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.”

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