Why Broncos defense is sick of being told they look tired: “I just don’t believe in excuses.”


Did they bend? All over the place. Especially late.

But safety Justin Simmons doesn’t buy the argument that the Broncos defense might already be broken from all the weight that it’s had to carry so far this season.

“I wouldn’t say (we’re getting) ‘tired,’” Simmons told The Denver Post during preparations at UCHealth Training Center for a visit to 3-8 Carolina on Sunday.

“I think, for the goals that we want to have as a defense, you really relish those opportunities. You’re excited for them. You want to think about the multiple times this year that we’ve been kind of put in those situations to go (save a game), and we have. I mean, we just obviously fell short on that (last) Sunday, playing the Raiders.”

Consider: The Broncos went six games without giving up an explosive pass play — that is, a pass of 20 yards or more — during the final two minutes or in overtime of a game. In other words, during crunch time.

Over the last four tilts, they’ve given up five. And in a soul-crushing overtime home loss to Las Vegas this past Sunday, they surrendered four to Derek Carr alone.

“I wouldn’t say (we’re tired),” defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero said of the crunch-time slips. “I just don’t believe in excuses. 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.”

Entering Week 12, the Broncos ranked 15th in most opponent offensive plays per game (63.0), which is only slightly up from their season tally during 2021 (61.1). Opponents’ time of possession percentage: 49.67%, good for 17th.

Even if they’re not tired, per se, the Broncos have felt a little short — especially in the pass-rushing department. The trading away of outside linebacker Bradley Chubb to Miami earlier this month speaks to some of it. But so, too, do the absences of Randy Gregory and Baron Browning off the edge.

Per, the Broncos over their first eight games averaged 2.9 sacks and six hits per game and were among NFL’s best units in pressure percentage and sack percentage.

The last two tilts? Different tales. Over the previous fortnight, the Broncos have dipped to No. 16 in the NFL in pressure percentage (22.7% of dropbacks) and up to third in blitz rate (35.6%) as Evero has felt compelled to create different means of harassing opposing quarterbacks.

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Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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