There is no question that the Denver Broncos have a solid defensive line and that has its advantages — if you can exploit them consistently. Dre’Mont Jones has gone against opposing right guards the first two weeks of the season but the defensive lineman with the best advantage is on the other side this week.
Shelby Harris is in prime position to produce in Week 3 because of the New York Jets' left guard. Rookie Alijah Vera-Tucker has shown flashes but has also struggled out to a rough start to his NFL career.
The Broncos have to exploit this matchup against Vera-Tucker and it starts with Harris.
The Broncos’ defense has had issues when opponents have attacked Harris in the running game, allowing 19 yards on four rushing attempts for a 75% success rate. It gets worse when looking at the left A-gap, where teams have rushed 16 times for 67 yards, though the success rate is only 56%.
However, the Jets have struggled when rushing behind Vera-Tucker, so the Broncos' defense on that side can improve in this matchup. But it goes beyond stopping the run.
Rushing the passer is where the Broncos' defensive line has the more considerable advantage this week. Vera-Tucker has allowed nine total pressures on the season facing off against defensive linemen who aren’t as good as Harris and Jones.
With the Broncos missing Bradley Chubb, Harris and Jones have to answer the bell and exploit this matchup to get more interior pressure on Jets' rookie QB Zach Wilson.
Last week, Jones had the advantage against Jacksonville guard A.J. Cann and the Broncos swapped Harris and Jones multiple timess, which netted three pressures combined. That's not enough production, to be honest, especially considering that half of the Broncos' total QB pressures last week came from Von Miller on the edge.
This defense simply has to be far more consistent at getting pass-rush prodcuction from guys not-named Miller.
I break it down more in-depth in the video above. Check it out!
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