Blame Rankings In The Denver Loss

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#1 Run Defense

This one is obvious and not much more needs to be said about it. The crux of the problem is partially play-calling, but mostly personnel – i.e. injuries. I actually think the D-line played admirably against the run. Both DE Allen Bailey and DE Jaye Howard had tackles for losses and Howard in particular got a lot of stuffs for short gains.

Nov 30, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Denver Broncos running back Juwan Thompson (40) runs the ball as Kansas City Chiefs inside linebacker James-Michael Johnson (52) defends during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

But things were dreadful at the second level with the exception of OLB “Pay This Man!” Justin Houston and the steadfast OLB Tamba Hali, who had mostly positive outings against the run. MLB Derrick Johnson and S Eric Berry have long been the run-killers once opposing backs get beyond the line of scrimmage and their absence in this game was felt immensely.

This would be a great run defense in two-hand-touch, but they’re dreadful in tackle football. It seems everyone missed at least one tackle in this game, and I wasn’t crazy about the run blitzes that DC Bob Sutton called. In most cases, the point of those blitzes is to fill all the running lanes with defenders so the backs have no where to go. On Sunday, all it did was ensure that when Anderson found a hole or slipped by a linebacker, he would not see another red jersey for 20 yards.

Unfortunately there’s not much to fix here other than to put MLB Joe Mays into the lineup and teach everyone that it’s okay to hit ball-carriers with your body and wrap them up with your arms.