Broncos undone again by run defense vs. Steelers
The Denver Post
The Broncos tried to beef up things in their nickel package – five defensive backs – Monday night, but still might find it a target of opposing running games over the second half of the season.
The Ravens ran seven times against the Broncos nickel package in the game – six of those in the second half – for 55 yards. That was against the defensive front the Broncos have used much of the time this season when they go to the nickel – Darrell Reid (270 pounds) at nose tackle with Elvis Dumervil (248 pounds) and Vonnie Holliday (285 pounds) at the two end spots.
However, against the Steelers when the Broncos put the fifth defensive back on the field – Ty Law – and then subbed in linebackers Robert Ayers and Wesley Woodyard as they normally do, they left their bigger defensive line in for most of the snaps when they were in the nickel.
For most of the night, nose tackle Ronald Fields (314 pounds) and ends Kenny Peterson (295) and LeKevin Smith (308), playing for the injured Ryan McBean, stayed in the game.
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