The Denver Broncos have done an excellent job of turning their season around in the last month or so. With their victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football, they are riding a four-game winning streak, which has pushed their record back to the .500 mark.
Denver controls their own fate, as they are facing off against AFC teams vying for a playoff spot in their next three games. Matchups against the Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans and Los Angeles Chargers will determine their fate, as a 2-1 stretch would put them in excellent position for a playoff spot.
A big reason for the team’s turnaround in the last month has been their defensive performance. The Broncos are allowing only 17.4 points per game in their last five, which includes two matchups against the Kansas City Chiefs and one game against the Buffalo Bills.
Holding those two offenses in the fashion the Broncos did is very impressive. What makes it an even more eye-popping success is that they have done it without a consistent pass rush. Even after Sunday’s victory over the Vikings, in which they picked up two more sacks, the Broncos have only 19 on the season.
That is tied for the fourth least in the NFL with New York Giants. That is one area Jeremy Fowler of ESPN expects the Broncos to address this offseason. Their No. 1 target could be someone they got an up close and personal look at this weekend; Danielle Hunter of the Vikings.
“No one has helped their free agency profile more than Hunter, who is tracking for nearly 19 sacks on the season. Hunter will be 29 to start the 2024 season, paving the way for a lucrative three-or four-year deal at well above $20 million per season.
“Jacksonville has long been a fan of Hunter’s game, but Denver also could bolster its pass rush — the Broncos are typically unafraid to spend in March,” Fowler wrote in an article published last week.
Hunter is having a magnificent season for Minnesota. He is second in the NFL in sacks with 12, trailing only Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns, who has 13.
It is the second-straight season Hunter has reached double-digit sacks and fourth time in five seasons. His only miss was in 2021, when he had 6.0 in seven games played after missing the 2020 season entirely.
Per PFF, Hunter is ranked 28th in pass rushing grade among edge defenders in the NFL. Baron Browning, who has only 65 pass rushing snaps on the season, is the highest Broncos player at No. 29. Jonathan Cooper, the Denver player with the most pass rushing snaps this season, is ranked 48th.
Adding a player of Hunter’s caliber would help elevate the Broncos’ pass rush to another level. They had hoped Randy Gregory would be that difference maker, but they opted to move on from him after ineffective play. The team was going to release him, but traded him to the San Francisco 49ers instead.