|Malik Jackson (97) applying pressure on Andrew Luck, QB of the Indianapolis Colts.|
Photo Courtesy: DenverBroncos.com
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Should Elway, Broncos Work a Trade? No Need to Panic
The +Denver Broncos certainly have been depleted on the offensive line with 3 starters out, 2 of them out for the season. The big boys up front on offense or defense, though, have been solid this season. Are they really in need of a trade though at 6-1 and room to improve their execution in many aspects. Some are suggesting to trade for Jared Allen of the Vikings. Does that mean Shaun Phillips, Derek Wolfe, Malik Jackson, and Robert Ayers see less playing time. The issue is not with the D-Line especially since we saw the Broncos best pass defense performance of the year on Sunday and they continue to be stout versus the run.
Hard to believe, given the score of 39-33. Take into account the Colts scored 26 points off of short-field situations and turnovers from the Broncos (including 2 minutes the Broncos left on the clock before half for the Colts to score a TD).
Not saying that Allen is a bad player by any means, but it is not a need for this team. He is a great player and leader from what has been observed. His teammates always are positive when speaking in terms of Allen. He is also a Colorado type-guy as well (Idaho - cowboy western roots). Shaun Phillips is filling in great on the 'other' DE role aside Von Miller, and Derek Wolfe/Malik Jackson are sound playing hybrid DE/DT pass/run situation roles as well. The pass defense has been inadequate this year, no one can deny that, but the +Denver Broncos rush defense has been solid this year. The call for urgency or quick reaction is not necessary. They are 6-1 and have a lot of room to improve on. If the offense did not continue to leave the defense in such bad situations last Sunday, the defense pulled through rather well in Miller's first game action.
Woodyard being out has definitely hurt the squad as well, him being the captain, signal caller and all. If they feel the necessity to trade for a player or position, the Broncos should pursue a LB if they are looking for assistance or more established depth. Danny Trevathan has improved markedly since coming in whilst seeing more snaps when "Hammer" Woodyard has been on the sideline with an injury.
The Broncos defense allowed the least amount of total yards and passing yards on their defense all season in week 7 versus the Colts. Even less than when they played the Giants in week 2, Raiders in week 3, and Jaguars in week 6. Two of those game were at home as well. The only game they forced more punts was versus the Ravens in week 1. 10 punts to the 9 they forced against the Colts. The Colts converted 5 of 17 3rd down attempts, the worst percentage that the Broncos opponents have had in a game this year as well.
It may not be enough to stop all the panicky articles and headlines being written. Broncos just need to stay the course and work on their execution and precision more than anything (and game management). The defense looked more active with one game that had Miller in there. The individual stats do not tell the story for Miller's return. Luck was hurried or forced to scramble regularly. The Broncos defense should iron those patches out. They have first year starters Ihenacho, Trevathan, Knighton, Wolfe, and last week Kayvon Webster seeing regular time and they will only improve as a unit. Woodyard returning would significantly stamp that together. A trade, if it is going to take a hit on their salary cap space in the coming off-season or sacrifice a valuable draft pick (every draft pick is valuable), even in the 7th round. A 7th round pick essentially means they are one of the top 210 players coming out of college. To be drafted says a lot in its own place. No trade is necessary unless a great find like Louis Vasquez somehow for the protection of Peyton Manning or a serviceable LB. Reasons the D-Line would be addressed do not stack up.