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Published on 11/16/2011 at Wed Nov 16 11:55.
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Dennis Allen, Defensive Coordinator of the Denver Broncos directs the defense during training camp at the Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre at Dove Valley on July 28, 2011 in Englewood, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

If fans got to vote for coaches to represent the AFC and NFC in the NFL’s Annual All Star game, Denver’s Dennis Allen would the be front runner for defensive coordinator in our book.

The Saints’ secondary coach last season, Allen was hired by the Broncos last the offseason in hopes that he would turn around their less than formidable defense.  Under Allen, the Denver’s ‘D’ has gone from dead last in 2010 to middle of the pack in 2011.

Last season, the Broncos allowed 390.8 yards per game (32nd).  Through nine games this season, the Broncos have allowed 360.7 yards per game (18th).

The return of Pro Bowl pass rusher Elvis Dumervil and arrival of rookie linebacker Von Miller came at a good time for Allen, whose aggressive defense has recorded 24.0 sacks this season (9th).  In 2010, the Broncos recorded 23.0 sacks in sixteen games (32nd).

Confusing offensive lines, Denver has installed complex blitz packages that have resulted in four sacks coming from the secondary.  The increased pressure has resulted in six interceptions (23rd), just four less than the team recorded in nearly half as many games last season (30th).

Against the run, the Broncos numbers have also greatly improved.  Having allowed 1,058 rushing yards, Denver’s defense ranks sixteenth out of thirty-two teams.  Last season, Denver allowed 2,473 rushing yards, which ranked second to last.

The Broncos have also done a better job this season of eliminating big plays.  In 2010, the Broncos allowed 22 runs of twenty or more yards (32nd) and five rushes of forty or more yards (T-31st).  Through nine games this season, the Broncos have allowed eight runs of twenty or more yards (21st) and just one of forty or more yards (T-2nd).

Denver has allowed the ninth-least rushing touchdowns (5) this year, compared to the thirty-second most allowed last year (26).  The team that allowed an NFL-worst 55 touchdowns in 2010 is on pace to surrender 46 this season.  The difference in nine fewer touchdowns is 54 points (not including extra points).

The numbers clearly show that while the Broncos defense still leaves a lot to be desired, the unit is tremendously improved from last season.  Much of the credit for Denver’s defensive turnaround should be given to Allen.

How about it, Broncos Country?  Does Denver’s defense look like a different unit from last season?  I might even venture as far as to say the ‘D’ has looked scary the past two weeks.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s how we’ll know that the Broncos front office has REALLY learned all of the lessons from the latter half of the Shanny era: if they figure out how to make sure Allen is back for NEXT season, and actually allow him to, you know, build a system or something.  If Shanny were still in town, it’d be virtually guaranteed that Allen would not be back next year. 

  • Noskills07

    This has nothing to do with D but Im calling it right now.. 1st play on offense is fake hand off deep pass to royal… maybe even a hand off and pitch back then deep pass but IM calling it right now

  • Anonymous

    I was pumped about the hiring of Allen as our D-Coord. So far so good, keep it up D!

  • E. Halsey Miles

    Yeah, I like seeing improvement. It makes me happy. People seem to think any defense sucks if it doesn’t shut down the offense every play every game but even the best defenses don’t do that. While todays’ Denver Bronco defense is not going to turn any heads with being best in the league, it’s not running at the bottom of the league either.

  • Darwin

    They need corners, DTs, a linebacker or two and they should be good to go next year. You can “never” have enough good corners in a pass happy league.  You have to get inside push on your pass rush to be elite. I think Williams, character issues, is gone after this season.  All-in-all we are much improved from last year.

  • Datguyski

    Coach Allen has done a nice job starting to rebuild the defense. Give some credit to the Denver offense too, for inspiration and ball control. The defense looked like a totally different unit when Tebow entered the game against San Diego, and has continued to play well since, the exception being against Detroit. I’m looking forward to the Jets game and hope that we can continue to build on our success. Good luck Broncos!!

  • Anonymous

    Well put

  • Anonymous

    I agree with the play but feel like it might be Demaryius Thomas instead of Royal.  As long as whoever they throw to is covered by Cromartie we should be good though.  That guy sucks.  

  • Anonymous

    Great post and it’s a crazy stat that the D has more sacks at this point than they did all of last year.  Huge improvement and I hope Allen sticks around for a long time.

  • Nisse

    i think the improvement there is spelled von doom, they have gotten 10 sacks together. without them we have 14 sacks, tied for 29th in the league.

    this stat represent how good von miller really is alot more than how much better the D has gotten under Allen.