Reviewing the Broncos Defense against the Chargers: 1st Half Notes

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Hello folks, going to make sense of what went down last Thursday night

Chargers Running Game

Ryan Mathews had runs of 18, 7, 10, and 9 in the first half. These were some of his nicer efforts and ones that helped move the chains and keep Charger offense rollin'. Here is what I observed from each of these plays.

18 Yard Run

- Von Miller crashes down and leaves the edge open

7 Yard Run

- Perfectly executed tandem block from LG and LT opens up hole on B gap. LG successfully gets to 2nd level on Woodyard.

10 Yard Run

- (Nickel), Mike Adams takes a poor angle leaving C gap wide open. Could have stopped for 2 yard gain.

9 Yard Run

- Against base, inside zone to the right. Center makes it to Paris Lennon on 2nd level.

By my count, the Chargers just out-executed the Broncos twice, and the Broncos took bad angles to the ball carrier twice. Their zone blocking was really effective making it to the 2nd level. It was a mixed bag from Paris Lenon and Wesley Woodyard. Without Vickerson up front to keep him clean, he is having a hard time against tandem blocks. It seems as if that 2nd blocker is able to get to the 2nd level more often. Woodyard is undersized and will not shed an offensive lineman. This is why Paris Lenon has taken over snaps in the base defense--he's a bigger, stronger body. Problem is, he's slow. It is hard to identify whether or not his recognition or lack of speed is causing him to take bad angles. Whatever the case, he usually seems to be one step behind.

That first play is Von Miller just trying to make a play and Mathews cutting it back to the outside.

Secondary shake-up, and why it is bad this late in the season

Here's what happens on Keenan Allen's 1st TD reception.

DRC releases Allen on a shallow cross as if he were playing zone. Coming the other way are Antonio Gates and Eddie Royal-both have defenders trailing them as if in man. WW is in a short zone over the middle and gets pulled by the TE, is late to react to Allen coming the other way and two steps behind. Big time mistake in communication here, not sure what the Broncos were trying to do.

One of the reasons the Broncos have been giving up big plays in the passing games as of late, there is a breakdown in coverage somewhere on the back end because someone doesn't understand their responsibility. If you keep playing musical chairs with your corners and safeties, you are going to have some miscommunication, period.

Kayvon Webster

Total he was targeted 8 times and gave up 7 receptions for 91 yards and a TD. In the first half he was targeted three times.

Target 1

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Broncos are essentially playing Cover 1 with Mike Adams responsible for the TE (red).

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You can't ask for better coverage than this, except Rivers is going to go backshoulder. No DB makes this play, well done by Rivers and his receiver.

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Target 2

Off man with no safety help. The WR is going to drive Kayvon downfield and comeback after establishing cushion. Kayvon probably shouldn't be on an island. But again the Broncos have to account for the TE on the left of the formation with a LB/S bracket depending on what he is going to do.

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At this point, I can make a case that the LB playing zone should read this and undercut that comeback. Kayvon's mistake is stopping and flipping his hips one step too late. Still a tough route to defend with his assignment.

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Target 3

We have a stack and inside leverage against a corner route. Why inside leverage? No safety help to that side. Recipe for disaster against a corner route. Flat out gets beaten on this play. If anything, Kayvon should have been more physical with his hands at the point of contact to neutralize the leverage disadvantage.

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That's all I have for now, I'll wrap this up tomorrow. Want to know why the offense struggled with 3-straight three and outs? I'll have that for you later this evening. Go Broncos!!!

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