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Broncos Mtnman
10-13-2008, 01:48 AM
You'll often hear coaches and players talk about points left on the field. Today's game provided an excellent example of what this phrase means, because even though the Broncos went into the locker room at half-time down by only three points (10-7), they would fail to score on 4 of their first 5 drives in the first half.

After an impressive opening drive of 80 yards that would see Jay Cutler go 7 of 7 for 67 yards and a touchdown, the offense would give the ball to Jaguars on the next 4 drives, thanks to three turnovers and a failed attempt at 4th and 1. The Jaguars would a turn these opportunities into the only points they would score in the first half.

While it would be easy to blame the defense for this loss for the way they allowed two quick touchdowns in the second half (along with a field goal), I feel that the points left on the field on those four drives in the first half are what actually lost it for the Broncos. For instance, when Brandon Marshall fumbled on the 5-yard-line in the second quarter, the Broncos were on the verge of going up 14-3 on the Jaguars. Instead, the Jags would take that opportunity to score 7 of their own, giving them a lead they would never surrender (a 14 point turnaround). Further proof in my opinion that the offense bears more of the blame than the defense is the fact that even with 4 turnovers in the first half, the defense held the Jaguars to only 10 points.

This week's highs and lows....


HIGHS :2thumbs:

1 - Michael Pittman. I have to start with "guns" as one of the highs in this game. Starting for the first time as a Denver Bronco, the 33-year-old Pittman became the first Broncos running back to break the 100 yard barrier this season (totaling 109 yards on 20 carries). After today, I think it's likely that we will see him as the starter until Torain takes it over in a few weeks.

2 - Brandon Stokley. Until he was knocked out of the game after taking a hit to the head, Stokley was money on 3rd downs, and caught his second touchdown of the season on the first drive of the game. The outcome of this game could have been different had he been able to play the whole game.

3 - Offensive line. Besides their usual shut out on the opposition in the area of sacks, they finally found their run-blocking mojo, providing running lanes that allowed Pittman to break the 100 yard mark for rushing yards by a Broncos running back.

4 - Red Zone efficiency. The Broncos would go 2 of 3 in the red zone (the only failure being Marshall's fumble), both of them for touchdowns.

5 - Glen Martinez. For a guy that was cut just before the season started, he is making it hard for the Broncos to ever think of cutting him again. He was only one tackle away from going the distance on two punt returns. With the Broncos looking for a way to keep Eddie Royal from playing special teams, it looks like Martinez could be the answer.


LOWS :2thumbsdown:

1 - Defense. I almost listed this in the "HIGHS" section because of the way they held the Jaguars to 10 points in the first half, but poor tackling, numerous big plays, lack of a pass rush without the blitz, and allowing the Jaguars to kill the last 5+ minutes to end the game, show me that last week's game was an exception, not the rule. David Garrard looked like Peyton Manning in today's game, going 25/34 for 276 yards and a touchdown and ZERO interceptions. That equals a 106.99 passer rating against the league's worst pass defense.

2 - Jay Cutler. The September Offensive Player of the Month played alot like he did in the Kansas City game (not surprisingly, with the same result), often throwing into double coverage. The absence of Royal and Sheffler was an obvious contributor to this problem, but Jay was just a couple of tipped passes from a multiple interception performance. The Broncos are likely to face alot of 2-deep zone defenses (Tampa played it last week and the Jaguars did it today), so Jay has to learn how to take what they give you and not zero in on Marshall every time he gets into trouble.

He also lacked touch on his passes when necessary. The most obvious instance of this came on a wide open pass for a sure touchdown to Nate Jackson that would have pulled the Broncos within 3 points of the Jaguars early in the third quarter. He overthrew the pass.

Jay had a fumble and an interception, was off-target more than on, and made numerous poor decisions. Clearly not one of his better days.

3 - Brett Kern. In the rarified air of Invesco Field at Mile High, Kern managed a horrible 39.5 average on 5 punts. There was pressure from the Jaguars on nearly every punt, but Kern simply isn't getting it done. I'm still trying to figure out what Shanahan saw in him over Sam Paulescu, but the battle for field position is being lost with his low, short punts.

4 - Dre Bly. He was being burned all day long. His one or two plays near the end of the game were lost in the frequent pass plays made on his side of the field. One play would have been for 69 yards if not for a holding call on the Jaguars offense. This team has Champ Bailey shutting down half of the field and pass completions are still made thanks to Bly's poor coverage.

5 - Turnovers. As I mentioned in my opening comments, the Broncos offense turned the ball over 4 times (1 interception, 2 fumbles and a failed 4th down conversion) in the first half. If the team just made field goals on those possessions, that's 12 lost points. In the two losses the Broncos have suffered this year, the Broncos offense have turned the ball over 7 times (not including the failed 4th down play), while they have only 4 in their 4 wins. This young team needs to learn to hold the ball.

6 - Brandon Marshall. While his 98 yards sounds impressive, he would suffer from his third fumble of this early season. Every one of them have resulted in a turnover. And while his yards after the catch are one of his strengths, he needs to know when to try to get them and when to go down. One play today netted a loss of 9 yards after he scrambled from sideline to sideline in an attempt to make something out of nothing, and his fumble was also from his attempt to get additional yards.

Protect the ball, and know when to go down.

7 - Bob Slowick. I have to question the late response to a defensive plan that simply wasn't working after half-time. The Broncos played alot of zone in the first half, and it worked for the most part. But when the Jaguars made offensive adjustments in the second half, the result was a 80 yard, three play drive for a touchdown, and a 79 yard drive of 9 plays for another touchdown. Both were a result of Slowick not making any changes in the defensive attack. After the second score, the defense seemed to get more aggressive with blitzing, but it was too little-too late.


As we have seen all season so far (except for last week's game), as the offense goes, so goes the Broncos. This was true two weeks ago in Kansas City, and it was true today.

And it all happened in the first half.

BMM

Northman
10-13-2008, 01:56 AM
Pretty much on the money. Nice write up.

frenchfan
10-13-2008, 02:17 AM
As usual, great analysis MntMan.

This game reminds me of Vikes vs Saints... Saints should have scored so many points in the first half too... They didn't and they lost a game they shouldn't have lost...

Oh yeah, there were questionnables calls too... Should we start a whining thread ala Chargers? :D
Nope, they didn't help us, but these calls didn't cost us the game... All OUR mistakes cost us the game. Period.

Bad day for Jay and our O...
Don't count on our D to win many games... There was the Tampa surprise, but it was only a surprise...

I hope Eddy, Tony will be back soon and that Stokley is OK. We need all our offensive weapons to make it to the playoffs...

topscribe
10-13-2008, 02:32 AM
Thanks for the insight. I don't know where I could much disagree with you,
except that I believe Bly would look like a totally different CB with a halfway
decent pass rush.

Moreover, Bly was mauled by the receiver when he was called for pass
interference. That came at a critical time, as did the horredous call against
Manuel late in the game.

Yes, I know the Broncos still had a chance to stop them. It's just ironic to me
that so many think that the Broncos won the SD game because of a bad call,
but that wasn't the reason the Jags won. In both games, the defense had
the opportunity still to stop the offense. I just wish both would have been
viewed in that way.

-----

Crush05
10-13-2008, 03:02 AM
Very well put!!!! Hey we should get you for a defensive coord! YOu want the job?:salute:

Magnificent Seven
10-13-2008, 03:26 AM
I think they should bench Dre Bly and put Jack Williams on the field. Have you ever seen Jack Williams play? He was amazing in that preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals. Jack Williams reminded me of Darrent Williams.

dogfish
10-13-2008, 03:42 AM
great analysis, mtnman. . . . i agree with everything except listing marshall as a low-- he needs to learn to hold onto the ball for freakin' sure, but i find it extremely difficult to criticize a guy for selling out to get extra yardage-- yards after the catch are crucial in the west coast offense, and how many times have we seen him turn a short pass into a big gainer by breaking tackles? you don't get that if he doesn't fight like a crazed wolverine when the ball's in his hands, and i don't want him to stop! if he cuts it back inside and takes that play into the endzone, no one is saying he should have gone out of bounds. . . he just needs to wrap those big guns around the ball a little more securely. . .

besides, he faced double coverage all day and still found a way to get yardage and help us move the chains. . .

otherwise, totally spot-on. . . :2thumbs:


i would also add no blown special teams coverages today to the highs. . . .

Ziggy
10-13-2008, 04:46 AM
You'll often hear coaches and players talk about points left on the field. Today's game provided an excellent example of what this phrase means, because even though the Broncos went into the locker room at half-time down by only three points (10-7), they would fail to score on 4 of their first 5 drives in the first half.

After an impressive opening drive of 80 yards that would see Jay Cutler go 7 of 7 for 67 yards and a touchdown, the offense would give the ball to Jaguars on the next 4 drives, thanks to three turnovers and a failed attempt at 4th and 1. The Jaguars would a turn these opportunities into the only points they would score in the first half.

While it would be easy to blame the defense for this loss for the way they allowed two quick touchdowns in the second half (along with a field goal), I feel that the points left on the field on those four drives in the first half are what actually lost it for the Broncos. For instance, when Brandon Marshall fumbled on the 5-yard-line in the second quarter, the Broncos were on the verge of going up 14-3 on the Jaguars. Instead, the Jags would take that opportunity to score 7 of their own, giving them a lead they would never surrender (a 14 point turnaround). Further proof in my opinion that the offense bears more of the blame than the defense is the fact that even with 4 turnovers in the first half, the defense held the Jaguars to only 10 points.

This week's highs and lows....


HIGHS :2thumbs:

1 - Michael Pittman. I have to start with "guns" as one of the highs in this game. Starting for the first time as a Denver Bronco, the 33-year-old Pittman became the first Broncos running back to break the 100 yard barrier this season (totaling 109 yards on 20 carries). After today, I think it's likely that we will see him as the starter until Torain takes it over in a few weeks.

2 - Brandon Stokley. Until he was knocked out of the game after taking a hit to the head, Stokley was money on 3rd downs, and caught his second touchdown of the season on the first drive of the game. The outcome of this game could have been different had he been able to play the whole game.

3 - Offensive line. Besides their usual shut out on the opposition in the area of sacks, they finally found their run-blocking mojo, providing running lanes that allowed Pittman to break the 100 yard mark for rushing yards by a Broncos running back.

4 - Red Zone efficiency. The Broncos would go 2 of 3 in the red zone (the only failure being Marshall's fumble), both of them for touchdowns.

5 - Glen Martinez. For a guy that was cut just before the season started, he is making it hard for the Broncos to ever think of cutting him again. He was only one tackle away from going the distance on two punt returns. With the Broncos looking for a way to keep Eddie Royal from playing special teams, it looks like Martinez could be the answer.


LOWS :2thumbsdown:

1 - Defense. I almost listed this in the "HIGHS" section because of the way they held the Jaguars to 10 points in the first half, but poor tackling, numerous big plays, lack of a pass rush without the blitz, and allowing the Jaguars to kill the last 5+ minutes to end the game, show me that last week's game was an exception, not the rule. David Garrard looked like Peyton Manning in today's game, going 25/34 for 276 yards and a touchdown and ZERO interceptions. That equals a 106.99 passer rating against the league's worst pass defense.

2 - Jay Cutler. The September Offensive Player of the Month played alot like he did in the Kansas City game (not surprisingly, with the same result), often throwing into double coverage. The absence of Royal and Sheffler was an obvious contributor to this problem, but Jay was just a couple of tipped passes from a multiple interception performance. The Broncos are likely to face alot of 2-deep zone defenses (Tampa played it last week and the Jaguars did it today), so Jay has to learn how to take what they give you and not zero in on Marshall every time he gets into trouble.

He also lacked touch on his passes when necessary. The most obvious instance of this came on a wide open pass for a sure touchdown to Nate Jackson that would have pulled the Broncos within 3 points of the Jaguars early in the third quarter. He overthrew the pass.

Jay had a fumble and an interception, was off-target more than on, and made numerous poor decisions. Clearly not one of his better days.

3 - Brett Kern. In the rarified air of Invesco Field at Mile High, Kern managed a horrible 39.5 average on 5 punts. There was pressure from the Jaguars on nearly every punt, but Kern simply isn't getting it done. I'm still trying to figure out what Shanahan saw in him over Sam Paulescu, but the battle for field position is being lost with his low, short punts.
4 - Dre Bly. He was being burned all day long. His one or two plays near the end of the game were lost in the frequent pass plays made on his side of the field. One play would have been for 69 yards if not for a holding call on the Jaguars offense. This team has Champ Bailey shutting down half of the field and pass completions are still made thanks to Bly's poor coverage.

5 - Turnovers. As I mentioned in my opening comments, the Broncos offense turned the ball over 4 times (1 interception, 2 fumbles and a failed 4th down conversion) in the first half. If the team just made field goals on those possessions, that's 12 lost points. In the two losses the Broncos have suffered this year, the Broncos offense have turned the ball over 7 times (not including the failed 4th down play), while they have only 4 in their 4 wins. This young team needs to learn to hold the ball.

6 - Brandon Marshall. While his 98 yards sounds impressive, he would suffer from his third fumble of this early season. Every one of them have resulted in a turnover. And while his yards after the catch are one of his strengths, he needs to know when to try to get them and when to go down. One play today netted a loss of 9 yards after he scrambled from sideline to sideline in an attempt to make something out of nothing, and his fumble was also from his attempt to get additional yards.

Protect the ball, and know when to go down.

7 - Bob Slowick. I have to question the late response to a defensive plan that simply wasn't working after half-time. The Broncos played alot of zone in the first half, and it worked for the most part. But when the Jaguars made offensive adjustments in the second half, the result was a 80 yard, three play drive for a touchdown, and a 79 yard drive of 9 plays for another touchdown. Both were a result of Slowick not making any changes in the defensive attack. After the second score, the defense seemed to get more aggressive with blitzing, but it was too little-too late.


As we have seen all season so far (except for last week's game), as the offense goes, so goes the Broncos. This was true two weeks ago in Kansas City, and it was true today.

And it all happened in the first half.

BMM


Good article BMM, but I have to disagree with your assessment of Kern.

39.5 was his net average for punts. His gross average was 48. Coming into the game he was 6th in the NFL in both Gross and Net punting. I'll take that any day of the week, and twice on Sundays.

Broncolingus
10-13-2008, 10:04 AM
GP...

Personally, I think it was over when the defense (and esp defensive line) gave up and stopped 'taking-it' to the Jags (pretty much right after the forced fumble) and let the Jag's dictate the physical play in the trenches.

...I guess that's true in most cases for any team though.

Denver Native (Carol)
10-13-2008, 12:17 PM
Great article - and I totally agree with the following from your article:

While it would be easy to blame the defense for this loss for the way they allowed two quick touchdowns in the second half (along with a field goal), I feel that the points left on the field on those four drives in the first half are what actually lost it for the Broncos. For instance, when Brandon Marshall fumbled on the 5-yard-line in the second quarter, the Broncos were on the verge of going up 14-3 on the Jaguars. Instead, the Jags would take that opportunity to score 7 of their own, giving them a lead they would never surrender (a 14 point turnaround). Further proof in my opinion that the offense bears more of the blame than the defense is the fact that even with 4 turnovers in the first half, the defense held the Jaguars to only 10 points.

TXBRONC
10-13-2008, 03:48 PM
I have to agree with the others Mtnman your assesment is pretty much spot on.

Broncos Mtnman
10-13-2008, 07:28 PM
great analysis, mtnman. . . . i agree with everything except listing marshall as a low-- he needs to learn to hold onto the ball for freakin' sure, but i find it extremely difficult to criticize a guy for selling out to get extra yardage-- yards after the catch are crucial in the west coast offense, and how many times have we seen him turn a short pass into a big gainer by breaking tackles? you don't get that if he doesn't fight like a crazed wolverine when the ball's in his hands, and i don't want him to stop! if he cuts it back inside and takes that play into the endzone, no one is saying he should have gone out of bounds. . . he just needs to wrap those big guns around the ball a little more securely. . .

besides, he faced double coverage all day and still found a way to get yardage and help us move the chains. . .

otherwise, totally spot-on. . . :2thumbs:


i would also add no blown special teams coverages today to the highs. . . .

Clearly, BM's efforts are wanted, but one of the traits of truly great players is the ability to know when that effort is desired and when it isn't.

In today's RMN, Brandon agreed with my observation (though he didn't give my credit... :lol: )

"I guess I'm living in the past. Last year, it worked for me, running around a little bit, but this year, it's costing me, so I guess I've got to go back to basics - go upfield and get what I can and stop trying to get extra yards."

Broncos Mtnman
10-13-2008, 07:32 PM
Good article BMM, but I have to disagree with your assessment of Kern.

39.5 was his net average for punts. His gross average was 48. Coming into the game he was 6th in the NFL in both Gross and Net punting. I'll take that any day of the week, and twice on Sundays.

Gotta disagree with you.

His net is so low due to the very low trajectory to his kicks, which doesn't give the coverage teams time to get to the returner.

He has also had more than one punt go out of bounds unecessarily this season.

I guess the word I think of when I see him is INCONSISTENCY....

BroncoAV06
10-13-2008, 08:45 PM
Clearly, BM's efforts are wanted, but one of the traits of truly great players is the ability to know when that effort is desired and when it isn't.

In today's RMN, Brandon agreed with my observation (though he didn't give my credit... :lol: )

"I guess I'm living in the past. Last year, it worked for me, running around a little bit, but this year, it's costing me, so I guess I've got to go back to basics - go upfield and get what I can and stop trying to get extra yards."

Fumble problems can be solved, I hope that he does not change his mind set now. The offense as a whole needs ball controll drills but Brandon is special because of the yards after catch. Look at the play in the second half where he got the ball for about seven yards and turned that into a gain down into the redzone, one of many examples. Now the fumbles seem to outweigh the good in the heat of the moment but Tiki solved his fumble problems and I am sure countless others have as well.

You were on point about everything, Jay was forcing but when you are with out your 2-3-4 guys, going to be a rough day but I expected a bit more with actually having a run game to go with the pass this week.

dogfish
10-13-2008, 11:50 PM
Clearly, BM's efforts are wanted, but one of the traits of truly great players is the ability to know when that effort is desired and when it isn't.

In today's RMN, Brandon agreed with my observation (though he didn't give my credit... :lol: )

"I guess I'm living in the past. Last year, it worked for me, running around a little bit, but this year, it's costing me, so I guess I've got to go back to basics - go upfield and get what I can and stop trying to get extra yards."


that's guilt talking-- tell me when shanahan says he wants brandon to stop fighting for extra yardage!

Ziggy
10-14-2008, 12:20 AM
Gotta disagree with you.

His net is so low due to the very low trajectory to his kicks, which doesn't give the coverage teams time to get to the returner.

He has also had more than one punt go out of bounds unecessarily this season.

I guess the word I think of when I see him is INCONSISTENCY....


His net is 42.7 yards for the season. That average would have been 3rd best in the entire NFL in 2007. His gross punting average is 48 yards per punt. That would have been good for 2nd in the NFL in 2007. I guess we don't see eye to eye on what good punting averages are. At the pace he is currently on, he would set all-time Broncos records in both net and gross punting averages. Please explain to me why he is doing poorly.:confused:

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