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Broncos Mtnman
10-30-2007, 08:37 PM
Two plays and about 40 seconds kept the Broncos from a victory over the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football.

Take away those two "bombs," and the "Iron Man" of the NFL manages to gain a meager 160 yards on 19 completions, netting the Packers a less-than-impressive 6 points on two Mason Crosby field goals.

But alas, the Broncos can't take those two plays away, and so a game that should have been a low scoring victory, turned into another "coulda-shoulda" affair that leaves the Broncos with more questions than answers as they enter the remainder of a schedule that has them playing 6 of their last 9 games on the road.

Questions like....

* Why do the Broncos have two playbooks? You know, one for getting into the Red Zone and another once they get there?

"It's been our thing all year - running up and down the field, no problem moving the ball, but penalties and turnovers in the red zone," said Jay Cutler after the game.

Talk about stating the obvious.

Yet, why does this happen every week? Heck, why has it been happening for nearly two seasons now? Has Shanny made a mistake with Heimerdinger and Dennison?

Last week, the Broncos went 3 for 3 in the Red Zone. All three TDs were passing plays. I don't understand why Shanny keeps trying to play smash mouth offense when we aren't equipped for that type of play. If the strongest weapon we have in the Red Zone is the pass, then pass for Pete's sake.

Shanny's QB keeper on 3rd and 1 on the 4 yard line with no timeouts at the end of regulation was basically a decision to play for the tie. I just don't understand the reasoning behind that play.

Through the first six games, the Broncos had scored 11 offensive TDs. ONLY THREE OF THEM CAME RUSHING!!

If passing is the strength of the offense in the Red Zone, why doesn't Shanny design a zillion different pass plays to score instead of playing Marty Ball without an LT in the backfield?

* What happened to Mike "The Mastermind" Shanahan and his playcalling?" Is it just me, or does Shanny seem to be turning into Marty Schottenheimer?

I covered this a little bit in the previous answer (and Mark Kiszla's editorial today agrees with me.. lol), but does it seem that Shanny (or Dinger or Denni) have become too conservative?

In yesterday's game, two plays come to mind.

First, was the aforementioned play near the end of the regulation. The other one was Shanny's decision on fourth and 6 on the Packers 37. At worse, it's a 54 yard FG attempt. At best, it's Packers ball at the 44 with over 8 minutes to play.

* Is the pass defense showing itself to be a fraud?

In the first several weeks of the season, the "bright" spot of the defense was supposedly the passing game. There were those (myself included) who felt this stat was a bit skewed due to the terrible run defense.

Over the past two games, the run defense seemed to improve. And sadly, the passing defense paid the price. Perhaps our "shut down" passing game has been the farce everyone thought it was.

I'm not saying that "Old Man Favre" and his two pass plays are evidence that the passing defense is falling apart. But, I would say that 700+ passing yards over the past two games might be.


This week's 4 downs....

Most Glaring Weaknesses

1st - Inconsistent pass rush. I don't know why the Broncos made the decision to change what worked last week in this department. Benching Moss for Rice being one of the biggest questions I would have. With "Senior Citizen Favre" in the backfield, there's no excuse for not doing everything (including blitzes) in the playbook to put pressure on him. The defense had ZERO sacks, and the only pass play for a loss was on a busted play where Favre did the QB slide.

2nd - Dre Bly. I only have one thing to say about him. If you're going to talk the walk, you need to walk the talk. His pregame "smack" about his "something special" for Brett Favre looked just as weak as his play on the field. I remember when Bly got booed in camp for getting burned on several pass plays by our offense. His explanation was that no one would make a living from beating him.

Apparently, they can....

3rd - Red Zone offense. As I mentioned above, Shanny's playcalling has alot to do with this, but the lone turnover (a fumble when Kuper knocked the ball from Cutler's hands on the 1 yard line) costs the Broncos a sure FG and a very probably TD.

4th - Coaches game plan. On both sides of the ball (offense and defense), the Broncos coaching staff showed no imagination. In addition, what was with the NUMEROUS episodes of having either too few or too many players on the field? That type of stuff is usually an indication that the coaching staff has failed to prepare the team. Clock management was also pathetic.


The Good Things

1st - Jay Cutler. His consecutive games with an INT came to an end. He continues to demonstrate the ability to lead the team. Hopefully, Shanny will begin to let him do just that.

2nd - Selvin Young. He demonstrated the ability to be a starter, and was only one holding call from having a huge game.

3rd - The Killer B's. Both Brandons had a great game.

4th - Tony Scheffler. Man, it's sure good to have him back. He's clearly one of Jay's favorite targets, and he caught the only TD of the game.


By the way, honorable mention should go to the defense. Yes, I said the defense. As I mentioned above, if you take out those two pass plays, the defense held the Packers quite well. Despite the poor gameplanning and questionable personnel decisions, the defense nearly did enough to help the Broncos win the game.

So, the Broncos are now 3-4. Can they turn it around? It doesn't look good, but as the old saying goes, "that's why they play the games."

Here's hoping that the Broncos can make that happen.

topscribe
10-30-2007, 09:25 PM
1. If it weren't for you writing this, I would have stopped reading it the instant
you said Kiszla agreed with you.

2. Dré Bly did a good job. He was beaten on one long pass play (but then, so
was Champ), but outside the two long plays, Favre managed about 160 yards
passing with no TDs, as you implied in various places. Somebody had to be
out there defending.

3. I will give kudos to the defense, once they realize that, when it comes to
stopping the rush, this is football and not bullfighting. Olé!

4. Rice deserves a pat on the butt . . . on his way out the door. Chalk him up
as another has-been picked up by the Broncos.

5. Give Selvin a chance, and if he can prove durable, with his speed and
power (not as much as Henry's power, but still power), he may well make
it unnecessary to spend a high draft choice on another running back.

6. Trash Bates' defense until the Broncos add a couple DTs and a LB. The
only really good DT out there is Thomas, and he is still inexperienced.
Adams is way past his erstwhile Pro Bowl form. The Broncos could save
themselves a few bucks by sending off Gordon and Burton in the same taxi
as Rice.

That ought to do for starters. :coffee:

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Medford Bronco
10-31-2007, 12:03 AM
Great article Mtn Man,

I agree with you on two important issues

the Bly mouthing off was absurd to me. He is overrated in my book and shut up and play better. Prove it on the field etc

the play that pissed me off so bad was the QB keeper.

why play for a tie, when you would might not see the ball. This reaks of playing not to lose, when in all actuallity you do lose.. Pathetic play calling.
I am very disapointed in Shanny. Why not to a crossing Pattern with Brandon Marshall and a TE or an inside curl that if not open, Cutler throws into the ground etc.

My take on the defense was that they were so lucky that GB only got 19 points. GB with penalties on their two long drives controlled the game.

What did Denver have the ball for in the 2nd Qtr....4 minutes. unacceptable IMO

overall great work Mtn Man and I salute you :salute:

Retired_Member_001
10-31-2007, 11:21 AM
Great article Mtnman.

Dre' Bly got on my nerves.

But I agree with you, Shanahan is really losing it. I just don't understand the 4th and 6th decision, I was screaming for a FG. I don't understand any of the goaline play calls as well. All through the game Rick Dennison and Mike Shanahan were too conservative, they were calling plays like we had Jake Plummer back there.

Shanahan may not be seeing out the rest of his contract in my opinion. Let's be honest, just about every coach in the NFL would want a coaching job here.

champbronc2
11-01-2007, 05:11 PM
Great article mtn_man.

The playcalling by Shanahan was very off.

We should have taken that field goal too. Elam could have made that making a big change on the outcome of the game.

And Medford I do agree with you. The defensive points allowed were not as good as they played.

They ran all over us and the penalties really helped us on defense.

Cugel
11-02-2007, 11:11 PM
Well, certainly the play-calling on the Cutler sneak was totally bizarre! I was screaming at the time and I still can't believe it!

That really almost guaranteed a loss because #1 the play depended on the DE being blocked out by Erik Pears, only Pears got shoved aside again, and second, even if Pears made the block, the LB was waiting in the hole to tackle Cutler.

So, overall that play had ZERO chance, despite what Shanahan says about getting the "matchup" he wanted. That's absurd.

Bottom line: Denver cannot run the ball at all in short yardage. Their OL gets pushed back and they can't crack the goal-line. This has been a problem for years and it hasn't gotten any better this year. That isn't Shanahan's fault (as coach anyway) if the players can't do their jobs.

If they can't run the ball in goal-line situations, then they have to pass, go play action or rely on Cutler to run it in. Teams are going to start playing pass more and more against Denver because they know that the Broncos can't just line up and punch it in and have to rely on fakes. Play action only works if defenses respect the run fake. If they don't they just play pass all the way and the play doesn't work. You can't just line up and roll out on every play with Cutler looking to pass or run it in. Teams will expect that and run with him and maintain coverage on their receivers in the end-zone until the last second.

The OL has had a lot of transition this year, and losing Nalen hasn't helped at all. Outside Matt Lepsis, the entire line has played mediocre, which isn't at all surprising given the turnover. That's one area that needs more consistency and time playing together. They have some good young players but it will take some time to sort out.

Defensively, the team didn't play great, because of those 2 long pass-plays, but they should have won, if Cutler didn't get the ball knocked out of his hands for a fumble on the 2 yard line the Broncos at least kick a FG and there's NO overtime game. Denver wins by 3 in regulation. :mad:

omac
11-04-2007, 06:06 AM
Defensively, the team didn't play great, because of those 2 long pass-plays, but they should have won, if Cutler didn't get the ball knocked out of his hands for a fumble on the 2 yard line the Broncos at least kick a FG and there's NO overtime game. Denver wins by 3 in regulation. :mad:

I don't think you can use that reasoning. The game scenarios change depending on the scores and results. If Denver scored a fieldgoal on that fumble possesion, then they'd be kicking off. It's no guarantee that GB scores a fieldgoal again, but it's also no guarantee that they don't score a TD either, on that ensuing drive, or even on the kickoff. The score will change the way the teams play the game, and it could work for or against the Broncos. If the Packers didn't score on the ensuing drive and were down some points, they might go for it on 4th downs. The Broncos could win in regulation, or get beaten in regulation. Given a change in circumstance, nothing will play out the same way.

Lonestar
11-13-2007, 03:13 PM
1. If it weren't for you writing this, I would have stopped reading it the instant
you said Kiszla agreed with you.

2. Dré Bly did a good job. He was beaten on one long pass play (but then, so
was Champ), but outside the two long plays, Favre managed about 160 yards
passing with no TDs, as you implied in various places. Somebody had to be
out there defending.

3. I will give kudos to the defense, once they realize that, when it comes to
stopping the rush, this is football and not bullfighting. Olé!

4. Rice deserves a pat on the butt . . . on his way out the door. Chalk him up
as another has-been picked up by the Broncos.

5. Give Selvin a chance, and if he can prove durable, with his speed and
power (not as much as Henry's power, but still power), he may well make
it unnecessary to spend a high draft choice on another running back.

6. Trash Bates' defense until the Broncos add a couple DTs and a LB. The
only really good DT out there is Thomas, and he is still inexperienced.
Adams is way past his erstwhile Pro Bowl form. The Broncos could save
themselves a few bucks by sending off Gordon and Burton in the same taxi
as Rice.

That ought to do for starters. :coffee:

-----


time to apply at @ the DP and RMV and FG..

Great article..

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