A Staffer Round Table: Close Bronco Loss and a Tough Green Bay Game

John Fox walked a little too close to J.D. Walton when Walton was sweaty. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)


This week we didn't have quite as many staffers being able to join us, but I also got a record number of member questions, at this rate we may just make this a purely fan question only round table, so keep the questions coming. Here are this weeks topics of discussion:

1. I'm really liking our run defense at this point in the season, Hunter and Ayers are dominating the edges, and our defensive tackles are doing better than expected. The thing is we are still allowing 3.7 YPC and averaging 100 YPG. We have also caused 0 fumbles against the run. Is it sad that we are excited about a below average run defense like this? One key stat is we've only given up 1 rushing touchdown.

 

2. Passing defense. We are near the bottom of the NFL in YPC, YPG, TD's allowed, completion %. We also have 0 interceptions, one of two teams. We are also 23rd in sacks, 21st in pressures. Do you feel that Champ and Doom's return will fix this, or are we just lacking on defense at this point?

 

3. We are actually middle of the pack on 3rd downs, what do you think is the biggest reason for seeing more success on 3rd downs?

 

4. Last week Willis McGahee was extremely hyped after a big game against Cincy, but struggled to run, averaging 2.4 YPC and 0 TD's. So far this season we have 1 rushing TD, we saw this last season, and we know the outcome that it leads to. Solutions for this? Can we win games rushing like this?

 

5. With McD gone, we are seeing some changes in the offense. We are seeing a focus on the run game, which we know is struggling, but part of this offense seems to be less deep plays, with only 7 passes going 20+ yards and 1 going 40+ yards. Last season our passing game was among the best at going deep, and both Tebow and Orton were extremely effective with the deep ball. This season, we haven't seen that. We also haven't seen nearly as many deep passing plays called. Do you look at this as an Orton issue (doesn't want to go deep), an injury issue (Lloyd, DT) or a coaching issue (McCoy isn't calling a lot of deep plays)?

 

-6. From Todd Lewis: Lloyd got shut down last week with double pressure, do you see that as a trend for the season, and what could it mean for the offense?

 

7. From Jennifer Spears: We are 1-2, do you feel we are in the Suck for Luck competition, or are there worse teams?

 

8. From Benjamin C.: A lot of talk has been made before the season how Elway and Bowlen were going to give Fox time to develop this team, do you feel Fox is already on the hot seat, and if Tebow starts and struggles, will that only hurt him more?

 

9. Predictions

 

If you want to submit a question to the round table for us discuss, email me your questions anytime between now and Wednesday, October 5th. My email is maxwellsdemon13@yahoo.com and include MHR round table question in the subject line. I'll do my best to choose a few good questions to add next week.

Name

Comment

I'm really liking our run defense at this point in the season, Hunter and Ayers are dominating the edges, and our defensive tackles are doing better than expected. The thing is we are still allowing 3.7 YPC and averaging 100 YPG. We have also caused only 1 fumble against the run. Is it sad that we are excited about a below average run defense like this? One key stat is we've only given up 1 rushing touchdown.

Jess P.

Last year we couldn't do anything against the run. I don't have the stats in front of me, but I can certainly tell from the "eye test" that the Broncos have improved. That's not to say that there isn't more room to do better, but I don't have the complete demoralizing lack of hope that plagued me last year.

Topher D.

I do agree, watching the game makes me excited for the run D, but at the end of the game, the results are the same. We are doing better in the RZ though

Jess P.

Also worth noting is the play of Woodyard. He's been all over the field making tackles that never would have happened last year.

Topher D.

I agree, I also think our LB's tackling has improved, but we just aren't stopping opposing RB's behind the line

Kirk D.

The DT's aren't stout enough to get a good push at the point of attack, run or pass. We are getting more Tackles behind the line of Scrimmage because they are tying up blockers, but the loss of Marcus Thomas and Ty Warren is telling.

Topher D.

I'd say that's true, we really needed Warren, and while I am a bit surprised by how our DT's are playing, they still aren't really good enough to push quality offensive lines

Kirk D.

Not when Vickerson is 286 or so. Bunkley is 306 and that is a bit light in the middle of the D-Line, especially against the bigger lines of the Eastern teams.

Topher D.

One thing we can agree on is our run defense is better than our pass defense.

We are near the bottom of the NFL for passing defense, just look how bad we are in YPR, YPG, TD's allowed, completion %. We also have 0 interceptions, one of two teams. We are also 23rd in sacks, 21st in pressures.

Kirk D.

The pass defense is suffering from the same lack of push in the middle

Topher D.

Do you feel that Champ and Doom's return will fix this, or are we just lacking on defense at this point?

Kirk D.

Von and Dumervil make a difference from the edge, but we've been without Doom for a long spell.

Kirk D.

This defense needs to get pressure because we are lacking at the CB position. The return of Champ and Dumervil is always a good thing.

Jess P.

I am really excited to see Doom and Miller in tandem again. Champ certainly will make a contribution like he usually does. If nothing else we don't have to watch the systematic destruction of Cassius Vaughn anymore.

Kirk D.

And with Doom there, the opposition can't gameplan for just Miller

Topher D.

I think we are just lacking play makers at DB. Champ hasn't been an interception guy for years, Goodman has lead the team in recent years, but it was never very much. Moore, Dawk and Vaughn are either inexperienced or just not up to speed anymore. I'm really looking forward to Moore in the future, but right now, I don't think he's going to create a lot of turnovers.

Kirk D.

That is why Dennis Allen has to be creative. I think he has made a difference with his scheme and play-calling.

Jess P.

I disagree with you on Moore. He's hungry to make a play and eventually he'll start coming down with them. He so mobile that it's bound to happen.

Jess P.

I'm secretly hoping that Allen has been keeping something in his pocket for Green Bay this weekend. Something fresh and new to confuse them. Although, I had this hope with McD in the past and was sorely let down.

Kirk D.

Aaron Rodgers is tough to play against. He learned well sitting on the bench behind Favre

Kirk D.

That is why it's so important to pressure the QB

Topher D.

I really am hoping we draft a CB early next draft. Though I am not as sold on Moore as you are Jess, watching him this season, he's been solid for a rookie, but I don't see him flying to the ball, like Berry or Thomas last season

Tim L.

Oh God, please no CB early. 2nd round is okay, but nothing earlier. :)

Topher D.

Fine, I'll take a 2nd round CB if we draft DT 1st round

Tim L.

I'll take a QB, DT, or LB in the first. :)

Topher D.

No QB, I would freak

Tim L.

Hey, if Tebow isn't the guy then we need to do it. However long it takes...draft a QB every first round until you strike it rich. But we can avoid the QB talk here...whats been said has been said about every which way it could be said. Next!

Topher D.

AH! Let's change topic before I go mad! Let's go offense.

Tim L.

Mind reader...

Jess P.

Can we talk about Tebow's politics? lol

Topher D.

Nah nah nah can't hear you Jess

We are actually middle of the pack on 3rd downs, what do you think is the biggest reason for seeing more success on 3rd downs?

Kirk D.

Better 1st and 2nd down yardage for one. Leaving the dink and dunk passes to convert.

Jess P.

I think as the season goes on and we play more heralded teams that conversion rate will go down. Simply put, this dink and dunk crapola ain't going to be a long term strategy. We have to stretch the field more if we are going to have any sort of continued 3rd down success.

Topher D.

It's interesting to note that Cincy and Tennessee are top 10 defenses this season

Kirk D.

Fox is going to keep running the ball because he wants the O-Line to "lead with an attitude." The big boys love pushing the D-Lines around and I believe the more they play this way, the better the results will be. I would hope not Jess. Each gameplan should be different for each opponent

Topher D.

And speaking of dinking and dunking

With McD gone, we are seeing some changes in the offense. We are seeing a focus on the run game, which we know is struggling, but part of this offense seems to be less deep plays, with only 7 passes going 20+ yards and 1 going 40+ yards. Last season our passing game was among the best at going deep, and both Tebow and Orton were extremely effective with the deep ball. This season, we haven't seen that. We also haven't seen nearly as many deep passing plays called. Do you look at this as an Orton issue (doesn't want to go deep), an injury issue (Lloyd, DT) or a coaching issue (McCoy isn't calling a lot of deep plays)?

Kirk D.

I don't think it's an Orton issue. At least not by himself

Tim L.

It's never Orton's issue.

Topher D.

haha where do you think the issue lies Tim?

Tim L.

The entire office just fails to execute as one cohesive unit. We saw a similar problem with the offensive line early last year...except now it feels like its the whole damn lot of them. Office? Offense

Jess P.

Tim's blaming the Office now... Once Steve Carrell leaves, he just piles on.

Topher D.

haha

Kirk D.

=)

Kirk D.

Some of it may be injury related, guys not getting open downfield, or in Decker's case, miscommunication between him and Orton. Hell Mccoy could have something to do with it too.

Topher D.

I will say statistically, we are among the worst in the NFL at sending WR's deep, even if Orton doesn't target them. I'd say it most falls on injuries to Lloyd and DT, our main deep threats, but it might also have to do with Orton's progressions.

Kirk D.

That is why that running attitude is important

Tim L.

I think it has more to do with not having a legitimate go-to guy. Lloyd covered that glaring need last season, but we miss Brandon Marshall. In fact, Demaryius Thomas needs to fill that role very soon...

Jess P.

If we ever see Demarius Thomas again we might again have that deep ball threat. Although I doubt that #8 will have enough familiarity or trust in him to get him the ball.

Tim L.

Jess, Tebow would get him the ball. :P haha

Kirk D.

That would definitely help.

Topher D.

I'm pretty excited for Decker, but he really needs help, he's still young, he needs Lloyd and Royal back on the field to succeed. Though I'm not a huge DT fan at this point

Jess P.

It took the absence of Lloyd to see more out of Decker... Then when Lloyd comes back #8 has difficulty getting Brandon the ball.

Topher D.

Lloyd was double covered most of the night

Kirk D.

I agree with that. Decker is more of a complimentary weapon than the main man. If our opponents have to gameplan for Lloyd and/or Royal. that is where Decker can shine.

Jess P.

Speaking of Royal, I don't think the Broncos have had any clue how to effectively use him since Shanny left.

Topher D.

He was pretty good in the slot last season, he was 3rd in the NFL in yards after the catch last season.

Tim L.

Orton just doesn't see him...ever.

Topher D.

He did see him last season, or are you talking socially?

Kirk D.

Royal has turned into another Moreno. Good in open space and can get YAC, but uses too many moves and expends energy getting nowhere.

Jess P.

I think that's an empty stat. We had four wins. By definition all those yards speak to ineffectiveness.

Topher D.

haha... or are you being serious Jess?

Jess P.

I'm not putting it on Royal, but we were the king of garbage time stat accumulation last year.

Topher D.

Yea but that's what WR's do, they get yards.

Jess P.

Fair enough.

Topher D.

Also things like yards after the catch show a specific purpose, slot man. While I don't Royal is a great WR, he's better than a guy like Willis

Jess P.

You're talking to a guy with a Royal jersey, so I certainly want him to do well. :)

Jess P.

There's something really likeable about Willis though.

Topher D.

I've heard that

Jess P.

(Not that Royal is unlikeable)

Topher D.

haha

Kirk D.

For any one of them to do well, we have to have Lloyd (or another deep threat) to take some of the attention from the other guys

Last week Willis McGahee was extremely hyped after a big game against Cincy, but struggled to run, averaging 2.4 YPC and 0 TD's. So far this season we have 1 rushing TD, we saw this last season, and we know the outcome that it leads to. Solutions for this? Can we win games rushing like this?

Kirk D.

No

Topher D.

haha to the point aren't we Kirk

Kirk D.

The play calling in the run game has been lacking in creativity

Jess P.

I agree with Kirk. The dink and dunk strategy is lethal to our running game. Stretch the field and make them do something other than stack the box.

Topher D.

A lot of this seems to be coming back to McCoy and play calling

Kirk D.

Complimentary play should start with Complimentary play calling. I don't like the blame game because in my opinion, there is more than one goat

Jess P.

I blame Tebow and global warming.

Topher D.

haha

Topher D.

Agreed, well hows this, do you feel McCoy is going to be our long term answer at OC?

Kirk D.

I really don't. Because we are seeing him for a 2nd year and I haven't seen that much difference. McD may have been calling the plays for the last 2 years, but he has been a part of that

Jess P.

McCoy is a stopgap until we can build a more effective offense to lure someone more, dare I say, sexy.

Topher D.

haha McD maybe?

Jess P.

I don't think he's allowed within Colorado state lines anymore.

Topher D.

All I know is we went deep with McD, we aren't not. Conservative run game isn't "sexy"

Kirk D.

Fox was brought in for stability.

Topher D.

Agreed. So lets finish with a few member questions real fast. One line answers, rapid fire style.

Kirk D.

Shoot

From Todd Lewis: Lloyd got shut down last week with double pressure, do you see that as a trend for the season, and what could it mean for the offense?

Kirk D.

That would depend on Orton.

Jess P.

It means that we'll have to look at more than just a couple receivers.

Kirk D.

He needs to get the ball to the other receivers. They also need to get open.

Jess P.

We need to score more touchdowns.

Kirk D.

and get the right play called

Jess P.

lol

Topher D.

So with Decker playing a bigger role, hopefully that will open Lloyd up

Kirk D.

It should

Jess P.

Or Willis!

Kirk D.

Or Fells

From Jennifer Spears: We are 1-2, do you feel we are in the Suck for Luck competition, or are there worse teams?

Kirk D.

I think their are worse teams

Jess P.

We are NOT in competition for Luck.

Jess P.

Again, we have the defensive minded coach. Let's finish with that side of the ball and then we can deal with the tragedy at QB.

From Benjamin C.: A lot of talk has been made before the season how Elway and Bowlen were going to give Fox time to develop this team, do you feel Fox is already on the hot seat, and if Tebow starts and struggles, will that only hurt him more?

Kirk D.

No Fox isn't anywhere near the hot seat.

Topher D.

I did read a few members say they trust EFX less than he did McD

Jess P.

No, Fox is safe for at least another year if not two. We're clearly building and as long as there is improvement he remains safe from even the most modest amount of scrutiny.

Kirk D.

Contrary to the belief of some fans, NFL Teams do not radically change and throw everything out the window after a few games

Topher D.

I'm with you guys, but it will be interesting to track his support from the fans

Kirk D.

The fans don't make the decisions in Dove Valley

Topher D.

They like to pretend they do

Let's close with predictions

Kirk D.

Uh oh. I'm no good at predictions

Topher D.

I was once again right with Decker, 2-1 this season, this week I'm saying Orton, the Packer's passing D is just so weak

Kirk D.

Their pass rush is pretty good though. 10 Sacks in 3 games

Jess P.

Nick Collins is out. SO there's that.

Topher D.

Yea, but people keep telling me to not trust stats and trust my gut, so I'm trying it out

Kirk D.

That's true

Kirk D.

I do think we will need to pass to win. I will take Lloyd

Topher D.

Sounds good to me, how about you Jess

Jess P.

Fells has a big game.

Topher D.

Oho! Now there's a prediction. I like it.

Kirk D.

Dumervil gets 2 sacks

Topher D.

Night guys, thanks

Jess P.

Stay thirsty my friends.

 

If you want to submit a question to the round table for us discuss, email me your questions anytime between now and Wednesday, September 28th. My email is maxwellsdemon13@yahoo.com and include MHR round table question in the subject line. I'll do my best to choose a few good questions to add next week.

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