Denver Broncos: Will Defense Suffer without Aqib Talib?


Aqib Talib received a one-game suspension for his eye-poking incident near the end of the game against the Colts. Will the Denver Broncos’ defense struggle?

Near the end of the Denver Broncos’ week nine game against the Indianapolis Colts, Von Miller and Dwayne Allen exchanged shoves before Aqib Talib approached Allen, reached into his face mask, and poked Allen in the eye. Talib received a personal foul penalty, but he was not ejected from the game due to it. The penalty proved to be costly, because it allowed the Colts to run the clock down to 30 seconds. However, a penalty on the Colts’ field goal attempt allowed them to run-out the clock to secure the win.

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After the game, people everywhere scrutinized the All-Pro corner back for his actions late in the game. Moreover, Roger Goodell deemed the foul to be excessive, and he tagged Aqib Talib with a one-game suspension, effective immediately. Thus, Talib will miss the Denver Broncos week 10 home matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. With Talib set to serve his suspension, Chris Harris and Kayvon Webster are set to head the Broncos’ cornerback corps.

The Kansas City Chief rank 12th in the NFL in points for, and they are among the league-leaders in fewest turnovers. With Aqib Talib not on the field, the Denver Broncos may find takeaways hard to come by. However, the Chiefs rank in the bottom-third of the NFL in passing yards and passing touchdowns, so perhaps, Talib’s absence will not be felt as much as it would against a pass-heavy offense. Alex Smith only has three interceptions this season, largely due to Andy Reid‘s quick-passing scheme. 

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Aqib Talib is not only a shutdown corner, but also he is a great open-field tackler. The Chiefs rely heavily on their running game, and likely, if Talib was on the field, he would help in that aspect. The Chiefs registered the second-most rushing touchdowns through the first half of the season, averaging 4.6 yards per attempt. However, the Denver Broncos have one of the best defenses in the league, so if the Broncos shut down the Chiefs’ run-game, the Chiefs likely struggle with their passing game, despite Talib’s absence.

Despite back-to-back weeks where the Denver Broncos’ failed to record a turnover, their defense remains one of the most elite in the NFL. Likely, the Broncos will not miss Aqib Talib on Sunday, because the Chiefs do not love to pass to their wide receivers. Jeremy Maclin leads the Chiefs’ wide receiving corps with 42 receptions for 556 yards and two touchdowns. Moreover, Smith averages 246 passing yards per game, so the Broncos need to focus on the run-first scheme of the Chiefs.

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After a week nine loss to the Indianapolis Colts, the Denver Broncos look to get back into the win column with their home matchup against the Chiefs in week 10. Although the Broncos’ defense gets weaker by losing Aqib Talib for a game, their defense remains an elite option in week 10, and they should not struggle to contain the Chiefs’ run-game. Look for Marhsall, Trevathan, Ward, and Harris to shoulder the load in week 10 as the Broncos look to regain traction after a loss to the Colts.