While watching the game last night, I found myself frequently saying, "What the hell are you thinking!?" which inspired me to write this post. I personally feel like the Broncos coaching staff took the wrong stance on the game last night. The Broncos looked like they were playing not to lose instead of playing to win, and there's a huge difference. I would like to make you all well aware that I am a huge supporter of Fox and company with what they have done with the team this season. They've done a great job and I'm not taking away anything from them. They've overachieved big time not only my expectations but I'm guessing all of yours, too. After giving it some thought here's what I would've done last night. Enjoy.
I'm not sure what was more frustrating last night, Dennis Allen's calls on defense or Mike McCoy's calls on offense. I figured if there was any way to win this game last night, the Broncos needed to control the TOP, turnovers, and the tempo of the game. The Broncos in my opinion needed to slow things down and let Tebow get some confidence early. Although the Broncos ended up controlling the TOP and turnover ratio (surprisingly), they didn't control the tempo of the game. The Patriots owned our offensive line last night and I feel like they must have been blitzing for much of the game considering they were consistently abusing our offensive line.
This made me wonder what ever happened to a screen pass? There's nothing like getting those big Hoggies out in front of DT or Royal and watching them escort our ball carriers down the field. If the Pats are going to blitz all day it only makes sense to take advantage of their aggressiveness. Screen passes were one of DT's most successful plays during his time at GT (check out his highlight films). They are also one of the easiest passes for a young QB to complete. Both DT and Eddie Royal are extremely elusive in the open field and they needed to touch the ball more. I think a screen pass here and there could have helped slow the game down for Tebow and would've helped to neutralize New England's aggressiveness.
What was the deal with running the ball on 3rd and 6-10 when we were down by 14 points? I understand that our offense is built around the running game, but when you're down by 14 to the Patriots. I also understand that it's important to stick to your game plan, but when the score is 35-7 and we're not moving the ball, something needs to be changed. There's nothing to lose at that point in time so why not take some risks?
Finally and least importantly, what ever happened to some trick plays or creativity? The offense was way too predictable this season and we needed some ways to surprise their defense. What's wrong with a flea flicker every once in a while? Why not try a reverse with Royal on one of our options, but instead of pitching it to McGahee/Ball, Royal would sweep between Tebow and the Running back and make a reverse out of it? I don't know maybe it's just me, but if we were going to beat the Patriots last night I think we needed some creativity and that's definitely something we lacked. Once again, we had nothing to lose so, WHY NOT?
As I said, I was also frustrated with Dennis Allen's defensive calls last night, but who wasn't? I didn't get to watch part of the 1st, but Dave Logan said something like the Broncos only having 2 D-Linemen in and trying a bunch of zone blitzes? What the hell are you thinking? I'm sorry Dennis Allen, but you're no Dick LeBeau and we don't have the personnel on our defense to try and trick one of the smartest QB's in the league.
The teams that have been successful with the Patriots in the past are the ones that have done a good job of pressuring the QB and not giving him time to pick you apart. Last night, Tom Brady picked us apart and made it look effortless. Personally, I would've ran primarily out of a nickel package. I would've switched off who blitzed, but I would have brought 5 people almost every play. I have no doubt that at least one of our players could beat his 1 vs. 1 matchup at least 60% of the time and at the very least make Brady get rid of the ball early. To counter Brady getting rid of the ball early, I would've ran a press man cover two for most of the game. For the majority of the game, I would've had Champ matched up on Welker, Goodman on Branch, Harris on Hernandez, and Williams/ Miller on Gronk, possibly even double teaming him or Hernandez with one of our safeties. The press coverage would've delayed New England's routes and allowed our rushers more time to pressure Brady. If Brady wanted to take a chance and go deep, we had our safeties to help over the top. Even if Brady completed a ton of 5-10 yard passes, it would've limited his possessions and eaten up a lot of time, which in my opinion would've been a success.
It's common sense to say the Broncos wouldn't be able to keep up in a shootout type game with the Patriots, and unfortunately it's exactly what happened last night. There were no noticeable risks taken and we were playing not to lose instead of being aggressive and taking action against the Patriots. What i've found in football is usually the more aggressive team wins, and New England was without a doubt the aggressor last night. In my opinion we were way too cautious and conservative, but hey I'm just some average Joe watching the game on TV, what do I know?
Well I appreciate you taking your time to read this and I hope you enjoyed it. I also hope maybe some light bulbs and imagination lit up in your brains so you can add some ideas to this post. I won't be offended if you disagree, after all this is just a place for friendly discussions and arguments. I'd be interested in your thoughts and I figured this is probably the best place to post mine. Thanks again for reading and have a great day!