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View Full Version : Broncos brought back down to reality



Broncos Mtnman
09-23-2007, 11:41 PM
And what is that reality? Just that the Broncos have a TON of work to do on both sides of the ball before they will be a consistent winner.

From the first quarter (which saw the Jaguars dominate the time of possession - holding the ball for all but about 2 minutes), to the last quarter, the Broncos appeared to lack the passion and excitement we had witnessed in the first two games.

They shot themselves in the foot early and often. The offense was victimized by fumbles, penalties and dropped passes. An offense that had dominated in total yards over the first two weeks (averaging nearly 500 yards a game) managed only 265 yards.

The defense was terrible against the run (giving up 172 yards) - terrible at tackling - terrible on stopping the Jags on 3rd down (allowing them to convert 7 of the first 8). Last week I commented on how I thought it was the new system that was mostly responsible for the defense's inconsistency, but today, it was simply that they were outplayed. When you give up over 3 yards AFTER the tackle, that has NOTHING to do with learning a new system. It has everything to do with execution.

Execution, that's an approriate word for this article, since the Broncos killed every chance they had to beat the Jags... :mad:

I've shared with you about how I have witnessed many games where a miracle would sometimes bring us a win we often didn't deserve. In a nutshell, the Broncos played so badly, that even another Mile High Miracle (Jags fumble at the goal line with about 6 minutes left) wasn't enough to pull this mess out of the fire.

Here are this week's 4 downs....

Most Glaring Weaknesses

1st - Run defense. This continues to be a major weakness. I've heard from supporters of the team of how the Colts were frequently a terrible run defense. I don't find much comfort in that comparison, not until we see our offense produce like the Colts. Jay is good, but he's no Manning....... yet.

2nd - Tackling (or lack thereof...). How long does it take to learn to wrap up the guy you're tackling? The "no-hitting" in preseason excuse doesn't apply after the regular season is 3 weeks old. Shanny needs to work these guys in pads every day until they learn to freakin' tackle.

3rd - Fumbles and dropped passes. For the second week in a row, Selvin Young's inexperience in the NFL cost us, when he fumbled near mid-field in the last 2 minutes of the first half. At the time, we were only down by 7. Instead, this turnover resulted in an increase of the Jags lead. And, while there were many dropped passes, none were so significant as the dropped pass by Daniel Graham on 4th down from our own 9 yard line.

4th - Shanny. I've been giving him props the past two weeks for being creative and aggressive in his play calling, but he blew it today (IMO) with his decision to go for it on 4th down from our own 9. At the time, there was over 4 minutes in the game, and while our defense had it's weaknesses, I think the fact that the Jags would have been playing kill-the-clock would have made punting at that time a better choice. Failing to convert a 1st down gave the Jags a chipshot FG, effectively ending the game. In addition, managing our timeouts was terrible.


The Good Things

1st - Brandon Marshall. Man, this guy is a beast. He has become one of Jay's favorite targets, and once he gets the ball, he gets the YACs. He is proving himself to be a reliable receiver with great hands. He's also a great blocking WR on the run plays. If Rod ever comes back from his injury, Brandon has pretty much made it impossible for him to be a starter again.

2nd - Jay Cutler. He is showing great touch on his passes, and he has no problem with making plays. Until the last pass (when the game was pretty much over) when he threw his only pick, Jay made the proper reads and threw the ball with great accuracy. Let's put it this way, in a game where we couldn't run with the same effectiveness of the first two weeks, Jay was responsible for 222 of our 265 yards.

3rd - Brandon Stokely. Brandon is proving to be the #3 receiver we have lacked in Denver for quite some time. The Cutler to Walker - Cutler to Marshall - Cutler to Stokely combo is forming the basis of an great passing offense, which will serve the Broncos for years to come.

4th - Red Zone. 2 of the 3 trips inside the RZ resulted in TDs. In both cases, we were 1st and goal. The only trip inside the RZ that didn't result in a score was the failed 4th down attempt when it was 4th and 2 on the 4 yard line.


So, after 3 weeks we find ourselves 2-1. With the Chargers losing to the Packers, we are still in sole possession of :first: place. We could have really used this win because of our trip to INDY next week, but it is what it is.

Maybe we'll get into a shootout with the Colts like we did last year. Let's hope our defense at least learns to tackle, or Addai is likely to get about a million yards against us next week.

BMM

Watchthemiddle
09-23-2007, 11:56 PM
Good points on most things...but when the offense goes 3 and out...that doesn't help the D.

When the D gives up long drives and keeps the other team on the field...that doesn't help the O.

When the D comes up with HUGE turnovers late in the game to redeam themselves...the O comes up LAME.

This "team" is hurting overall. ST, offense, and Defense. Just my opinion.

Broncos Mtnman
09-24-2007, 12:03 AM
This "team" is hurting overall. ST, offense, and Defense. Just my opinion.

I don't disagree, and in fact, said the same....


And what is that reality? Just that the Broncos have a TON of work to do on both sides of the ball before they will be a consistent winner.

Watchthemiddle
09-24-2007, 12:15 AM
I don't disagree, and in fact, said the same....

Well High-Five to ya then....:beer:

omac
09-24-2007, 08:05 AM
As usual, great article, broncos_mtnman! You've been putting up some really nice stuff here. :salute:

I agree with your assesment completely.

I'd also like to add that I think our defense let our offense down much more, and not the other way around. The Jaguars set out to do 2 things; stop us from rushing, and rush well against us to keep our offense off of the field. If our defense could do to their running game, what their defense did to ours, then both teams would be forced to pass much more, and in that kind of a shoot-out, I'd heavily favor the Broncos.

With our weakness on defense, our offense was probably forced into either of 2 situations; keep forcing the rushing plays, hoping that we eventually make ground, or pass more often. We chose to pass and did a pretty good job of it, but not good enough to make up for the struggles on defense.

I think Shanny went for those 4th downs more, because he'd rather roll the dice on offense, than rely on our defense today.

Retired_Member_001
09-24-2007, 09:29 AM
Good article as usual Mtnman.

I completely agree with "The Good Things".

Jay Cutler's passing was accurate and he seemed pretty calm (and that's hard with Holland and Pears blocking), he looked confident to me.

I had some doubts about Marshall, after his training camp comments I doubted his mentality but he showed fighting spirit today. When he get's the ball he runs more like a running back than a wide receiver, he isn't scared of contact. He looks very promising.

Stokley was brilliant, " The Slot Machine" :D . He made key catches. I think all of his receptions have been for 1st downs, I knew that stat before the game and I THINK (please tell me if I am wrong) that stat continues. Regardless of that stat Stokley will continue to make key catches I think.

I would have to add the offensive line to the list of bad things. Again they failed to provide atleast average pass blocking and run blocking, Cutler shouldn't have to rush all his throws like that.

Good article Mtnman. :beer:

SmithOverTO
09-24-2007, 10:52 AM
Great article, mtnman. Marshall is simply fun to watch. We saw flashes of it this year, but now we see a guy who can carry a drive, and even a game.

We also seem to be consistently cut up by an opposing quarterback that scrambles. It happened against Buffalo, and last week the Raiders QB had an up the middle scramble that got them a field goal and Gerrard seemingly ran over the Broncos defenders.


As you said, mtnman, the Broncos are guilty of many things but the most apparent thing is a terrible tendency to overpursue. As anyone who has played at any level knows, defensive football is marked by discipline and thus far I havent seen much of it.

arapaho2
09-24-2007, 03:00 PM
well its a gopod assesment, but i would like to have you all keep in mind a couple things
we allowed only one long drive thier second of eighty yards for a score
thier second td the drive starterd at thier own 48

all thier other scores started on our side of the field...our 48...down to our one yard line where we had a great goal line stance and only allowed a fg
our 18 and we only allowed a fg, and our 4 where again we only allowed a fg...that in itself has to speak for something about thew toughness of the defense...the score coulda easily been 3o to 14

secondly their drives that failed all started at their own side of the field , so other then the one long drive if we took away the short field we stopped them...problem is we couldnt take away the short field

although defense is a problem, as is scoreing

i would say our biggest worry is the poor special teams and those two fumbles....i had faith in hixon at first but now i say please get someone else in there that might , just might be able to do something anfd obrian needs to please fix the punt and ko coverage...we have already given up a TD and i would bet from what i seen we could have easily given up at least two more if it wasnt for champ bailey

gobroncsnv
09-25-2007, 10:59 PM
So, MountainMan, were you able to check on Javon's game this last week? Seems like he was very quiet...one or 2 catches. Did the Jags keep him doubled, (which freed up BMarsh), or is their 1 corner just that good? I'd be curious to hear from someone who was at the game. TV didn't give us anything on this aspect.

Good article. But I did happen to love Shanny's call of going for it on 4th & 5, with Jay hitting Graham right on the numbers. That may have been one of his best passes all season, but, alas, it takes two... But Jay does seem to play best when it's on the line. We'll have to see if Graham can earn some trust through the year. He came here to block AND catch... well, so far, just block. They' give him more chances early in the game, maybe this works out.

My $.02

Jaded
09-25-2007, 11:15 PM
The Broncos had a 4th down with 4minutes to go, zero time outs and zero hope of stopping the run.

Needing a TD, going for it on 4th down was their only hope, imo.....

Broncos Mtnman
09-26-2007, 12:13 AM
So, MountainMan, were you able to check on Javon's game this last week? Seems like he was very quiet...one or 2 catches. Did the Jags keep him doubled, (which freed up BMarsh), or is their 1 corner just that good? I'd be curious to hear from someone who was at the game. TV didn't give us anything on this aspect.

Good article. But I did happen to love Shanny's call of going for it on 4th & 5, with Jay hitting Graham right on the numbers. That may have been one of his best passes all season, but, alas, it takes two... But Jay does seem to play best when it's on the line. We'll have to see if Graham can earn some trust through the year. He came here to block AND catch... well, so far, just block. They' give him more chances early in the game, maybe this works out.

My $.02

Walker always seemed to have someone on him, and when he could get separation, the play wasn't designed to go to him. The Jags did a great job of jamming up the middle, which took away the short crossing routes, along with the post routes, away from our passing game.

While I agree with your evaluation of Jay's pass to Graham, I feel that we would have had a better shot at winning if we punt. There was nearly 5 minutes left in the game at that time, and even without the timeouts, I think we would have stood a good chance of getting the ball back with about 2 minutes left, since the Jags would have been in clock-burning mode, knowing we had no timeouts left.

The fact is that by going for it, we guaranteed at least a chipshot FG (which is what happened) if we failed. By punting, we put them in worse field position and out of field goal range.

As I have said since writing this, I believe that Shanny was sending a clear message to the defense that he didn't trust them to do their job. I think we are seeing proof of this even this week, with the report that came out lately from the players that they feel it's their fault and not the coaches fault for the failures of the defense.

Perhaps it was worth it to lose that game if it gets the defense on the right track.

topscribe
09-26-2007, 01:09 AM
Walker always seemed to have someone on him, and when he could get separation, the play wasn't designed to go to him. The Jags did a great job of jamming up the middle, which took away the short crossing routes, along with the post routes, away from our passing game.

While I agree with your evaluation of Jay's pass to Graham, I feel that we would have had a better shot at winning if we punt. There was nearly 5 minutes left in the game at that time, and even without the timeouts, I think we would have stood a good chance of getting the ball back with about 2 minutes left, since the Jags would have been in clock-burning mode, knowing we had no timeouts left.

The fact is that by going for it, we guaranteed at least a chipshot FG (which is what happened) if we failed. By punting, we put them in worse field position and out of field goal range.

As I have said since writing this, I believe that Shanny was sending a clear message to the defense that he didn't trust them to do their job. I think we are seeing proof of this even this week, with the report that came out lately from the players that they feel it's their fault and not the coaches fault for the failures of the defense.

Perhaps it was worth it to lose that game if it gets the defense on the right track.

I'm glad you've been saying this. I've felt all alone with my opinion they
should have punted.

-----

silkamilkamonico
09-26-2007, 12:06 PM
You guys thought they should have punted huh?

I was actually happy with the call. I think Shanahan looked at it like there was a higher % that the offense could get 5 yards then the defense stopping them, and he rolled the dice.

Even with the benefit of hindsight, Cutler made the right play, Graham just didn't.

I absolutely love Brandon Marshall. The kid plays with a chip on his shoulder.

It's good to see Denver being productive in the red zone, but 3 times in there all game isn't going to cut it. I know that mostly has to do with the defense.

This is just my opinion, but these long drives the opponent has against Denver is killing me. If our defense is that bad at getting off the field, I would rather they scored quickly so it doesn't take our offense out of the game.

underrated29
09-26-2007, 12:29 PM
i liked the 4th down call. we need to get real guys, if we would have punted the game would have ended their. they would have chewed up more clock and either kicked the field goal or scored a td. Thus leaving us with less time.

it was also the perfect play, we jsut let the game go.

the call i didnt like was the like 2nd and goal, or 2nd and a 1st at the 1, and we do that quick little handoff to young...

what the hell is that? we have a battering ram in travis, and a bulldozer in sapp and we give it to young?

if we need the tough yards put in the heavy weights and let them stomp their way forward for a couple or a score.

i just dont understand it at all :scratcheshead: :confused:

same with the 4th and 1- i liked the qb sneak call, but i think it would have worked if we just put in the muscle and run away from stroud.

gobroncsnv
09-26-2007, 06:15 PM
I don't even think the pass went to the wrong guy, it just shouldn't have been his first or so attempt in the game.

Cugel
09-26-2007, 07:35 PM
I don't see how anybody could criticize Shanahan for that call.

He had NO timeouts. All the Jagwads would need is ONE first down and they would run out the clock. The defense hadn't stopped the Jaguars much all day and they would get the ball in excellent position to drive down and kick a FG that would ice the game and leave the Broncos down by two scores with about 1 minute left and no timeouts.

Without timeouts, there was absolutely no choice but to go for it and hope for the best.

Even if he thought the defense could stop the Jagwads without a timeout, how would his position be any better? At BEST they'd punt with about 1 minute left on the clock and pin the Broncos back around their own 10.

In short, it would at best be the same situation the team was in already. He took the chance of keeping the ball and keeping the drive alive.

Since he needed a TD and had to drive the length of the field the time still remaining on the clock was not too much. If he makes it, then the Broncos can continue to run plays in the middle of the field instead of facing the almost impossible task of trying to drive the length of the field with no timeouts and only 1 minute or so left, in which case they can only throw to the sideline and/or spike the ball.

How many times have you seen desperation drives like that fall short? Almost every week some losing team has to attempt a desperate drive to win and almost always the odds are stacked against them so they fall short. With 4 down and 7 from the 45 and time running out they throw the hail-Mary pass into the endzone against 6 DBs that gets intercepted or falls incomplete as time expires. :coffee:

shank
09-26-2007, 11:17 PM
perfect post cugel.

the grass is always greener...