First post, be gentle...
This is no cliché: When the Broncos win, they win as a TEAM... and today they lost as a team, beat in all 4 phases of the game (coaching, offense, defense and special teams). There isn't a single phase the Broncos have that is strong enough to carry the others when one phase is out of sync, not executing or making mistakes.
Special teams put the offense in terrible field position all day along while giving away points and field position. The offense wasn't able to sustain long drives, gave up points to the Bills and turned the ball over. The defense allowed the Bills to sustain long drives, couldn't force any turnovers, and needs to work on the basics of football - tackling. Finally the coaching was predictable and lacked the adjustments necessary to give the other 3 phases a better chance at winning.
All is not lost!
This team has a long ways to go, but they have come a LONG WAY as well. A few notes that I took away from this game that we need to address:
1. Receiving: I love Eric Decker, but he's not a #1 receiver. Yes he had some PI calls that were missed, but when given the opportunity to make a play - he comes up short - OFTEN. We need a playmaker that our QB can trust on the offensive side of the ball. Someone that attacks the ball in the air and comes down with it more than 50% of the time. Every solid-good-great passing team has at least ONE pro-bowl WR or TE. This team has none. Let me repeat, this team has ZERO pro-bowlers catching balls for us.
2. Offensive scheme & play calling. Our offense is finally imposing its will early in the 1st QT, but come 2nd QT we're falling off the wagon. Some if not a lot of this can be addressed with scheme and play calling. What's unique to our offense is the pieces we have (ie, Tebow) that allow us to keep the defense guessing. When we're scoring points (notice moving the ball does not equate to scoring points), it is often because the defense is off-balance. Will the RB run, Tebow run, WR screen, pass downfield, etc etc. McCoy has been unable to game plan in such a way that we are dictating to the defense and the defense is reacting to what we are doing. Stacking the box with 8 on every first down against the Broncos should be a staple against us by now for every defensive coordinator.
Second, the WR route concepts/trees are not working. We certainly don't have an all-star cast of WRs or TEs, but the concepts are partially responsible for their inability to get open. Underneath routes, slants and posts, crossing routes, TE seam routes and short curl routes are often non-existent in our offense. Our routes are 75% of the time designed as BIG PLAY-down field routes which take a LONG time to develop, which then puts pressure on the O-Line to maintain blocks, which then puts pressure on Tebow to hold onto the ball in order to make a play downfield.
Did we have a single pass play today that was a 3-step drop, quick hitting route?
3. This was Tebow's worst performance yet, but, I'm going to have to ignore all the knee-jerk, ‘I told you so' critics that will come out of the wood-work this week. Every QB has bad games, yes, even Tom Brady has had 4 INT games. Look at all the good Tebow has done this year and his improvement. His throwing motion is improved a lot. He can sling the ball to anywhere on the field. He has limited his turnovers and been a major component to the success of the Broncos run-game. He has come through in the clutch which is something we haven't had in a QB for a long time.
Give Tebow (or your pick for QB of the future) a pro-bowl weapon and watch what happens. Cam Newton has Steve Smith and Jeremy Shockey. Tom Brady has Wes Welker, Gronkowski, Hernandez, Branch, Ochocinco etc. Aaron Rodgers has Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Jordy Nelson, and Jermichael Finley.
We don't need a slew of pro-bowl guys necessarily, but we need a go-to guy that Tebow can throw a jump ball to and trust our guy will come up with it.
4. Safety. Wow... It's a bad day when I am begging for David Bruton to stay in the game at safety. Perhaps it's too early to say we missed on our two rookie safeties, but it's not too early to say that they need to go back to elementary school and learn to tackle. Sure - you can say they're getting used to the schemes, and learning the defensive positions etc. But there is NO EXCUSE for missing tackle after tackle.
5. Defense & Pass rush? I'm hoping that Von Miller's thumb is the reason he and DOOM have been absentee these past few games. Other than that - Dennis Allen needs to step up his game. Despite the turnovers from the past few games - our defense has been walked over, used and abused.
While we have hoped that the Broncos offense would dictate to the opposing defense, unfortunately, the opposite has been done to our defense. We don't know what is going to hit us and even when we do know, we can't stop it. Run or pass on the Broncos D right now, it doesn't matter, you will have success and if we do stop the opposing team - we'll likely negate it with a penalty.
Unfortunately I have no answer fixing the D. Talent, Scheme... I don't know. What I do know is that Brady and Fitzpatrick were rarely if ever hurried or sacked. Kyle Orton will tear the Broncos apart if we don't pressure him coming Sunday.
6. Special teams... ugggg... it's Christmas Eve and I could keep going but I think it's time to enjoy me some Santa, Egg-nog, the wife and family!
Merry Christmas guys! To all a good night!