The Denver Broncos have been simply phenomenal at defending opposing rushing attacks in 2017. One of the main reason has been the play of nose tackle Domata Peko Sr.
Peko, a 12-year NFL veteran, signed with Broncos this offseason after spending 11 seasons playing for the Cincinnati Bengals. At the time, not much was made of the signing. But in retrospect, adding Peko may have been the Broncos’ best move of the offseason.
The former Michigan State Spartan has added a dimension to Denver’s defense that wasn’t there in 2016. Peko, 6-foot-3, 325 pounds, is a true space-eater, and his ability to occupy blockers has freed up linebackers Todd Davis and Brandon Marshall to make plays.
In addition to his run-stuffing ability, Denver coach Vance Joseph is a big fan of the Peko’s intangibles.
“When you have a big guy who is engaged all the time — he’s that way every day. That doesn’t change because it’s game day,” Joseph said on Monday. “He is on fire every day. That is fun to see from a guy in his 12th year. He hasn’t missed a start in seven years. He never complains. He’s here every day in a good mood. That’s key from a leadership position.”
For Peko, joining the Broncos at this point in his career has been nothing short of refreshing.
“It’s awesome. I am enjoying being a Bronco and I’m enjoying playing the game of football,” Peko said after the Broncos’ 16-10 win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. “You’re always having fun when you’re winning. I love being a part of this organization and this team. We just have to keep getting better. We had a couple plays out there that we need to clean up. We’re going to make a run and we’re just going to keep getting better. We’re just going to do it one game at a time.”