Fat Lady!? Where for art thou? Maybe caught in Boston traffic? Wherever she is she has been preoccupied with Steeler fans and 25 other NFL teams over the last couple of weeks. For those teams she has sung her song ,and their season is over. Meanwhile the unthinkable keeps happening for the Denver faithful. Just when I thought Mike McCoy had figured out a way to ensure that Tebow couldn’t succeed he goes and calls pass plays when he should and allows his offense to blossom. 10 yard slant on the first play of Overtime! You gotta be kidding me. The emotional high from last week’s Wild Card Playoff win has been sweeter than the 10,000 candy canes my kids downed for Christmas.
I must admit I have been very harsh on Denver’s offensive coordinator this season. This was especially the case in week 17 where Denver’s offense was the clear weak link in scoring a mere field goal the entire game. After watching a game where Denver seemed to go three and out on every single drive I must have looked like a KC fan, covered in red. How do you lose a game when the defense gives up only 7 points? I'll tell you. You call 3 pass plays in the first half.
The media, and even coach Fox, saying that the same plays had been call in the Pittsburgh game as the KC game, but Tebow and the offense didn’t execute is ridiculous. Mike McCoy however knows the truth. He knows that when you runs on first down and the defense is thinking run, you can now go deep in the same formation on second down. He learned something against KC and then made necessary changes against the Steelers.
Definition of Conservative Offense: I formation with one and two receiver sets and running up the middle constantly on first and second down. Then Calling QB sneak on third and long.
Definition of Aggressive Offense: Line up like you’re going to throw it in a two receiver set then roll to the left and hit the TE for 40 yards.
My thoughts before the big game was that if Denver played the same predictable conservative game on offense that they did against KC they would certainly lose. I had very little faith that McCoy would change his ways as he seemed to grow more and more conservative since the New England loss. I knew the offense and particularly Tebow had more than enough Talent to score and were being held back. McCoy surprised me and for the first half of last called an aggressive game that gave Tim the best chance for success in throwing the ball. The result was a 20 point 2nd quarter that game Denver a lead. After that you could see McCoy going back to his conservative ways to protect a lead. It was almost as if he said to himself "What did I just do?" Not only did Denver then go into ultraconservative mode on offense, but the defense started to play the dreaded prevent with a three man rush. The second half the Steelers got back in the game and lead us into overtime.
I think McCoy must have slipped on some Gatorade and started thinking again. The light bulb went off and hs realized that doing something other than what your opponent expects gives you a real good chance at success. So when Dick Lebaeu called a play to stop Denver on running up the middle as he had seen so many times on tape, McCoy calls a pass play to send Thomas to the house.
If the fairytale is to continue for us the Denver coaching staff must remember what worked for them in this game and that is being unpredictable and keeping the other team on its edge. I tip my hat to McCoy for doing what I didn’t think he was capable of doing in being more aggressive and trusting his QB. I urge McCoy to show the same type of aggressiveness today as he did last week and keep the Fat Lady away for a couple more weeks.
P.S. Even if we do lose this has been a wild ride and fun time to be a Bronco. Go Broncos!