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BigBroncLove
09-18-2007, 01:50 AM
:defense: Denver D Draws Doubt And Dazzle :defense:

By BigBroncLove

After an anemic preseason showing by the Denver defense, the Broncos appeared in the first two weeks to have cured many of the ailments that plagued them from having a preseason worth mentioning. In a defense that surrendered 64 points through the preseason, let opposing offenses run all over them, and admitted to having troubles adjusting to a new system that garnered five new starters, the Broncos defense preformed remarkably well in week one, and admirably in week two. Much of that can be attributed to a stellar showing by the star studded Denver secondary which allowed only 72 yards against Buffalo, and would have completely shut down Oaklandís passing game if it werenít for one good pass by McCown to Porter in the third. What the Broncos have struggled with though is a run D that through two first games, despite being ranked second in overall defense, is now sitting ugly at 27th in run defense. When a teams D is still ranked in the top 5 defenses, but rush defense is sitting near the bottom of a 32 team league, that speaks volumes about the inequity between the pass and run D.

It gets a little worse though. Itís not as if the Broncos have faced the cream of the NFL when it comes to rushing. The Buffalo team, while having talent at the offensive line has had problems coming together as a unit. The 90 yards Marshawn Lynch tallied is a testament more toward his ability to break tackles and force the Denver D to miss then the strength of the Bills offensive line. However against Oakland, the Broncos allowed over 100 yards rushing against a suspect offensive line which has struggled in the past, and a middle of the league, nothing but average running back in LaMont Jordan. Much of that yardage came not at the expense of the Broncos defensive line giving up huge gaps, but rather Zach Miller (tight end for Oakland) and Justin Griffith (full back for Oakland) halting the line backers from making plays and opened gaps for Jordan. Ian Gold despite having a relatively good game, being involved in many tackles including a game saving run from behind wrap around on Jordan in overtime, was smashed by Griffith on many occasions. Whatís worse is that the Broncos gave a lot of runs up when they stacked 8 in the box, and McCown audibled to a run which negated the blitz and allowed Jordan to reach the second level behind good blocking. So how will the Broncos play against teams with solid offensive lines and league leading running backs? Only time will tell, but at this point, if the Broncos front seven continue to allow offenses to pound the ball through them like they are, it might not look very pretty.

Itís not all doom and gloom though. The Broncos run D has been there when it counted. They do bend, but at the moment they donít break as often as the stats sound. According to NFL.com the Broncos have surrendered 312 yards - itís not a typo, 312 - to opposing offenses in two games. None the less, the scoreboard hasnít reflected that. Some of that might be the Denver secondary forcing teams into a one dimensional game, but the Bronco run D does get some credit. Of the 34 points scored against the Broncos so far, only one TD has come from a running back (Marhsawn Lynch in game 1). The rest have been surrendered by special teams, one huge pass to Porter, and a returned interception for the TD. So while the Broncos might be ranked near the bottom at run D, they are stopping opposing offenses when it counts. After last years motto, ďbend, donít breakĒ it might force some fans to cringe a little, but in a new system growing pains are to be expected, and keeping the scoreboard manageable is always something positive.

So the brass tax of the situation is, there are questions hovering around the Denver run D. The brick wall has disappeared and there needs to be improvement by both the defensive line and line backers. Despite it, the Broncos are still winning games and holding opposing offenses to few points. While this article might concentrate on one of the negatives on the Broncos there is still plenty to smile about in Denver. A revitalized offense, a steller passing attack, a running game that can pound the ball again, and a secondary that has allowed a league low average of 62 yards (an amazing feat). In this writers opinion though, if the Broncos want to be serious SB contenders, the front seven is going to have to find a way to adjust quickly and make the Broncos run D look nearly as good as the secondary is making the whole defense look right now. If they can do that, I think the Broncos have a better then average shot at winning the division, upsetting the favorite Chargers, and surging to what may be a very surprising post-season for some analysts.

dogfish
09-19-2007, 02:03 AM
our run D is this team's bigest weakness right now (with apologies to the "special" teams). . . what particularly bothers me is that with our stellar cornerback play we're able to stack eight in the box pretty much any time we want, and we still can't get it done. . . when it mattered most last year, frank gore ran us right out of the playoffs, and this unit ATM seems considerably softer than last year's run D. . .

i'm keeping my fingers crossed that increased familiarity with bates' scheme can bring improvements, because at this point the personnel is what it is-- it certainly isn't likely that any big move will be made to improve in that department. . .

although they haven't looked good so far this year, i shudder to think what LT and LJ will do to us if lamont sanford can rush for 150+ on us!

TXBRONC
09-19-2007, 06:36 AM
It seems that they can look good on run defense in one series and then struggle the next. Or can look good on first and second down and then give a big run play.

Case in point, from what I remember of the Raiders final drive in over time Denver had the Raiders in 2nd and long or 3rd and long before Jordan broke off that long run which put them just outside of their kicker's range.

dogfish
09-19-2007, 11:17 AM
It seems that they can look good on run defense in one series and then struggle the next. Or can look good on first and second down and then give a big run play.


i'll see if it was the case again this past weekend when i re-watch the game, but i noticed that against buffalo most of their success running came when sam adams was out of the lineup. . . .

TXBRONC
09-19-2007, 11:28 AM
i'll see if it was the case again this past weekend when i re-watch the game, but i noticed that against buffalo most of their success running came when sam adams was out of the lineup. . . .

I wouldn't doubt that for a minute. I do the same thing since I also have it recorded.

dogfish
09-19-2007, 11:33 AM
I wouldn't doubt that for a minute. I do the same thing since I also have it recorded.

easier to re-watch the wins, isn't it?


:D

TXBRONC
09-19-2007, 11:45 AM
easier to re-watch the wins, isn't it?


:D

Is the Pope Roman Catholic? :laugh:

Broncos Mtnman
09-19-2007, 08:41 PM
Yeah, some of the defense play has been a nail-biter, but let's look at real numbers...

In two games, our defense has only allowed TWO touchdowns.

I don't care if the opposing team runs for a million yards. If we keep them out of the endzone, we're doing the most important thing.

As the season progresses, we'll see the run defense improve.

In my article, I mentioned how the last time we had a "two-gap" defense (Greg Robinson), we would often give up a big play, sometimes several big plays, in a game.

Yet, when he was here, we were consistantly near the top of the league in fewest points allowed, turnover ratio and red zone defense.

I'm looking forward to seeing it come together with Bates & Co.

:beer:

TXBRONC
09-19-2007, 09:10 PM
Yeah, some of the defense play has been a nail-biter, but let's look at real numbers...

In two games, our defense has only allowed TWO touchdowns.

I don't care if the opposing team runs for a million yards. If we keep them out of the endzone, we're doing the most important thing.

As the season progresses, we'll see the run defense improve.

In my article, I mentioned how the last time we had a "two-gap" defense (Greg Robinson), we would often give up a big play, sometimes several big plays, in a game.

Yet, when he was here, we were consistantly near the top of the league in fewest points allowed, turnover ratio and red zone defense.

I'm looking forward to seeing it come together with Bates & Co.

:beer:

Greg also had some very complex blitz packages if I'm not mistaken that he ran with regularity. I'm under the impression Bates does like to blitz very much.

Another piece if information in the 2nd half when Jordan piled up the majority of his yards, Bates was running his base defense better than 60% of the time.

dogfish
09-19-2007, 09:18 PM
Yeah, some of the defense play has been a nail-biter, but let's look at real numbers...

In two games, our defense has only allowed TWO touchdowns.

I don't care if the opposing team runs for a million yards. If we keep them out of the endzone, we're doing the most important thing.





we haven't exactly been facing the '99 Rams these past two weeks, though. . . i very much hope you're right that the run D will improve as the season goes on, not play even worse when we go up against some real competition-- right now it's a big concern of mine. . .

BigBroncLove
09-19-2007, 11:27 PM
Well, I was going to stay out of the discussio ninvolving my article for the sake of not tainting it further with my opinion. After all my opinion is pretty well posted in the first post :D. However, I would like to add a few thigns to the original article that I would like to amend, correct, or otherwise address....

1. After re-watchign much of the plays, I think dogfish is correct. A lot of the bad run plays came while Sam Adams was out of the lineup. However Sam Adams wasn't double teamed very often as well. From what I saw, Adams held his ground very well, but also didn't hit the double teams nearly as often. What was surprisign to me is how well Gordon dealt with many of those double teams. However Antwon Burton (#93) did a terrible, and I mean terrible job dealing with the offensive line. Especially through the second half, when #93 was playing he gave up huge gaps that made it difficult for the LB's to react to unles they were 7 or so yards deep off the line.

2. Correction. That 312 yards listed earlier in the article was meant to be 312 rushing yards. 312 yards wouldn't be a bad number at all if that was total yards given up by the defense. However 312 rushing yards in two games is abismal....

3. IMO if the Broncos continue this way, they won't be holding defenses to low scoring affairs for long. While the Bronco D has been fortunate enough to make games one dimensional and hold teams from the end zone, like last year, if the "bend don't break" philosophy takes hold, the Broncos won't be holding opposing offenses to as low scorign a games. If the Broncos O can make mroe production in the red zone to shore that up, that's great. Hwoever the real great teams can rely on the defense to put the O in a good situation...

4. I've said it several times before, but I am very worried about how this Defensive tAckels wil lcope with indianapolis's O, who enjoy using a no-huddle and will force our big DT's to stay on the field and get gassed very very quickly...

Lastly, I welcome any critical comments to my article. After posting my first article here, I do understand it is a little wordy, with some run on sentances. For example the sentance addressing Gold's level of play against oakland. I will be addressing this, but if anyone has any suggestions as to how to improve the quality of my articles, please feel free to post them. I can't promise I will follow, but we only learn through error sometimes :D

Thanks for your comments all, and lets hope for a 3-0 start :beer:

anton...
09-19-2007, 11:29 PM
Hwoever the real great teams can rely on the defense to put the O in a good situation...

thats exactly how the colts won last year...

:huh:
________
Reviews extreme q vaporizer (http://vaporizerinfo.com/)

dogfish
09-19-2007, 11:35 PM
Lastly, I welcome any critical comments to my article. After posting my first article here, I do understand it is a little wordy, with some run on sentances. For example the sentance addressing Gold's level of play against oakland. I will be addressing this, but if anyone has any suggestions as to how to improve the quality of my articles, please feel free to post them. I can't promise I will follow, but we only learn through error sometimes :D


that's easy-- write your articles on Word so you can use the spell-checker and grammar-checker. . . they will look much more professional. . . . ;)

BigBroncLove
09-19-2007, 11:49 PM
that's easy-- write your articles on Word so you can use the spell-checker and grammar-checker. . . they will look much more professional. . . . ;)

I did that! It stil lsays i'm grammatically corect, btu sometimes I re-read it and am not as pleased as I normally would be when reading my own works. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to add them everyone!

BigBroncLove
09-19-2007, 11:50 PM
thats exactly how the colts won last year...

:huh:

Well, in all fairness when it counted in the playoffs that D did put the Colts in a great situation. They held LJ in the playoffs to 26 yards (wasn't it 26?) but if we had the high powered, non stop offense that the Colts have (who seem to have no problems finding the end zone on good drives usually), I would be less worried about the D then I am now....

Retired_Member_001
09-20-2007, 05:20 AM
Yeah, some of the defense play has been a nail-biter, but let's look at real numbers...

In two games, our defense has only allowed TWO touchdowns.

I don't care if the opposing team runs for a million yards. If we keep them out of the endzone, we're doing the most important thing.

That's exactly what Champ said after we last beat the Patriots in the playoffs.

He said something like "People can go on about how we let up so many yards but we still stopped them before they could score, that's all that counts". It was something like that.

Good article by the way BigBroncLove, welcome to the team. :beer:

Retired_Member_001
09-20-2007, 05:25 AM
we haven't exactly been facing the '99 Rams these past two weeks, though. . . i very much hope you're right that the run D will improve as the season goes on, not play even worse when we go up against some real competition-- right now it's a big concern of mine. . .

We will improve against the run, it just will take some time. Remember our defense is entirely different this year apart from Champ Bailey, John Lynch, Nick Ferguson, Ian Gold and D.J. You may count John Engleberger, Elvis Dumervil, Nate Webster and Amon Gordon but they hardly played last year.

Having so many new faces, players and staff, makes it harder to gel.

lex
09-20-2007, 09:29 AM
It seems that they can look good on run defense in one series and then struggle the next. Or can look good on first and second down and then give a big run play.

Case in point, from what I remember of the Raiders final drive in over time Denver had the Raiders in 2nd and long or 3rd and long before Jordan broke off that long run which put them just outside of their kicker's range.

I think a big part of why theyre hit and miss is theyre giving up long runs because theyre guessing pass by crowding the line on 2nd downs and the offenses are rolling the dice and running on 2nd and long. Reggie Rivers did a good job of explaining this after the game on Sunday night. I actually had noticed that in the Buffalo game that Buffalo was willing to run on 2nd and long and they were getting decent runs. It seemed like the Raiders were also willing to run a lot on 2nd and long.

TXBRONC
09-20-2007, 11:51 AM
I think a big part of why theyre hit and miss is theyre giving up long runs because theyre guessing pass by crowding the line on 2nd downs and the offenses are rolling the dice and running on 2nd and long. Reggie Rivers did a good job of explaining this after the game on Sunday night. I actually had noticed that in the Buffalo game that Buffalo was willing to run on 2nd and long and they were getting decent runs. It seemed like the Raiders were also willing to run a lot on 2nd and long.

Excellent point lex.

topscribe
09-20-2007, 02:43 PM
We will improve against the run, it just will take some time. Remember our defense is entirely different this year apart from Champ Bailey, John Lynch, Nick Ferguson, Ian Gold and D.J. You may count John Engleberger, Elvis Dumervil, Nate Webster and Amon Gordon but they hardly played last year.

Having so many new faces, players and staff, makes it harder to gel.
It's different in D.J.'s case, too. He knew little about playing MLB before this year.

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Retired_Member_001
09-20-2007, 02:49 PM
It's different in D.J.'s case, too. He knew little about playing MLB before this year.

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True aswell.

Switching to MIKE isn't as easy as it would seem, I'm sure you would agree.

:salute:

topscribe
09-20-2007, 03:08 PM
True aswell.

Switching to MIKE isn't as easy as it would seem, I'm sure you would agree.

:salute:
I saw the difference when I played. I'm not going to kid myself, as a DE, that
I know the MLB position, but I did see the difference. And it is considerable.

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