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Broncos Defense

Are they a good pickup for Week 4?

The Broncos were embarrassed at Miami a few days ago, losing 70-20. And yet here we are with Denver facing the trainwreck Chicago Bears this week, and I'm thinking about picking up their defense to play against them. Crazy?

In my head, I'm thinking that teams coming off a loss like Denver's will rise up and play tough the next week. Interestingly, the Broncos themselves have recent experience in this area. Late last year, they got humiliated by the Rams (on Christmas Day, no less) by a 51-14 score, and Nathaniel Hackett was fired. Denver lost the next week, but they did better than expected, losing 27-24 to the eventual Super Bowl champion, Kansas City.

In the last 10 years, there have been 32 instances of a team losing while giving up at least 50 points. How did they fare one week later?

Nearly half (14) of those teams came back and won their next game. And of the 18 losers, 13 of them lost by less than a touchdown -- they responded and seemingly played well. Eight of the losses were by just 1-3 points.

Only three of those 32 teams came back and got blown out a week later. (One of them, Chicago in 2014, gave up 50 points again; ouch.) Those teams are bolded in the table below. As it happens, one of those teams that got rolled two weeks in a row was the 2017 Denver Broncos. I don't think they'll be getting rolled by the Bears, but clearly a win can't be taken for granted.

Chicagoat Phi.2013L 11-54L 33-283 sacks, 2 takeaways
DallasDen.2013L 48-51W 31-163 sacks, 2 takeaways
OaklandK.C.2013L 31-56L 26-131 sack, 3 takeaways
Philadelphiaat Den.2013L 20-52W 36-211 sack, 4 takeaways
Pittsburghat N.E.2013L 31-55W 23-104 sacks, 1 takeaway
Tennesseeat Den.2013L 28-51L 37-341 sack, 0 takeaway
Chicagoat N.E.2014L 23-51L 55-140 sack, 1 takeaway
Chicagoat G.B.2014L 14-55W 21-132 sacks, 1 takeaway
Indianapolisat Pit.2014L 34-51W 40-243 sacks, 1 takeaway
Oaklandat St.L.2014L 0-52W 24-135 sacks, 2 takeaways
Philadelphiaat G.B.2014L 20-53W 43-245 sacks, 3 takeaways
Tampa Bayat Atl.2014L 14-56W 27-245 sacks, 1 takeaway
Indianapolisat Jac.2015L 16-51L 16-103 sacks, 2 takeaways
Jacksonvilleat N.E.2015L 17-51L 16-133 sacks, 2 takeaways
N.Y. Giantsat N.O.2015L 49-52W 32-180 sack, 3 takeaways
Buffaloat LAC2017L 24-54W 16-102 sacks, 1 takeaway
Denverat Phi.2017L 23-51L 41-161 sack, 0 takeaway
Detroitat N.O.2017L 38-52L 20-150 sack, 2 takeaways
N.Y. GiantsLAR2017L 17-51L 31-210 sack, 2 takeaways
Tennesseeat Hou.2017L 14-57L 16-101 sack, 2 takeaways
Carolinaat Pit.2018L 21-52L 20-191 sack, 0 takeaway
CincinnatiN.O.2018L 14-51L 24-213 sacks, 1 takeaway
Atlantaat Hou.2019L 32-53L 34-330 sack, 0 takeaway
Carolinaat S.F.2019L 13-51W 30-204 sacks, 3 takeaways
L.A. RamsT.B.2019L 40-55L 30-291 sack, 1 takeaway
MiamiBalt.2019L 10-59L 43-02 sacks, 1 takeaway
Minnesotaat N.O.2020L 33-52W 37-351 sack, 2 takeaways
Jacksonvilleat N.E.2021L 10-50W 26-116 sacks, 2 takeaways
N.Y. Jetsat N.E.2021L 13-54W 34-313 sacks, 1 takeaway
Washingtonat Dal.2021L 14-56L 20-161 sack, 0 takeaway
Denverat LAR2022L 14-51L 27-240 sack, 2 takeaways
Indianapolisat Dal.2022L 19-54L 39-367 sacks, 4 takeaways
Denverat Mia.2023L 20-70??????

As the final column of the table shows, the fantasy results from most of those embarrassed defenses one week later were solid. Nearly half (14) recorded at least 3 sacks, and just over half (17) recorded multiple takeaways. That's what I'm looking for out of my fantasy defense -- 3 sacks and a couple of takeaways. I think there's a decent chance Justin Fields and company will comply.

--Andy Richardson 

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