Denver Broncos First Team Offense: On a Roll and Bringing Hope

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 20: Running back Jeremiah Johnson #37 of the Denver Broncos congratulates running back Willis McGahee #23 on his second quarter touchdown against the Buffalo Bills at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on August 20, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

     Last year, the Broncos offense took a lot of  heat for not getting the job done. This was a justified criticism. The 2010 Broncos offense left  a lot of points just lying out there on the field. They were hurt by issues when it came to converting third downs and hampered by an often remarked upon lack of touchdowns when in the red zone. Sustaining drives and avoiding ill-timed penalties were also issues for the Broncos last year.

     I realize that this is only the preseason, and that we've only seen the full 1st team offense on the field for four drives, but what I've seen so far gives me some hope that 2011 will not be a repeat of 2010. Take a jump with me and look at the Broncos' first four drives by the 1st team offense.

     Now, I recognize that Brady Quinn came in and played with the 1st team offensive line near the end of the second quarter in the Buffalo game. I chose, however, to focus on the drives that involved the eleven players who will most likely be our starting eleven come the regular season. Their drives are as follows:

 

Drive #1: vs Dallas -- 15 plays, 79 yards, Field Goal

Play # Line of Scrimmage Play Type Result Comments
1 1-10-DEN20 Pass Short Left Incomplete Knocked down at Line of Scrimmage
2 2-10-DEN20 Run Right Tackle 4 yards
3 3-6-DEN24 Pass Short Right 29 yards First Down; 3rd Down Converted
4 1-10-DAL47 Pass Short Middle 8 yards
5 2-2-DAL39 Run Middle 6 yards First Down
6 1-10-DAL33 Run Middle 5 yards
7 2-5-DAL28 Run Left Tackle 12 yards First Down
8 1-10-DAL16 Run Middle 7 yards Red Zone
9 2-3-DAL9 Run Right Tackle 6 yards First Down
10 1-3-DAL3 Run Left Tackle No gain First Down; Defensive Offside Penalty
11 1-1-DAL1 Pass Short Left Incomplete
12 2-1-DAL1 No Play Offense: 12 Men in the Huddle Penalty
13 2-6-DAL6 Pass Short Right Incomplete Thrown out of end zone, right corner
14 3-6-DAL6 Pass Short Right Incomplete Thrown out of bounds, right side
15 4-6-DAL6 Field Goal

 

Drive Summary:
     The first 1st-team drive of 2011 went fifteen plays and covered seventy-nine yards. Five yards were lost due to an offensive penalty. Two yards were gained through a defensive penalty. There were six passes. Two passes were completed for thirty-seven yards. There were two passes short left, one short middle and three short right. Six plays were running plays and netted forty yards. Two runs went off left tackle, three up the middle and two off right tackle. One run for no gain was nullified by a defensive penalty. The Broncos made five first downs --  one passing, three running, one by penalty. Denver had two third downs and converted one by a pass. The drive made it into the Red Zone. The drive ended with a field goal.

Drive #2: vs Buffalo -- 8 plays, 26 yards, Punt

Play # Line of Scrimmage Play Type Result Comments
1 1-10-DEN20 Pass Short Left 5 yards
2 2-5-DEN25 Run Right Tackle 2 yards
3 3-3-DEN27 Pass Short Right 18 yards First Down; 3rd Down Converted
4 1-10-DEN45 Run Left Guard 1 yard
5 2-9-DEN46 Pass -5 yards QB was sacked
6 3-14-DEN41 Pass Deep Right 22 yards Play nullified by offsetting penalties
7 3-14-DEN41 Pass Short Middle Incomplete
8 4-14-DEN41 Punt

 

Drive Summary:
     The second 1st-team drive went for eight plays and covered twenty-six yards. Five yards were lost on a quarterback sack. Four passes were thrown and two were completed for twenty-three yards. There were passes short left, short middle, short right and one deep right. There were two runs that gained three yards. There runs were off left guard and off right tackle. The Broncos made one first down by a pass. The Broncos had two third downs and converted one of them -- though it must be pointed out that one conversion was nullified by penalty. The drive ended in a punt.

Drive #3: vs Buffalo -- 10 plays, 66 yards, Touchdown

Play # Line of Scrimmage Play Type Result Comments
1 1-10-DEN34 Run Left Tackle 8 yards
2 2-2-DEN42 Pass Short Left 12 yards First Down
3 1-10-BUF46 Pass Short Right Incomplete
4 2-10-BUF46 Run Right Tackle 2 yards
5 3-8-BUF44 Pass Short Right 9 yards First Down; 3rd Down Converted
6 1-10-BUF35 Pass Short Right 14 yards First Down
7 1-10-BUF21 Run Left Guard No gain
8 2-10-BUF21 Pass Short Left 20 yards First Down
9 1-1-BUF1 Run Right Guard No Gain Red Zone
10 2-1-BUF1 Run Right Tackle 1 yard Touchdown

 

Drive Summary:
     This drive went sixty-six yards in ten plays. The Broncos threw the ball five times and completed four of them for fifty-five yards. There were two passes to the short left and three to the short right. Denver ran the ball five times and gained eleven yards. One run was off left tackle, one off left guard, one off right guard and two off right tackle. The Broncos made four first downs -- all of them by passing. They converted the only third down they faced. The drive made it into the Red Zone and ended with a Red Zone touchdown.

Drive #4: vs Buffalo -- 10 plays, 76 yards, Touchdown

Play # Line of Scrimmage Play Type Result Comments
1 1-10-DEN24 Pass Deep Middle 21 yards First Down
2 1-10-DEN45 Pass Short Right 8 yards
3 2-2-BUF47 Run Middle 6 yards First Down
4 1-10-BUF41 Run Left End 9 yards
5 2-1-BUF32 Pass Deep Left Incomplete
6 3-1-BUF32 Run Middle 3 yards First Down; 3rd Down Converted
7 1-10-BUF29 Run Right End -1 yard
8 2-11-BUF30 Pass Short Left 15 yards First Down
9 1-10-BUF15 Run Right Tackle 2 yards
10 2-8-BUF13 Pass Short Right 13 yards Touchdown


Drive Summary:    10 plays
The fourth 1st-team drive took ten plays to cover seventy-six yards and was capped off by a touchdown. The Broncos threw five passes and completed four of them for fifty-seven yards. There was one pass short left, two short right, one deep left and one deep middle. The Broncos also ran the ball five times and gained nineteen yards. There was one run off left end, two up the middle, one off right tackle and one off right end. Denver made four first downs -- two by passing, two by running. They converted by a run the only third down they faced. The drive made it into the Red Zone and was capped by a touchdown.

The 1st-Team Offense through Two Preseason Games

Drives 4
Plays 43
Yards 247 (10 yards lost on a penalty and a sack)
Passes 12 of 20 for 172 yards, 1 Touchdown, 1 Sack
Pass Direction 6 Short Left, 2 Short Middle, 9 Short Right, 1 Deep Left, 1 Deep Middle, 1 Deep Right
Rushes 19 for 73 yards, 1 Touchdown
Rush Direction 1 Left End, 3 Left Tackle, 2 Left Guard, 5 Middle, 1 Right Guard, 6 Right Tackle, 1 Right End
First Downs 14
Third Down Conversions 4 out of 6; 3 by pass, 1 by run
Red Zone Trips 3
Red Zone Field Goals 1
Red Zone Touchdowns 2


     While the argument can be made that this is only preseason and therefore no particular significance should be attached to these first four drives, it should be encouraging that:

The 1st-team offense has converted 67% of the third downs they've faced.
The 1st-team offense has made it into the Red Zone on three out of four drives.
The 1st-team offense has scored touchdowns on two out of three Red Zone trips.



     If this performance can carry on through the remainder of the preseason and on into the regular season, we might just have reason to be hopeful about the 2011 season.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Mile High Report

You must be a member of Mile High Report to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mile High Report. You should read them.

Join Mile High Report

You must be a member of Mile High Report to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mile High Report. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker