Broncos CB Pat Surtain II rarely needs bounce-back games, but is looking for one vs. Ravens


Pat Surtain II rarely shows emotion on the field, but when he got beat down the sideline for 52 yards by Carolina’s D.J. Moore in the second half last Sunday he grabbed his helmet in frustration.

“It was something in particular that I did wrong and I knew I did wrong that allowed them to complete the pass,” he told The Post on Friday. “It was just like a little-split second decision that I made during the play. I think that’s what allowed him to create separation and then catch the ball.

“That can change a game, just that one little correction that I could have made.”

The second-year corner is universally considered not only one of the best young cornerbacks in the NFL but one of the best period. He doesn’t often need bounce-back games. Heck, for much of the middle portion of the season, teams barely bothered throwing in his direction.

The past two weeks, though, both Las Vegas’ Davante Adams and Moore have got the better of him at times.

Adams finished the game with seven catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns, including a walk-off overtime winner against Surtain in coverage. Moore ran away from Surtain across the field on a short touchdown and finished with four catches for 103.

Not all of that production is Surtain’s responsibility, of course. And the Broncos’ pass defense has ticked down the past three weeks as their pass rush has dried up. Only Adams (101 yards in Week 4) surpassed the century mark against Denver in the first eight games, but they’ve allowed a 100-plus-yard receiver in each of the first three games since the bye week. Tennessee’s Nick Westbrook-Ihkine had 119 yards and two scores before Adams and Moore’s outings.

Still, Surtain said he expects himself to play at a higher level.

“At the end of the day, it’s football,” Surtain said. “Stuff like that happens, but you’ve got to bounce back from it, learn from it, correct it. There’s been some plays that I know I need to correct and improve on, but at the end of the day we’re all professionals and sometimes those days happen.

“You don’t want to say that as a competitor, but at the end of the day there’s weeks ahead to improve and get better and I won’t let (mistakes) affect me.”

Surtain’s not the only one confident that he’ll return to form.

“He’s such a great young man,” head coach Nathaniel Hackett said. “He’s going to put his head down and work and learn from every experience that he has. As a defensive back in this league, you have to have a short memory and you can’t win every single play. He’s been out there for a whole lot of plays and done some amazing things and sometimes that happens.”

Defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero echoed that sentiment. At cornerback, even a 95% success rate means the occasional mistake that looks catastrophic on television.

“I’m not worried about his psyche one bit,” Evero said. “We’re always going to correct things and things that he can do better and techniques and all that stuff and I think it’s more that than anything else. I’m not worried about him at all.

“All those deals are great learning experiences and you go through them and it makes you better down the road.”

On tap Sunday against Baltimore is a slightly different type of challenge defensively for Surtain and the Broncos. The Ravens’ leading receiver currently is tight end Mark Andrews. The Ravens are second in the NFL in rushing yards behind quarterback Lamar Jackson.


Source link