ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --In the first two games of the season, the Broncos have had to play without their most seasoned cornerback, Champ Bailey.
That hasn't stopped them from racking up a league-best six interceptions.
Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, in his first season as a Bronco, said Monday that the secondary's performance is result of getting good pressure on the quarterback.
"I would just say you've got to give it to your front four," he said. "Those guys have been getting pressure on the quarterback—the two quarterbacks we've faced. If you get them off their spot a little bit, they tend to just throw the ball a lot. I think that's what we've been doing for the most part."
Though the defensive lineman are getting pressure on the quarterback, the Broncos in the secondary are still making plays – defending passes and collecting interceptions. The Broncos also lead the league in passes defensed with 26 in the first two games. Rodgers-Cromartie said that forcing those turnovers was "very important" in the winning efforts, especially the one on the road.
However, the Broncos were plagued by a handful of penalty flags in the win against the Giants and that's something the Broncos will want to see less of in this week's matchup with the Raiders.
"It's very hard on the back end because you want to tend to stay aggressive and try to disrupt the receiver as much as you can," he said. "You go out there and you get eight penalties, it kind of softens your play a little bit. Now you're thinking. But the main thing is that you can't let it affect your mind, you've just got to go out there and keep playing."
The Raiders present a different kind of threat with Terrelle Pryor being a mobile quarterback. Rodgers-Cromartie said that the upcoming game will require even more discipline and more patience as the secondary will have to be in coverage for longer.
Though the sixth-year cornerback is in the early stages of his first season with the Broncos, he seems to be picking up and fitting into the system nicely.
Rodgers-Cromartie picked up his first interception as a Bronco – the 17th of his career – right before halftime against the Giants. That pick came in the end zone and helped preserve the Broncos' halftime lead.
In the season-opener, the Ravens didn't complete a pass in his direction all night.
"It's just taking it one week at a time," he said of playing in Denver. "I'm blessed with another opportunity. I'm going to go out there and just compete. That's the main thing. So far, it's been good. I've just got to stay grinding and stay focused."