On paper, the Denver Broncos have had an advantage over their opponents through two games but haven't capitalized consistently. The Broncos need to figure out how to assert that advantage as they prepare for their Week 3 game against the New York Jets.
When it comes to Denver's offensive matchup, the opportunity is ripe for the offensive line to get the running game going. The Jets’ right defensive end is Bryce Huff and he will mostly be going against left tackle Garett Bolles.
Huff was an undrafted free agent out of Memphis in 2020 and played just under 300 snaps for the Jets last year. However, he flashed ability as a pass rusher in that brief playtime, picking up 14 total pressures on 173 pass-rushing snaps.
Huff has started poorly as an edge rusher this year with only four total pressures between the Jets' two games. It'll be a matchup to watch in pass protection because the reigning second-team All-Pro Bolles has given up five total pressures over the first two games.
Denver will need to get more out of Bolles on Sunday than it's been able to thus far especially on the heels of his fourth season where he allowed an unbelievably low 13 total QB pressures.
Where the Broncos have the advantage is in the running game. Huff has struggled against the run, and through two weeks, Jets' opponents have a high success rate when attacking his direction. Teams have a 71% successful run rate when running behind the left tackle and a 60% win rate to the outside of the left tackle through two games.
Overall, Jets' opponents have rushed 12 times behind or outside the left tackle for 82 yards with four runs of 10-plus yards. However, the Broncos have an even better opportunity to assert this advantage because, despite an impotent run game through two weeks, this is where they've been at their best.
Denver has been successful at a rate of 67% when rushing behind or to the outside of Bolles at left tackle. Through two games, with a struggling running game overall, the Broncos have had 16 attempts in this direction with 80 yards and two runs of 10-plus yards.
Bolles vs. Huff is a matchup just begging to be exploited by the Broncos’ offense. Bolles has looked great as a run blocker while Huff has struggled in that area.
This is the game the Broncos need to really establish the running game and help take pressure off of Teddy Bridgewater. As Denver enters the tough part of its schedule, the team needs to inflate the confidence of its offensive linemen and the best way to do that is by putting them on the attack with run blocking.
If Denver doesn't begin showing signs of life in its running game, especially with Graham Glasgow expected to return to his starting spot at right guard on Sunday, this season could derail quickly.
Check out the video above for a more in-depth analysis on the Bolles vs. Huff matchup.
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