Long post here, so let's get right to it. Things we know Denver is good at:
- Starting fast
- Aerial attack
- Winning at home
- Giving fans at home heart attacks
Things we know Denver is not so good at:
- Defending aerial attack
- Balanced play calling
No we aren't coaches, and you might be wondering how we can say the Denver coaching staff doesn't know how to manage an offense. We can't and we're not. But we are perplexed. There are five undefeated teams left besides Denver, and all of them except Tennessee has a time-of-possesion greater than 32:00. (Denver's is 30:21). Denver rushes the ball just under 43% of the time, the least of any of those undefeated teams. There are 12 teams in the NFL that currently rush the ball less than 43% of the time, and only one team (Eagles) has a defense that ranks in the top half of the league.
So what are we trying to say? As long as the defense continues to struggle, the offense needs to do as much as it can to help, and we really do think running the football more will help out the defense. We wrote an article about "Analyzing great offenses" earlier this year, and the topic came up about what the goal of an offense is.
"...When an offense steps on the field, is their goal to gain as many yards as possible? Or to gain as many yards per play? I don't think it's either. I would even argue that their goal isn't to score as many points as possible. I think great offenses step on the field with the goal of creating the largest margin of points scored as possible for their team. It's not just that you score; it's also how you score."
Our biggest example of this was the Rams' offense from 1999-2001. Many people pointed to the 2000 Rams as having the greatest offense ever, since they had the most yards passing and total yards ever. We wholeheartedly disagreed. That team finished 10-6, and did not win a playoff game. The 2000 Rams fell in love with their passing game that year, and the team as a whole suffered. Sure the defense was bad that year, but the team lost the offensive balance that got the 1999 and 2001 teams to the Super Bowl.
Just running the football more isn't going to get Denver to the Super Bowl, but we do think it will make a long term difference for the team. Anyways, that was more than we planned on. To this weeks game already!
DEN @ KC
Our Line: Denver by 19
Kansas City has done two things well so far this season. Run the football and recover fumbles. But that is about it. The rankings are pretty sound on Kansas City being the worst team in the league, and they haven't shown any signs of turning that around. Meanwhile Denver is a 3-0 team that is still trying to figure itself out. The fact that they average over 300 yards a game passing but are still being outgained by their opponents in the air is worrisome at best. Fortunately for Denver, Kansas City has yet to gain over 200 yards passing in a game this year. It's likely that Denver will jump out to an early lead again, and the thing to watch in this game will be how they manage their game on both sides of the ball in order to maintain that lead.
- Denver #5
- Kansas City #32