Broncos getting pushed around on the defensive front |

Broncos getting pushed around on the defensive front

Jeff Legwold
The Denver Post
Washington Redskins Ladell Betts diving for yardage in their scoring drive in the 4th quarter at FedEx Field in Landover, MD. Joe Amon, The Denver Post

It has been a theme of the past three games, especially when the Broncos found themselves trailing with opposing offenses looking to slam the door.

The offense loads up on wide receivers, the Broncos answer with their five defensive back package – the nickel – and the offense runs the ball well enough out of a pass-first look to consistently keep the Broncos defense on the field.

The Broncos have played a bigger front in the nickel over the last two games, keeping their first-team defensive line in for the most part instead of going with the smaller front they had used for much of their first seven games of the season.

However, the Redskins still chose to run eight times against the Broncos’ nickel look in the fourth quarter alone Sunday for 48 yards, a total that included an 18-yard run and an 11-yard run.

The 11-yard run, by Ladell Betts, came on a second-and-12 in the Redskins’ last touchdown drive, just after Elvis Dumervil had sacked Jason Campbell for a 2-yard loss. On the third-and-1 play that followed, the Redskins again ran against the nickel, this time for one yard and a first down.

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