Broncos need more from their pass rush in Week 2

The Denver Broncos will need more production from their pass against the Washington Commanders this week than they got against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1.

That shouldn’t be hard to accomplish given that the team’s pass rush was just about non-existent last week. Broncos outside linebackers Randy Gregory, Jonathon Cooper, Frank Clark and Nik Bonitto combined to total just two “pressures” and zero quarterback hits against the Raiders.

After a 17-16 loss, Denver players attributed the lack of pressure in part to the quick release of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo

“I know we did not have any sacks today, but I think going into the game if you look at ‘Jimmy G,’ I mean it is very well known to get the ball out quick,” defensive end Zach Allen said.

“He’s very smart, like I said earlier in the week, he knows where the ball is going before the ball is even snapped. So obviously you just can’t get frustrated. I think there was some good wins out there but obviously we can improve in every aspect.”

Broncos edge defender Randy Gregory noted that Denver was focused on stopping the run, which they did relatively well. Las Vegas running back Josh Jacobs was limited to 48 yards on 19 carries, averaging just 2.5 yards per rush.

“I do not feel like [Garoppolo] dropped back much early on,” Gregory said. “[They] did a good job of running the ball, taking shots when they needed to and getting the play action when they needed to. I know for me that probably messed me up a little bit.

“As a pass rusher, you would like to get a little bit more opportunities for one-on-one rushes and to see him drop back more. I think we had a good game plan to stop the run. We just need to cut down on some of the explosive plays and make plays when we need to.”

The Broncos will likely be helped by the eventual return of outside linebacker Baron Browning, who is eligible to be activated from the reserve/physically unable to perform list in Week 5. In the meantime, Gregory, Cooper, Clark and Bonitto have to create more pressure, even when the game flow makes it difficult.

Denver should have an easier time generating pressure when the team faces the Washington Commanders and second-year QB Sam Howell in Week 2. Howell was sacked six times in Washington’s season opener.

Story originally appeared on Broncos Wire