They were in dire need of some consistency and a proper plan, and now the Denver Broncos have the right mindset. After shutting down one of the best offenses in the NFL, it is clear the Broncos are learning from their mistakes and are still capable of earning a playoff spot – if they use last Sunday’s game as a template from here on out.
Denver Broncos Have the Right Mindset for the Rest of the Season
Defense Has the Right Mindset
Weeks 4-6 were a nightmare for Denver’s defense, culminating in the Cleveland Browns running all over them in Week 7. Head coach Vic Fangio then revamped the unit, starting inside linebackers Baron Browning and Kenny Young. The Broncos managed to shut down the Dallas Cowboys, arguably one of the best offenses in the league. Dallas went 0-for-4 on fourth down attempts, and the Broncos registered five quarterback hits, two sacks and an interception.
Fangio reiterated the fact that Dallas being in the top three in almost every offensive category, Denver’s defense defied the odds. “Those guys had the right mindset, which you have to when you’re playing against an offense that is that good… for us to come in here and do that, it’s just kudos to the players… and we did more than slow them down.” If they keep this winning mentality, Denver can go a lot further than expected.
The Edge Rushers Are Doing Just Fine
In their first game since Von Miller left, the Broncos remaining edge rushers made sure to fill those big shoes. With Bradley Chubb on injured reserve and Malik Reed sidelined with a hip injury, Stephen Weatherly started across from Jonathan Cooper. He generated a lot of pressure while Cooper, a seventh-round pick, stunned everyone by leading the team with four tackles (two behind the line of scrimmage), two quarterback hits and two sacks. Denver still has an impressive and talented group of pass rushers. Their future looks good.
There Are Major Improvements in the Run Game
Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur finally decided on a run-heavy approach, and it paid off big. Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams were a one-two punch, proving themselves capable of dominating a game. Gordon finished with 21 carries for 80 yards and a touchdown and Williams totaled 111 rushing yards on 17 carries. They mixed it up enough to keep Dallas defense guessing. If they did it once, they can do it again.
The #Broncos’ 190 rushing yards Sunday are the most in a single game since Oct. 6, 2019, vs the Chargers in which they had 191.
Probably can’t rush for 190 every week, but gotta keep running the ball well to find success offensively.
— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) November 8, 2021
The entire offensive line had a massive ground game. With backups at left tackle, right guard and right tackle, Denver’s rushing attack controlled the game. Their time of possession was 41:12 to 18:48. The Broncos didn’t wait till they had a lead to start running. They ran early and kept running even when the game was close. Moving forward, this approach may be most beneficial. Teddy Bridgewater was able to connect with receiver Tim Patrick on a 44-yard touchdown pass because stopping the run opened up the passing game.
The Broncos started the season well, faltered for four weeks, picked up again in Week 8, and finally had the right plan in Week 9. If they can be consistent and repeat their most recent performance, they could come away with a victory against the Philadelphia Eagles, going into their bye on a strong note.