ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — After watching the Broncos record six sacks and force three turnovers against the Seahawks in Week 1, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr had high praise for the Denver defense heading into their Week 2 matchup.
Outside linebackers Von Miller and Bradley Chubb drew plenty of those compliments after their strong effort.
"I like this defense," Gruden said. "... They have Von playing on the open side where he’s very dangerous. They still can load the box with eight defenders because of their talented corners. The pressure, the threat of Chubb is a problem in your pass protection, because you don’t want to isolate the wrong guy potentially against Chubb. We know what kind of future he has, and you always have to be careful with Miller. In their sub package, they’re still very sophisticated. This is as good a defense as there is in football, I believe."
Miller was a force against the Seahawks, registering seven tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. When Seattle countered Miller with multiple blockers, other players found success. Chubb had a half sack on his first career play and finished with three tackles on the afternoon. Fellow pass rusher Shaquil Barrett had a sack that resulted in a 22-yard loss. The Seattle backfield was under fire for much of the afternoon, and the Seahawks' 64 rushing yards were their fewest since Week 8 of 2017.
"[Von] knows how I feel about him, but Bradley is a heck of a player obviously," Carr said. "I’m excited to play against him for the years to come. But obviously you can tell he’s a really good player, a special talent just like everybody on that defense. That defense has always been stout, they’ve been able to maintain it."
The Raiders already faced one tough test in Week 1 against the Rams, a team that boasts standout defensive linemen Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh and Michael Brockers. Though Carr was only sacked once — a three-yard takedown by Brockers — he also threw three interceptions. The competition may not get any easier against Denver.
"I think Von is as good as it gets," Carr said. "Having him and Chubb has made him more dangerous, just like when [former outside linebacker] DeMarcus [Ware] was there. ... It makes it tough and with Von being who Von is. He’s a walking Hall of Famer. Once he’s done playing, he’ll walk his way into Canton, and having Bradley there to help him out, take some pressure off of him, is great for Von. It’s good for him, it’s good for the defense."