Ja’Quan McMillan is the Newest Rising Star for Denver’s Defense

Denver Broncos cornerback Ja'Quan McMillian

The Denver Broncos have suddenly turned into one of the feel-good stories of the NFL season. After starting the campaign 1-5, Denver now finds themselves in the thick of the playoff hunt at 7-6. They have made some key defensive changes and one of those has been inserting the young and promising Ja’Quan McMillan at the defensive back position. He has formed a great one-two punch with All-Pro, Patrick Surtain, and has already generated a fair share of momentum changing plays in the short time he has started. With all of this in mind, the Broncos may have found a diamond in the rough and the future is now looking brighter.

Ja’Quan McMillan Has Helped Spearhead Denver’s Turnaround on Defense 

Ja’Quan McMillan and Patrick Surtain Forming an Elite Defensive Back Duo 

By now, most NFL peers know that Surtain is arguably the best cornerback in today’s NFL. The numbers prove how elite he is, but Ja’Quan McMillan has been the defensive highlight reel for the past few weeks. McMillan proved it again this past week in a win against the Los Angeles Chargers. He recorded five tackles, two tackles for a loss, a pass breakup, and two quarterback hits. One can even make the argument he had a strip-sack and fumble return wiped out by the officiating crew, but regardless, Denver still got the win.

In the short time McMillan has played this season, he already has two interceptions, four passes defended, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. On top of this, he has also proven to be a reliable tackler. So far, the second year cornerback has logged 42 combined tackles, 32 solo tackles, and seven tackles for a loss. It should also be noted that McMillan is only one of two players this year with multiple sacks, interceptions, forced fumbles and fumble recoveries. Not to mention, he has already set the single-season franchise record for the most tackles for a loss by a Broncos defensive back. While Patrick Surtain is the reliable corner that few quarterbacks dare to throw towards, McMillan has taken advantage of almost every opportunity given to him. He has been just what the doctor ordered for Denver’s secondary.

The Broncos’ Odds for the Playoffs

A lot of credit is also due for Sean Payton and his coaching staff for righting the ship. Defensive coordinator, Vance Joseph, has gotten more aggressive with blitzing in recent weeks and it has flustered opponents. They are now only one game back of the Kansas City Chiefs for the division lead. According to FanDuel, Denver currently has +132 odds to make the postseason in the competitive AFC.

Granted, the Wild Card picture is filled with a few other scrappy teams. Teams such as the Houston Texans, Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, if the Broncos can manage to win out, their chances become even better. The only real test on paper remaining for them is an away matchup against the Detroit Lions. After that, they have the Chargers, Patriots, and Raiders. All in all, there is still hope for Broncos country.


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