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Mile High Morning: Bradley Chubb enjoying the ride amid his return to elite play


The Lead

Through his first five years in the NFL, outside linebacker Bradley Chubb has shown flashes of elite playmaking ability. In 2022, there is no question that he is among the top-tier pass rushers in the league. 

Chubb set a franchise record in 2018 with 12 sacks as a rookie, and in 2020 he reached his first Pro Bowl. Despite some truly dominant seasons, Chubb has battled injury throughout his career; he missed almost all of 2019 with a torn ACL, and he struggled to play at a high level last season while recovering from multiple ankle surgeries. 

With the first portion of Chubb's career characterized by high highs and low lows, Chubb told The Athletic’s Nick Kosmider that he is just looking for consistency — and this season, he has been consistently great. 

"Ahead of Monday's matchup against the Chargers in Los Angeles, Chubb's 5.5 sacks tie him for eighth most in the league, and his 10 quarterback hits tie him for 13th," Kosmider wrote. "Chubb also has forced two fumbles, already matching his career high. His pressure rate of 14.7 percent, according to TruMedia, is also on pace to be the highest of his career. He is notching a sack on 9.1 percent of his pass-rush snaps, a rate that is, you guessed it, on pace to obliterate his previous career-best (6.8 percent in 2020)." 

It has not just been Chubb dominating in the backfield, Kosmider noted, but Denver's entire unit of pass rushers. Five players had a half-sack or more against the Colts in Week 5, and the group's cohesiveness has made Chubb's individual success much more enjoyable. 

"It's been a world of fun, to be honest with you," Chubb told Kosmider. "When you've got all the guys who are on the field at the same time, with the ability to rush and the ability to do multiple things, then Dre'Mont [Jones] could easily have the 5.5 [sacks] or DeShawn [Williams] or D.J. [Jones] or Baron [Browning]. The fact that we're all rushing so hard together as one, it's been working out, man, and it's been fun. We're moving as one in these meeting rooms, and then we're going out there and executing it."

Below the Fold

It is not typical for teams to play four prime-time games in the first six weeks of a season, but the Broncos will take the field under the bright lights once again to face the Chargers on "Monday Night Football." Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett noted that while the inconsistent schedule makes it difficult to get into a routine, the team appreciates the opportunity to play on a national stage.  

"[It's] very unique," Hackett said on Friday. "I think we embrace it. We love it. We love being on prime time, we love having the ability to showcase our talents, and we need to get better in those prime-time games. For us, however the NFL is going to set it up, that is what we are going to do. The most difficult thing, I would say, is getting into that routine. Just a regular seven-day week, we really haven't been able to settle into [that]. With a new staff, new team and new group, we haven't had that. But that's no excuse. We still have to get out there and play at a high level."

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