View Full Version : Can’t Blame The Defense For This One

Broncos Mtnman
11-03-2008, 03:17 AM
In a season where the Broncos defense has been one of the worst in the NFL, today’s loss cannot be put on their shoulders. A run defense that had allowed an average of 154 yards per game only surrendered a net of 75 yards. This strong performance wasn’t at the expense of the passing game either. The pass defense only surrendered a very respectable 240 passing yards.

No, the result of today’s game came at the hands of the offense.

In a game that Jay Cutler would call his worst as a pro, he started today’s game throwing 2 interceptions in his first 5 pass attempts - one of them returned for a touchdown. The final tally would be a total of three gifts to the Dolphins defense, all of which resulted in points (1 TD / 2 FG). This would be the Broncos fifth multi-turnover game this season. Their record in those games? 1-4.

The passing game wasn’t the only area having trouble. The Denver Broncos would only manage 14 TOTAL yards rushing, producing the second worse rushing performance in franchise history. What makes this more troubling is that Mike Shanahan stated in his post game interview that the game plan for the Dolphins was to establish the run. Clearly, the lack of a rushing attack contributed to the pressure the passing game experienced in this game, just as it has all season long.

Today’s HIGHS and LOWS

HIGHS :2thumbs:

1 – Peyton Hillis. The full back hauled in 7 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. In the best game of his early career, he proved to be a reliable target for Jay Cutler and nearly singlehandedly won the game for the Broncos. Great hands, along with some impressive yards after the catch, made fans take notice of this talented rookie.

2 – Eddie Royal. Seven catches for 69 yards and a touchdown was only part of the performance “Fast Eddie” produced today. In a special teams play that kept the Broncos in the game after the Dolphins had taken a 13-0 lead, Eddie to a kickoff 95 yards, falling just short of his first kickoff for a touchdown in his young career.

3 – Brett Kern. I’ve been giving him grief so far this year, but his kicking was exceptional in today’s game. He successfully pinned the Dolphins inside their own 20-yard-line on 3 of 4 punts. Considering that one of his “pin” punts went over 61 yards, he did a great job in the battle for field position.

4 – Defense. What made today’s defense even more impressive was the fact that the Dolphins time of possession was nearly twice that of the Broncos. In addition to the three turnovers, the Broncos gave the ball to the Dolphins an additional 4 times via the punt. In the first half, the Broncos offense managed slightly more than ten minutes in time of possession. Sadly, they would nearly match this number in the second half. That’s a lot of pressure to put on ANY defense. Considering the struggles this defense has had to endure this season, their performance was very strong.

Two more points on the defense. While the 75 yards surrendered by the defense was impressive, it was even more so when you consider that 30 of those yards came on one run. Factor that play out, and the Denver defense only gave up 45 yards on 29 attempts. That’s a very strong 1.6 yards per carry. They also played the Miami “Wildcat” offensive package perfectly, keeping the Dolphins offense from completing any big plays.

5 – Matt Prater. He only went 1-of-2 on his field goal attempts today, but with both of them being 49 yards or more, he showed he can be counted on from just about anywhere. The one he made was a 50 yarder and it tied him in the Broncos record book for 50+ yard field goals in a season at five. His four kickoffs would all reach the endzone, and three of the four would be touchbacks.

LOWS :2thumbsdown:

1 – Running game. As mentioned above, the rushing attack of the Broncos was a dismal 14 total yards. I’m not making excuses for Jay Cutler, but the lack of a consistent running game is creating incredible pressure on the passing game, and it keeps Brandon Marshall in double coverage, thus taking him out of the game. This team has only managed ONE 100 yard rushing performance this season. I don’t know if the problem is with

2 – Jay Cutler. I know I already mentioned him, but I’m very concerned about his increasing propensity to force the ball when there isn’t anything. His stats after today’s game are 15 TDs / 10 INTs. While that doesn’t sound too bad, when you consider he was sitting pretty in September with a 9 TD / 4 INT performance (earning him the AFC Offensive Player Of The Month), he’s not looking so good lately, throwing 6 TDs / 6 INTs.

By the way, the team record in September? 3-1. Since then? 1-3.

3 – Brandon Marshall. No, he’s not on this list for his 2 catch, 27 yard performance. He’s on this week’s “lows” list because of his performance after the game. Brandon has often been referred to as “Baby T.O” and he looked the part with his locker room hissy-fit. He threw his QB under the bus, as well as his defensive teammates. He called out his defensive coaches as well, complaining about the soft coverage on the corners by Bly and Paymah. He may indeed be right, and he may be frustrated, but you don’t go public with complaints about defensive game plan, nor do you pull a Keyshawn Johnson (just give me the damn ball) against your QB.

4 – Karl Paymah. Yeah, I know he got his first interception today, but he was the whipping boy of the Dolphins passing attack the whole game. Part of it can be attributed to the defensive scheme, where the corners were giving a 10 yard cushion on every play, but Karl demonstrated poor “closing speed.” He led the team in tackles, but that’s because the Dolphins had no problem throwing the ball his direction.

In the locker room after the game, he had the nerve to say that Greg Camarillo was “nothing special.” Well Mr. Paymah, he burned you for over 100 yards (111 to be exact) for the first time in his short career with a 10 yards per catch average. Sounds like something special to me.

5 – Penalties. Yeah, I know that this officiating crew left a lot to be desired, especially on the phantom pass interference call against Brandon Marshall, but the Broncos were flagged 10 times. When you have multiple turnovers, you can’t add to the problem with multiple penalties.

6 – Injuries. They’re falling like flies. Today we lost DJ Williams to an unspecified injury to his MCL that looks like it will keep him out of the lineup for at least a month. Any injury hurts, but this is the second starting linebacker to go down in two weeks, in addition to Champ Bailey.

Thanks to the fact that there’s only been one win in the past three weeks by any team in the AFC West, the Broncos still find themselves in 1st place in the weakest division in football. However, this team is playing on borrowed time.

They need to find a consistent running game. They need to find a way to stop turning the ball over. They need to get healthy. And this week, they need to get it started on a very short week, since they are on the road in Cleveland for the NFL’s first Thursday Night Football game of the season.

If they don’t, they could well be looking at their 5th loss in 6 games.


11-03-2008, 03:22 AM
great report for the game..

11-03-2008, 10:31 AM
Spot on.

The only thing I would add is, we have now lost 2 games at home. Thats unexceptable to me. Those days of dominated in the Mile High City is gone...atleast for this season. :mad:

Medford Bronco
11-03-2008, 10:33 AM
Agreed Mtn Man but I was not happy with the defense on the last drive
when Pennigton kept getting 3rd down conversions when we were down 19-17.

I would have loved it if we actually made a play on that drive.

Great article though.

11-03-2008, 01:21 PM
I watch the games here in Oakland on an internet stream so I don't get real TV coverage. And with TV coverage you can't answer this question with any authority anyway.

But for you guys that watch the games live at Mile High.
Is Jay finding the open guy, and are there open guys? Because from here it looks like he throws into double coverage a lot. Are guys getting separation that Jay is missing, I guess is what I'm asking?

11-03-2008, 04:39 PM
Spot on.

The only thing I would add is, we have now lost 2 games at home. Thats unexceptable to me. Those days of dominated in the Mile High City is gone...atleast for this season. :mad:

Yeah - how do you think the KC CHIEF Fans feel these days? (ARROWHEAD!!!!)...Chiefs cannot win anymore at home either. So don't feel too bad. :cool:

11-03-2008, 04:48 PM
Yeah - how do you think the KC CHIEF Fans feel these days? (ARROWHEAD!!!!)...Chiefs cannot win anymore at home either. So don't feel too bad. :cool:

We've won one game there..........:lol:

Medford Bronco
11-03-2008, 04:58 PM
We've won one game there..........:lol:

Yes over you know who :eek:

11-03-2008, 06:58 PM
I don't know how anyone can rate how the loss was, but the I think the defense needed to stop Miami on that last drive they scored a TD on...

...I do agree the offense was 'worse' today, whatever that is (turnovers, lack of rushing, etc.), but the defense needed to man-up and get a stop after it was a 2 point game and didn't...

...both unit's didn't git-r-dun but I'd stay the defense did more to try and win the game overall.