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Ziggy
12-06-2008, 07:03 PM
At times this season, the Broncos have looked like they could go deep into the playoffs, winning games on the road against the Jets and Falcons who are both 8-4. They have also won 3 in a row on the road. At other times, the Broncos look like they can't get out of thier own way. They have lost 3 in a row at home, including the most recent 31-10 loss at the hands of the hated Raiders.

Let's look at some numbers. The Broncos rank 31st in the NFL in turnover ratio at -11. The defense is ranked 28th in yardage given up, 29th in points allowed, 31st in interceptions, and 26th in forced fumbles.

Hmm, let's look at some better numbers. The offense is 2nd in the NFL overall. They are tied for 11th in scoring, and Cutler has 3393 yards and 21 TD's with 4 games left to go in the season.

Now let's look at the only numbers that really count. 7-5 overall, and 1ST PLACE IN THE AFC WEST.

How is this possible? There are a few reasons:

1. The AFC West is horrible this season and the Broncos have taken advantage of it.

2. This team is very confident on the road. Perhaps even more so than at home. Road record- 4-2.....Home record- 3-3.

3. The Broncos are reaping the benifits of 2 very outstanding drafts. Cutler, Clady, Marshall, Royal, Kuper, Scheffler, Hillis, and Larsen are all making big contributions.

4 Good offensive coaching. Yes, I said good offensive coaching. Not only is Shanahan putting the right players on the field, he's also using them in ways that compliment thier strengths and hide thier weaknesses. Granted, some of these players may have gotten thier chance purely due to attrition, but others were put in place in training camp.


This is a young team folks. The youngest that Shanahan has ever coached in Denver. The only thing that we can count on is that this team is going to be inconsistent. World-beaters one week, and sheep put out to slaughter the next. They cannot overcome turnovers unless the other team is giving the ball right back. The D just isn't good enough. They are however, learning how to win on the road, and to go hard every play, lest they lose thier jobs.

Going into the season, the offense and defense both needed major upgrades. The FO can only do so much in 1 offseason. The offensive line has been revamped and the offense now has the talent to succeed. Yes, we would all love to have a franchise RB, but you can't have everything in the NFL. The salary cap just doesn't permit it.

The defense should, and I believe will be adressed in the offseason. Can they make enough moves to produce a dominating D in one year? Not likely, but some steps in the right direction are forthcoming. Look for both the draft and free agency to address the defense.

Until then, the Broncos are rebuilding, and doing it while winning this division. Life is good. Unless you're a Raider or Chiefs fan.:D

frauschieze
12-06-2008, 07:27 PM
1. The AFC West is horrible this season and the Broncos have taken advantage of it.

Based on our 2-2 division record, I'd say we've reaped the benefits of playing in the AFCW rather than taken advantage of it. Otherwise, good article. Thanks.

Hobe
12-06-2008, 07:33 PM
3. The Broncos are reaping the benifits of 2 very outstanding drafts. Cutler, Clady, Marshall, Royal, Kuper, Scheffler, Hillis, and Larsen are all making big contributions.


Good read, though I would add Harris to the list. It's his second year and he is playing as well as Clady.

Ziggy
12-06-2008, 07:56 PM
Good read, though I would add Harris to the list. It's his second year and he is playing as well as Clady.

I agree that Harris is playing great. I didn't add him because he wasn't in either of the 2 drafts I was talking about. Harris was in the class of 07. I was speaking of the 06 and 08 draft classes. Harris certainly appears to be the bright spot in the 07 draft, although I haven't given up on Thomas, Moss and Crowder yet.

Lonestar
12-06-2008, 08:34 PM
Good article looks like Coach has his whip out..

They are young and inconsistent at best. With lots of talent but not yet mentally tough.. that may take a couple of years to develop the killer instinct they need to not play at the level of their opponents each week or read their own press clipping..

King87
12-06-2008, 09:39 PM
A great offense will almost always get you to the playoffs.

Get Cutler a defense and your franchise can do a lot of great things.

gnomeflinger
12-06-2008, 09:55 PM
Good article Ziggy - not too long, not too short. :salute:

Dreadnought
12-06-2008, 10:02 PM
A great offense will almost always get you to the playoffs.

Get Cutler a defense and your franchise can do a lot of great things.

Agreed - we don't even need a Great D, just a respectable middle of the pack one would do nicely. Of course I wouldn't complain about a top 10 defense either!

Tned
12-06-2008, 11:20 PM
Nice article. I was going to mention Harris as well. While he wasn't in either of those two draft classes, like Clady, he has only given up half a sack through 12 games and it appears that the Ryan's could be protecting Cutler from the outside rush for years to come.

On offense, this is incredibly young team with a lot of talent and potential.

Marshall, Clady, Hamilton, ?Center?, Kuper, Harris, Scheffler, Royal.

If you look at the line, TE and WR's, only Hamilton has more than three years in the league, and being in his 8th season, he could play for another 6-8 years at LG, or possibly move to center which was the original play when he was drafted.

This means that with the exception of finding a center (or LG if Hamilton slides to center), barring injury, the Broncos appear to be VERY well stocked with young talent for years to come with the line and receivers.

Cutler of course is in his 3rd year, and still coming into his own. When he is "good Jay" he can be really good and lift the team to lofty heights. When he is "bad Jay" he starts to force the ball and look more like a rookie than a 3rd year, budding super star.

Hillis looks to be a solid FB/H-back player and a steal in the seventh round. I like Shanahan's recent comments about possibly lining him up at TE in the future, or whatever it takes to keep him on the field and get the ball in his hands.

RB obviously is a big question mark right now. Will Young prove to be an injury prone back, or one that is only capable of 7-10 carries a game, vs. the every down back he wanted to prove he was this year. Will torain get another chance, or does two major injuries derail his future with the Broncos. Lot's of question marks here. It might be that Larsen at FB and Hillis at RB, with a change of pace back like Pope, Young or aldridge might be the Broncos running game next year, or Hillis could go back to FB and the mian RB duties move to an existing or new player.

So, while there are some questions at RB and center, beyond that this offense is stocked with young talent which should make the broncos an offensive force for years to come.

I wish the defense was as stocked with youth and potential as the offense, but there are still MANY question marks in terms of how the youngsters on defense will fit into the Broncos plans in the near and long term.

topscribe
12-06-2008, 11:37 PM
I agree that Harris is playing great. I didn't add him because he wasn't in either of the 2 drafts I was talking about. Harris was in the class of 07. I was speaking of the 06 and 08 draft classes. Harris certainly appears to be the bright spot in the 07 draft, although I haven't given up on Thomas, Moss and Crowder yet.

Well, I would hope you haven't given up on Thomas. He's starting. Wouldn't
you say that's pretty good for a 4th round draft choice? Even if Moss and
Crowder bust, that still makes for a very good draft . . . but they likely won't.
Moss has been playing regularly, and they obviously haven't given up on
Crowder.

So that amounts to two great drafts and a good one, the only thing keeping
the 2007 draft from being great is the numbers (4 choices), doesn't it?

P.S. Nice writeup.

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Dreadnought
12-06-2008, 11:41 PM
Well, I would hope you haven't given up on Thomas. He's starting. Wouldn't
you say that's pretty good for a 4th round draft choice? Even if Moss and
Crowder bust, that still makes for a very good draft . . . but they likely won't.
Moss has been playing regularly, and they obviously haven't given up on
Crowder.

So that amounts to two great drafts and a good one, the only thing keeping
the 2007 draft from being great is the numbers (4 choices), doesn't it?

P.S. Nice writeup.

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Excellent point. That '07 draft doesn't look like the disaster its been portrayed by some as when you take a step back and think on it for a minute. Thank you Mr. Ryan Harris.

MOtorboat
12-06-2008, 11:59 PM
Unfortunately, Moss is still the 18th pick overall. He needs to produce. And we were sold on the fact that Marcus Thomas was a first-round talent who dropped because of personal issues. Crowder sucks.

One out of four isn't good enough if we want to be contenders.

topscribe
12-07-2008, 12:03 AM
What's with this Thomas and 1st round business? Thomas was picked in the
4th round. He's starting. I don't know how to describe that as anything but
successful drafting . . .

Two out of four, if it ends up that way, is pretty good, especially in that both
are starting and Harris is panning out as one of the best tackles in the league.
I cannot figure any way one can put a negative to the 2007 draft.

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MOtorboat
12-07-2008, 12:07 AM
What's with this Thomas and 1st round business? Thomas was picked in the
4th round. He's starting. I don't know how to describe that as anything but
successful drafting . . .

Two out of four, if it ends up that way, is pretty good, especially in that both
are starting and Harris is panning out as one of the best tackles in the league.
I cannot figure any way one can put a negative to the 2007 draft.

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One out of four until the run defense actually is worth a shit...pass defense for that matter too.

Hobe
12-07-2008, 01:37 AM
I agree that Harris is playing great. I didn't add him because he wasn't in either of the 2 drafts I was talking about. Harris was in the class of 07. I was speaking of the 06 and 08 draft classes. Harris certainly appears to be the bright spot in the 07 draft, although I haven't given up on Thomas, Moss and Crowder yet.

Sorry for being sequential on you... ;)

King87
12-07-2008, 02:08 AM
Agreed - we don't even need a Great D, just a respectable middle of the pack one would do nicely. Of course I wouldn't complain about a top 10 defense either!

I don't think there has ever been a team to win the SB who has had worse than a top ten defense.


Assume that Cutler pans out in the sense of what everyone thinks he can be. If that happens, I see no reason why the Broncos would not be hyper aggressive in signings (you can only hope they are Patriot type signings and not the old Washington Redskin signing) and trades on defense.

I also think that the Broncos would do very very well with picking up a real running back.

topscribe
12-07-2008, 02:22 AM
One out of four until the run defense actually is worth a shit...pass defense for that matter too.

Yeah, you're right. Thomas is a bust because of the run defense.

So Champ, then, is a bust because of the pass defense.

Or is it a fact that 11 different men are involved in a defense?

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LordTrychon
12-07-2008, 02:26 AM
I don't think there has ever been a team to win the SB who has had worse than a top ten defense.


Assume that Cutler pans out in the sense of what everyone thinks he can be. If that happens, I see no reason why the Broncos would not be hyper aggressive in signings (you can only hope they are Patriot type signings and not the old Washington Redskin signing) and trades on defense.

I also think that the Broncos would do very very well with picking up a real running back.

The Broncos defense in the SB years was mediocre... So was Indy's. Granted, theirs got better....

Lonestar
12-07-2008, 02:28 AM
The Broncos defense in the SB years was mediocre... So was Indy's. Granted, theirs got better....


Indy's D was unbelievably great in the playoffs that year... Everything fell into place..

One can only hope..

King87
12-07-2008, 02:29 AM
The Broncos defense in the SB years was mediocre... So was Indy's. Granted, theirs got better....

Where were they stat wise?

The defense that Indy had played like a top five defense in the playoffs. They got hot at the right time, luck can factor into it.

topscribe
12-07-2008, 02:48 AM
Where were they stat wise?

The defense that Indy had played like a top five defense in the playoffs. They got hot at the right time, luck can factor into it.

Actually, the Broncos' defense has been getting better by the game, especially
against the run. In the last game, for instance, the Jets had only two really
successful runs . . . unfortunately, they accounted for 78 yards of the total.
And the one was the weird play where the defense thought the back was
down and relaxed. (Both, by the way, were away from Thomas' position.)

So, outside those two runs, the Jets, one of the stronger running teams in
the league, averaged 3.5 yards a carry. So the defense was pretty decent
against the run. In addition, Favre's QB rating against them was 60.9, borne
of a 53% completion percentage, when he had been averaging 70% previously.

The week before, Denver held Oakland to a 2.9 YPC on the run in the first
half, 3.4 in the third quarter, and only after they wore down in the fourth
quarter did they allow a 4.5 YPC in that quarter.

So the Broncos have been flashing a pretty good defense of late. It's up to
them, now, to become more consistent, but when they do, they will be
pretty decent.

It would be nice to see them do it in the playoffs, assuming they get there . . .

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LordTrychon
12-07-2008, 02:51 AM
Where were they stat wise?

The defense that Indy had played like a top five defense in the playoffs. They got hot at the right time, luck can factor into it.

I don't remember exactly where they were... but I remember reading that they were the worst statistical defense to win a SB. I think Indy topped them, but as you said, they got hot.

Here's the stats I'm finding on NFL.com

Average yds per play 4.9
Rushing yds 1803
Passing yds 2868
TDs 35

We were a gambling defense that was high risk high reward, and relied on the offense putting pressure on the other team.

For more info, look at what Greg Robinson's done since. lol... Failed in KC... just got fired from I think his 3rd college...


Indy's D was unbelievably great in the playoffs that year... Everything fell into place..

One can only hope..

If only we get Bob Sanders back in time...

topscribe
12-07-2008, 02:59 AM
I don't remember exactly where they were... but I remember reading that they were the worst statistical defense to win a SB. I think Indy topped them, but as you said, they got hot.

Here's the stats I'm finding on NFL.com

Average yds per play 4.9
Rushing yds 1803
Passing yds 2868
TDs 35

We were a gambling defense that was high risk high reward, and relied on the offense putting pressure on the other team.

For more info, look at what Greg Robinson's done since. lol... Failed in KC... just got fired from I think his 3rd college...



If only we get Bob Sanders back in time...

In 1997, against the pass, they ranked #5 in yards and #11 in TDs allowed.
Against the rush, they ranked #16 in yards allowed (#30 YPA) and #6 in TDs.

In 1998, against the pass, they ranked #26 in yards and #28 in TDs
Against the rush, they ranked #3 in yards (#7 YPA), and #4 in TDS.

FWIW :D

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LordTrychon
12-07-2008, 03:00 AM
In 1997, against the pass, they ranked #5 in yards and #11 in TDs allowed.
Against the rush, they ranked #16 in yards allowed (#30 YPA) and #6 in TDs.

In 1998, against the pass, they ranked #26 in yards and #28 in TDs
Against the rush, they ranked #3 in yards (#7 YPA), and #4 in TDS.

FWIW :D

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Ok... so it was probably 98 I was thinking of.

Where'd you get those, Top?

topscribe
12-07-2008, 03:03 AM
Ok... so it was probably 98 I was thinking of.

Where'd you get those, Top?

You can go here (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/) and get the dope on any team in the league. http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh256/AZDynamics/Smilies/thdrink.gif

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MOtorboat
12-07-2008, 08:20 AM
Ok... so it was probably 98 I was thinking of.

Where'd you get those, Top?


You can go here (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/) and get the dope on any team in the league. http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh256/AZDynamics/Smilies/thdrink.gif

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Wow, I didn't remember our defense being that bad that year...guess the offense was just that good. :noidea:

http://www.nfl.com/stats/team also has all team stats back to 1932 now...nfl.com got with the program this year and archived all their stats. I believe they have box scores back to 2000 now, too.

Bronco9798
12-07-2008, 09:06 AM
A lot of these guys will hit free agency around the same time. You just have to hope some of them don't price themselves too high at the same time. If everyone keeps playing like they are, there won't be enough salary cap money to pay them all.

Ziggy
12-07-2008, 12:08 PM
Sorry for being sequential on you... ;)

Ha! I welcome any criticism or thoughts on my articles. I think the writers as s whole love a good debate, and Ryan Harris deserves lots of love from Bronco fans. He's been as good as any tackle in the league, including Clady. :salute:

Ziggy
12-07-2008, 12:11 PM
A lot of these guys will hit free agency around the same time. You just have to hope some of them don't price themselves too high at the same time. If everyone keeps playing like they are, there won't be enough salary cap money to pay them all.

That's a good point B9798. Add in the fact that we are going to have to spend some serious money on this D to bring it up to par, and it's plain to see that not everyone can stay. That is, unless we can hit the draft lottery on the D the same way we have on offense recently.

Lonestar
12-07-2008, 12:32 PM
That's a good point B9798. Add in the fact that we are going to have to spend some serious money on this D to bring it up to par, and it's plain to see that not everyone can stay. That is, unless we can hit the draft lottery on the D the same way we have on offense recently.

the main reason we have sucked the last few years (not up to DEN standards) is the poor personnel decisions from about 1999 on..

Sure we have had few great choices mainly LB's, poorti$$$$ and price but beyond there they have been marginal ones swinging for the fence types, that fit into our schemes..

I think were were successful because of the coaching more than because of superior talent..

Whoever was making the choices (IMHO it was all in mikeys hind pocket) do a lousy job during those year and because of it we have had to swing for the fences in the last 3 drafts and have done real well in 2006 and 2008 (not overly excited about the 2007 DL picks).

If we had spread those 12-15 players over a 5-6 year time frame they would be being replaced or resigned at different times.. Thus not being then major issue that we are going to see starting next year and beyond.

Lets hope that we can get 4-6 solid players in the daft this year that 2-3 can step in and contribute day one or not later than the bye week.. I;m not talking about Starters day one but great rotational DL players that if surrounded by Thomas, Robertson and maybe Doom on one side can play well.. Or can sub in for one of the DT and not screw the pooch..

Hopefully Larsen will be the man in the middle if we do not get a rookie , lets all pray that mikey learns a lesson with webster and the moron Safeties he brought in this past year and either plays this years crop or supplements its with DAY one rookies this draft..

Ziggy
12-07-2008, 12:39 PM
the main reason we have sucked the last few years (not up to DEN standards) is the poor personnel decisions from about 1999 on..

Sure we have had few great choices mainly LB's, poorti$$$$ and price but beyond there they have been marginal ones swinging for the fence types, that fit into our schemes..

I think were were successful because of the coaching more than because of superior talent..

Whoever was making the choices (IMHO it was all in mikeys hind pocket) do a lousy job during those year and because of it we have had to swing for the fences in the last 3 drafts and have done real well in 2006 and 2008 (not overly excited about the 2007 DL picks).

If we had spread those 12-15 players over a 5-6 year time frame they would be being replaced or resigned at different times.. Thus not being then major issue that we are going to see starting next year and beyond.

Lets hope that we can get 4-6 solid players in the daft this year that 2-3 can step in and contribute day one or not later than the bye week.. I;m not talking about Starters day one but great rotational DL players that if surrounded by Thomas, Robertson and maybe Doom on one side can play well.. Or can sub in for one of the DT and not screw the pooch..
Hopefully Larsen will be the man in the middle if we do not get a rookie , lets all pray that mikey learns a lesson with webster and the moron Safeties he brought in this past year and either plays this years crop or supplements its with DAY one rookies this draft..



I think that if the Broncos are going to turn this D around quickly, they ARE going to need to find a starter or 2 in this draft. It's a tall order, but I'm assuming it's te Goodman factor that has changed our draft outcomes the last few years.

I also would not be surprised to see them go after either Haynseworth or Peppers in free agency. We need to add at least 1 proven veteran stud on the Dline.

Stats
12-07-2008, 12:58 PM
I really like the way woodyard has played as well...

just saying...

Lonestar
12-07-2008, 01:08 PM
I think that if the Broncos are going to turn this D around quickly, they ARE going to need to find a starter or 2 in this draft. It's a tall order, but I'm assuming it's te Goodman factor that has changed our draft outcomes the last few years.

I also would not be surprised to see them go after either Haynseworth or Peppers in free agency. We need to add at least 1 proven veteran stud on the Dline.

I know that most folks do not subscribe to the instant starters on day one.. But look at what we have come up with over the past couple of years..

While they may not have started many of these kids have contributed big time. Then to come up with TWO pearls last year was beyond anyones dream..

rookie safeties often can step right in as can LB's, DL not so much but if they can play and spell the Thomasa's and Robertsons a few plays and hold there own with some qualified help next to or directly behind them then perhaps we can get into the top 20 in most categories up front and by the EOY they can be playing top 15 defense..

Maybe it is the law of averages kicking in considering how bad we were for so long just maybe we can hit 3-4 more home runs this next draft..

I do not think we need hanesworth as a FA but it would be a great stop gap until these rookies we desperately need to draft could come on line.. an almost instant upgrade of 4-6 stops on the top defense listings..

frenchfan
12-08-2008, 07:37 AM
Good stuff Ziggy... :salute:

It's true it's hard to have a dominant O and D because of the salary cap... Anyway, I think we should try to solve our D problems with the draft and not by putting money on FA.

The questions :
can we be as smart as we were about O's draft?
Can we have the same "nose"?
How salary cap could hurt in that way?

:beer:

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