The Broncos defense, which allowed 92 and 203 yards for the past two weeks, has been a legitimate talking point on the way to Sunday’s game against Miami.
But Broncos coach / defender Vic Fangio should have spent time this week on another pressing issue: Beyond linebacker, Bradley Chubb are being restarted. Chubb was completely held off the scorecard in losses against Atlanta and Las Vegas. No pressure. No knockdowns. No pockets.
“We have to do better in first and second place overall as we get into some third downs,” Fangio said on Friday. “There really weren’t many pitches last week, but Bradley is getting close.”
Atlanta and Las Vegas both went 6-of-13 in third place against the Broncos. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was 5 out of 10 passing in third place (five conversions, including two touchdowns), and Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was 6 out of 9 passing (four conversions).
The Raiders and Falcons combined for 69 total dropbacks, destroying the Broncos story that backlog has led to opponents fully committed to the game in progress. According to The Denver Post’s game charting, Chubb had 58 pass rushes against Atlanta and Las Vegas.
Against Atlanta (31 pass rushes), he lined up just outside the linebacker on every pass rush snap. He got a double shift four times and a chip blockade three times. Against Las Vegas (27 pass rushes), he was right outside linebacker on 21 plays, used as an inner rusher on six plays and left outside linebacker in a row on two plays. He got a double shift five times and a chip block twice.
Fangio changed things up in Las Vegas in an effort to get Chubb going. On the inner passstorm, Chubb lined up over the left and right guards.
“That was my first time there this season and those guys didn’t know what to expect from me or what was to come,” he said. “Only those ‘games’ can turn the ends and I could change roles and make the choice, it was a cool experience. Hopefully I will get even more opportunities. “
The production in which Chubb has been given outreaching opportunities is hit and miss. His season is divided into three parts.
Part 1 (Games 1-2): No sacks and 2 1/2 total upsets (1 1/2 knockdowns and one push). The Broncos went 0-2.
Part 2 (Games 3-7): A whopping 14 1/2 total stoppages (5 1/2 sacks, four knockdowns, and five strains). The Broncos went 3-2.
Part 3 (games 8-9): don’t cook anything. The Broncos went 0-2.
The correlation is easy to see. When Chubb creates chaos, the Broncos win.
“Sometimes (getting locked out) happens from week to week, but we’re fine with the way (Chubb) is rushing and making sure he gets home at some point,” Fangio said.
Chubb said, “I can’t get frustrated with it. It’s the way the game will be played, so you have to get out there and change it. Get out there and do something about it. As a rusher, I have to raise my hands and avoid those quick throws and maybe move a little faster. Whatever it takes to give that 1% more, I’m going to try to do that for the rest of the season. “