Corect rush the quarterback less accuracy etc. Review the Giants playing the Patriots in the Superbowl and check out Strahan thundering over the line towared the quarterback. See the results .Shannahan knows this stuff. We need some craziness to disrupt the Status Quo .

  • Ian Henson

    I’d be all for the way that you saw teams like Baltimore and Jacksonville play New England. You’d see defensive lines kind of just running around each other, walking around prior to the hike. It was impossible to tell who was rushing, who was coming at what gap- it was incredible to watch.

    Anyone who saw Baltimore nearly defeat New England last season would agree.

  • Mike In El Paso

    Champ is the only guy in our secondary that should be starting, Dre Bly is awful, we have no depth at corner, are safeties are garbage. I’ve heard people say Champ isn’t having a great year, HE’S ONLY BEEN THROWN AT 9 FREAKIN TIMES CAUSE EVERYONE IS HORRIBLE!!!!!!

  • Chooch

    Right on Mike. True dat! Paymah, Bly and Manuel are crumbling. Missed tackles, missed opportunities, bad reads. It looks like a three ring circus in the backfield. We’ve given up way too much yardage regardless of who the opponents QB is. You don’t win Superbowls by letting offenses run over the top of you. Secondly, we have NO pass rush. It was the same thing last year too! How can you win a game when you can’t control the ball. You control the ball by keeping the ball in the hands of the offense. The defense has been our Achilles heal for years. Coyer, Bates, Patterson. The defensive casualty list goes on and on. Does anybody think that maybe Lynch jumped ship before it sank? Just a thought. I’ll tell you who I miss, I miss Kubiak

  • flbronc

    with the exception of kc almost all of the points we give up are through the air. the drives associated with opps scoring are definately made possible by our swiss cheese secondary. it does not help that our line cant even smell the opposing qb’s jock strap.

  • mikebirty

    this starts and ends with the d line. The need for a power house tackle is huge. Robertson, Thomas and Peterson have been ok but we need a monster in there. The whole line just needs a shake up and if they can move from being ok to above average it makes a huge difference – i’d probably move Ek in to start at end, he’s been the best player.

    As for the secondary, the offense is built around the weapons of Jay, Brandon and Eddie. So why isn’t the secondary built round Champ and giving him the best opportunity to play well.


  • robtink242

    hey we need trade moss, crowder and paymah. lets try and get a quality DE and see what barret can offer

  • sir

    ill argue they deserve an A its the pressure defense that makes them look bad