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MOtorboat
09-11-2008, 09:58 PM
I may not be able to do this for every game, but since it was nationally televised and this ESPN college football game is a blowout…here are my thoughts about the offensive, re-watching the game, play-by-play. (Note, if you’ve got the game on DVR…fire it up and watch it with my comments. Let me know how I did).

Offensive Notes:
First Half:
First Drive:
*The first play from scrimmage actually had me worried about the play calling.
*The second play was the first-down pass to Royal, and we got him involved early. What I noticed was that the o-line and Cutler did a good job of picking up the blitz to the left side of the line, and then Royal made a great move against Hall to get open.
*If Young wants to remain the starter, he’s got to slip through those holes and get into the open field. Likewise, the o-line has to open up bigger holes. I think that will come, but it was clearly lacking in week 1. They’ll get more used to the zone.
*Fourth play – more Royal. I forgot that Denver used him on two runs, as well in the first drive. The quick pitch I think caught the Raider defense off-guard. But, the trickeration had me a little worried early, thinking maybe we couldn’t punch them in the mouth.
*Jackson dropping the easy first down pass on an out. Not good.. However, I do like having TEs that we can line up on the outside and mismatch against corners. Both Jackson and Scheffler can do that…a la Shannon Sharpe. Again, great pass pro on the left side of the line. I said this on Monday, but I’ll note this again, I love the emotion from leadership getting pissed off at Jackson early on for dropping that pass.
*The second run play to Young looked bad. The Raider defense really strung the play out. Clady got taken out of the play and that allowed the linebackers to get up and stop the run for just a few yards.
*Cutler was pumped up, and Stokley made a great catch. He threw that ball too hard, but that certainly wasn’t a problem. Nice catch by Stokley. This time the right side of the line did a great job. I think Cutler is really calling out his protections well.
*Andre Hall had a nice four yard run, but there still wasn’t that hole that we got accustomed to the last 12 years. The young players on the line need to get their assignments down better. Chris Kuper had a good push, but the linebackers got back up underneath the play.
*Cutler got his pass tipped when he threw it to Royal on second down, maybe rushed that one a bit, because he had plenty of time. Again, good pass pro.
*The touchdown to Royal…excellent, excellent, excellent. The right side of the defensive line collapsed and Cutler rolled to his right and had way too much time. Royal got wide open, and I think it was because Cutler basically ignored him in his reads and the defense just lost Royal. Plus, Royal made a great move up the sideline.

Second Drive:
After the fumble:
*Andre Hall with a nice run on first down, which we need, but I’m still not seeing those big holes that the zone-running scheme can open. It was a good run, but Wiegmann got pushed into the backfield, but because of that he didn’t get that cut back block that springs big runs. Good push on the left side, though.
*Andre Hall with a good first-down run, with good blocking. It was just an off-tackle run out of the shotgun. Good call, and Hall is used to running that out of the spread system from his college days. Much better push from Wiegmann, as he got to the second level.
*Another catch for Royal. Good pass pro, and another Spread-type pass for Cutler with the backs clearing before his drop back and the wide receivers running outs.
*More of the spread-type offense, but with a little fake pitch. Again, lining Nate Jackson up at WR and running and quick play-action screen. Good play…but a lack of blocking from the WRs. I think Marshall can fix that.
*Michael Pittman gets wrapped up right at the first down marker. Clady did miss a block on this play, he let the defensive end get outside of him on the off-tackle run and the DE made the play on Pittman. Fortunate spot for the Broncos. He’s got to make that stretch block and allow the runner to cut back up for the first down. He looked like he got a little over powered by the DE.
*Fourth down – Cutler not able to draw the defense off. I think Denver should have run the fake FB, quick pitch to Hall play, after running down the clock.

Third Drive:
*First pass to Peyton Hillis. Just that typical slip pass to the fullback. I’m excited that’s back. Hillis is going to be a good one…
*70-yard boot throw to Scheffler. Scheffler with a great improvisation to get behind the defense and just break for the goal-line. It’s just brilliant. I can’t wait to see this all season.
*Damn…the penalty killed a great play for the touchdown. Eddie was wide open, just running across the back of the end zone.
*ESPN shows a shot of Mike sending in Peyton Hillis who was lobbying right next to him to get back into the game. Scheffler dropped the touchdown. Cutler had good time, but no one was open, so he ran to his right…he loves doing that, and Tony was wide open. Should have caught it.
*Out of the spread again, and Pittman went nowhere on the spread off-tackle run. Just no push, and its as if Oakland sniffed that one out. With Pittman in the game, Oakland was expecting Denver to run.
*Third and goal – Cutler threw it too hard and stared down Stokley. He’s got the arm strength to do that sort of thing, but he threw it just wide. Should have been a TD…FG by Prater. Easy score.
*Overall…getting the big play to Scheffler was great, but the fact that we couldn’t stick it in the endzone is a little troubling, especially knowing we’re going up against the Chargers this week.

Fourth Drive:
*Eddie with some great moves on the punt return. He’s taking at least one back this year, and almost slipped through on that one. Made five defenders miss.
*Stretch play – not enough holes to get Young into the open field. Still gets four yards, but again, I don’t think this o-line is getting those cut back blocks as well, so that the run can be sprung for a long gain.
*Great catch for Eddie Royal, stretching to get the pass from Cutler. Good throw from Cutler, because Eddie was the only one catching that pass. Eddie runs a great route again.
*The play where Eddie goes in motion and Hall commits the personal foul. Great play call by Shanahan. Eddie was wide open, and Hall just committed a stupid penalty. Honestly, I don’t know how you defend that play after Denver was stretching the field early.
*Stretch toss for a loss. First offensive play that lost yards. O-line just did not get a push and got stretched out, and the linebackers got back there and allowed the play to get blown up.
*The double-move play with Eddie Royal, and DeAngelo Hall getting absolutely schooled! What a great move by Eddie. Designed role out with Cutler. He’s great on the move. Jake Plummer with a world-class arm. I love it. Great catch by Royal too. Not much talk about that, but he leaped and caught it perfectly.
*Michael Pittman with a run and the play got blown up. Lichtensteiger at FB…sorry, but that’s freakin’ awesome.
*Pittman with the touchdown. Hillis with a great lead block that secured the hole. Great hole created by the offensive line.

Fifth Drive:
*Thought we might just run the clock out. We came out firing. Good protection again, but Cutler threw the ball too low to Stokley. Good block by Clady. May have got away with a hold, but he took the defensive end up the field and Cutler stepped up and had a lane. He just didn’t deliver.
*Great protection. Eddie Royal with a good comeback route and he was wide open. Cutler hit him on stride. Hall is Eddie’s bitch.
*Royal with another catch, but there was another illegal formation penalty. This time D-Jack just didn’t get up on the line.
*Cutler to Stokley. Good protection again. Stokley wide open on a come backer.
*Cutler throws the ball low to Royal on a quick out. Royal open again, though.
*Cutler runs and Denver holds its collective breath. He got hit in the knee pretty hard, and I can remember being scared as hell after that play.

MOtorboat
09-11-2008, 09:58 PM
Second Half
First Drive:
*Thought Denver might sit on it, but they attacked right out of the gate. I love that. I hope they do that against everyone. Stretch play to Hall. Good run for 9 yards, and the offensive line finally got one of those good holes. Clady sealed the left side and Graham opened up a running lane.
*Another good push and a cut back from Michael Pittman. Not a huge hole, but another good run.
*Play fake and Eddie is just wide open, torching Wilson on the little fade route.
*The reverse pass with Eddie. What great instincts just throwing the ball away with no one open. What a great game for Eddie. Eddie with a breather after that play and Mike Golic exclaiming “What’s he doing on the sideline,” only to result in:
*Touchdown. Denver completely lulled Oakland to sleep and the boot to Jackson was just beautiful. That drive was complete domination. Complete domination! Michael Huff got completely torched by Cutler’s look-off. Brilliant play-calling by Shanahan (let’s not kid ourselves…he was calling the plays).

Second Drive:
*Cutler flushed for the second time. Kuper got completely beat, but Cutler got the first down on the scramble.
*Hall with a great-first down run. The left-side finally got a great hole and there was a great push. Wiegmann made a great seal block in the hole and Hillis made a great block to spring the big run.
*Hall with a quick cut-back run. Denver got a good push, but Hall may have cut it back too quick and the linebackers read the play quite well.
*Toss stretch play and Denver did a great job on that play, springing Hall to the outside.
*Play-action fullback pass and Hillis dropped it. Needs to work on not doing that again…
*Selvin with a good cutback, but a nice play by the Oakland defense stretching the play to the right and the linebackers cutting off the cutback.
*Cutler incomplete from the shotgun. Again, Cutler a little low on the pass. Not a bad pass, because no one can pick the pass off, but he had the time to find another option.
*Prater with the FG.

Third Drive:
*Fake to the FB, pitch to Selvin out of the I…I love that play, and it results in the first down. Of course, you can’t run it too much. Third personal foul on Oakland. Idiots.
*Pitch to Selvin who made a good move on a defender one-on-one. He got a face-mask call on the play, but he also made seven yards on the play to begin with. Great misdirection. At this point, Denver had the Oakland defense just completely confused.
*FB push…same play as the fake up the middle and pitch. Hillis gains five yards with a great push.
*Cutler to Royal on the play-action crossing route. Eddie finds the opening in the zone defense and probably could have had a touchdown. Good pass pro again.
*Hillis with another good FB dive, going for another four or five yards.
*Selvin Young with a great cut back for the five-yard touchdown. Its over at this point, I think Oakland just pretty much gave up. The fans are booing…what fun!

Fourth Drive:
*After Denver completely stuffing the stupid fourth-down call by Kiffin on his own 20…
*Fake to the fullback, pitch to Selvin, who actually cuts it back towards the middle of the field. The play isn’t designed for that, and that was pretty obvious when the blockers just weren’t there.
*Andre Hall with a good run. The right side did a good job with the zone-scheme.
*Fourth time Denver ran the FB dive or HB pitch play. Hillis picks up the first down. I love that play, but maybe ran it a few too many times on Monday. I guarantee it won’t work against San Diego. They’ll be looking for it.
*Nate Jackson finally catches a ball on a quick out.
*Pittman run, short…just a goal-line dive.
*Pittman run, short…just a goal-line dive for a touchdown.

Overall – great game for Denver, especially on the offensive line. Shanahan had some great play calls and Oakland just looked off balance most of the game. I hope Denver keeps that up. Cutler is a stud, and I love how we’re using Hillis in the FB role, and the TEs in the split-out position. This is going to be an exciting game against SD this week.

frenchfan
09-12-2008, 01:04 AM
MB...
Thank you for this awesome article. :salute:
Great analysis. I'll rewatch the game (it was displayed on French TV :shocked: :cool: :elefant: ) while thinking of your comments.
Brillant !

:beer:

Hawgdriver
09-12-2008, 02:10 AM
MB, I haven't finished reading yet, but thought to comment.


*Jackson dropping the easy first down pass on an out. Not good.. However, I do like having TEs that we can line up on the outside and mismatch against corners. Both Jackson and Scheffler can do that…a la Shannon Sharpe. Again, great pass pro on the left side of the line. I said this on Monday, but I’ll note this again, I love the emotion from leadership getting pissed off at Jackson early on for dropping that pass.

I like the emotion because at first I was thinking that Jay was showing his temper, but that's not it. He's holding his teammates accountable, and doing it in a no frills way that shows he means it. This, along with reading Royal's pre-draft comments about accountability, gives me a good feeling that the team is going to be accountable to each other on offense--at least Jay is going do his part to make sure, and that's a very, very good sign.

Hawgdriver
09-12-2008, 02:23 AM
Brilliant play-calling by Shanahan (let’s not kid ourselves…he was calling the plays).

So you think the report by Lombardi about Bates calling plays is a mistake? For some reason I thought he was playcalling.

MOtorboat
09-12-2008, 06:14 AM
So you think the report by Lombardi about Bates calling plays is a mistake? For some reason I thought he was playcalling.

Yes, I think Shanahan was calling the plays. He's too much of a control freak, and the last two years just weren't that good.

SoCalImport
09-12-2008, 01:19 PM
*Cutler to Royal on the play-action crossing route. Eddie finds the opening in the zone defense and probably could have had a touchdown. Good pass pro again.
.

I've been thinking about that play all week. With all the talk about Royals maturity.
The pocket was collapsing quickly (as evidenced by Jays pass being released high to get rid of it A.S.A.P.) Royal knew He'd found a hole in the zone. He slowed just enough to give Jay a great target, then accelerated away from the comming defenders for the big gain.

Strikes me as a very heads up veteran play, by the rook.

BTW. thanks for the breakdown, Missouri. Great job.

MOtorboat
09-12-2008, 01:22 PM
I'd like to thank everyone for thanking me...


Yes, I think Shanahan was calling the plays. He's too much of a control freak, and the last two years just weren't that good.

I wanted to add some thing to this comment...

...and it was the Raiders....

Day1BroncoFan
09-12-2008, 01:41 PM
Great article, thanks MO.

I love it when the Broncos dominate... and it was the raiders.

Hope to see more of this domination by the Broncos this Sunday. :D

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