Rapid Reaction: Bradley Chubb’s dominant game helps almost save Broncos

Bradley Chubb celebrates a sack. Credit: Isiah J. Downing, USA TODAY Sports.
Bradley Chubb celebrates a sack. Credit: Isiah J. Downing, USA TODAY Sports.

Bradley Chubb waited for the best time to enjoy a breakout game.

Chubb, the No. 5 overall pick by the Denver Broncos in April’s NFL Draft, was supposed to help make the orange and blue the most destructive pass-rushing team in the NFL.

Instead, Denver was 19th in the NFL coming into today’s game, with only 11 sacks on the season.

But on Sunday, Chubb’s play was so great, he almost helped the Broncos come back and win. Chubb enjoyed a three-sack game on Sunday afternoon at Mile High Stadium and at key times, too.

His first sack came just before halftime,¬†taking down Rams quarterback Jared Goff on a first down after the Broncos turned the ball over on downs. That set the tone of that last-minute drive in Denver’s favor.

Two plays later, Chubb sacked Goff again, keeping the visitors out of field goal range and keeping the contest at 13-3.

On his third sack of the day, Chubb stunted inside and tackled Jared Goff on third down, not only ending the drive but also pushing the Rams back from a gimme field goal into a 47-yarder. That kick was ultimately pushed right by Cairo Santos, leaving the Broncos down only 10 points, trailing 20-10.

After the missed field goal, the offense marched down field but they stalled and had to kick a field goal to pull within seven, down 20-13 at that point.

But, even with Chubb’s three-sack, five-tackle game, the Broncos couldn’t win for a few reasons.

First and foremost, the defense gave up way too many yards on the ground yet again. Todd Gurley ran for 208 yards and two touchdowns, the second straight week the Broncos have allowed a 200-yard running back performance.

Secondly, the Broncos offense ran for a mere 60 yards, being again far too out of balance to compete. And the passing game was just so-so at best, with Case Keenum throwing multiple passes out of bounds instead of into the end zone to give his receivers a chance.

Still, Chubb’s dominant performance can’t be missed, even with the Broncos falling to 2-4 on the season. For Chubb, he now has 17 combined tackles and 4.5 sacks in his first six games as a professional. And this may end up being the game we all point to as him finally turning the corner to being a star.

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