Denver Broncos: Up Tempo Offense

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Hello folks! One of my biggest take-a ways from yesterdays game was just how fast our offense operated at times. I went back and charted each play on the first two drives to figure out just how fast the Broncos hustled.

Drive 1

Play

Ball Snapped

Play Ended

Play Duration

Time Elapsed

Result

1

12:15

12:10

5 seconds

5 seconds

Ronnie Hillman 16 yard run

2

11:53

11:48

5 seconds

17 seconds

Eric Decker 15 yard reception

3

11:42

11:39

3 seconds

14 seconds

Ronnie Hillman 4 yard run

4

11:20

11:15

5 seconds

19 seconds

Eric Decker 12 yard reception

5

10:57

10:52

5 seconds

18 seconds

Manning incomplete (Eric Decker)

6

10:52

10:47

5 seconds

26 seconds

Julius Thomas 3 yard reception

7

10:35

10:30

5 seconds

12 seconds

Rams 12 men on field penalty

8

10:10

10:04

6 seconds

59 seconds

Montee Ball 11 yard run

9

9:42

9:37

5 seconds

22 seconds

Illegal formation

10

9:18

9:13

5 seconds

42 seconds

Montee Ball 0 yard gain

11

8:50

8:46

4 seconds

23 seconds

Julius Thomas 8 yard reception

12

8:08

8:03

5 seconds

38 seconds

Julius Thomas 6 yard reception

13

7:27

7:22

5 seconds

36 seconds

Demaryius Thomas 7 yd TD reception

The first two numbers are what the clock is at at each juncture in the play. For example on the first play, the game clock is at 12:15 when the ball is snapped and is at 12:10 when the play is over. The time elapsed column is how much time passes between the end of one play and the snap of the ball on the next. I keep track of the play clock inbetween plays on incompletions/out of bounds plays, and count the time as officials are conferring on a penalty. Official play trackers will not count plays where a penalty occurred, but my focus here is solely just how fast on average the Broncos offense plays.

- 13 plays, 389 total seconds, 29.92 seconds per play (snap to snap)

- Each play averaged 4.85 seconds

- Taking out the 101 seconds it took for officials to enforce a penalty, the Broncos averaged about 22.15 seconds per play. (snap to snap)

Drive 2

Play

Ball Snapped

Play Ended

Play Duration

Time Elapsed

Result

1

4:25

4:20

5 seconds

5 seconds

Manning incomplete (Julius Thomas)

2

4:20

4:15

5 seconds

20 seconds

Eric Decker 11 yard reception

3

4:08

4:03

5 seconds

16 seconds

Ronnie Hillman 4 yard run

4

3:45

3:40

5 seconds

18 seconds

Eric Decker 11 yard reception

5

3:23

3:16

7 seconds

17 seconds

Ronnie Hillman 3 yard run

6

2:57

2:50

7 seconds

19 seconds

Ronnie Hillman 5 yard reception

7

2:30

2:26

4 seconds

20 seconds

Bubba Caldwell 14 yard reception

8

2:07

1:59

8 seconds

19 seconds

Montee Ball 15 yard reception

9

1:39

1:34

5 seconds

20 seconds

Montee Ball -1 yard run

10

1:09

1:01

8 seconds

25 seconds

Montee Ball 12 yard reception

11

0:42

0:37

5 seconds

19 seconds

Montee Ball 0 yard run

12

0:15

0:09

6 seconds

22 seconds

Manning incomplete (Jacob Tamme)

13

0:09

0:04

5 seconds

29 seconds

Manning incomplete (Bubba Caldwell)

- 13 plays, 319 total seconds, 24.54 seconds per play (snap to snap)

- 5.77 seconds per play

This means that the Broncos can consistently snap the ball with anywhere from 18-22 seconds remaining on the play clock. For reference, the New England Patriots at times snapped the ball with 22-27 seconds on the play clock against us in week 5 when they ran their hurry-up. Our average doesn't quite match up with that ridiculous speed yet, but there was a 5-play stretch on that first drive where the Broncos were able to snap the ball with about 23-24 seconds on the play clock.

So what? Well, when you consider it takes the officials on average about 10 seconds to respot the ball and prepare for the next play, we're talking about a 6-7 second window for Peyton Manning to relay the play to everyone and have them set before snapping the ball. Keeps the defense on the field, makes them think and play faster (which can cause mental errors), and doesn't allow for substitutions.

Potential is limitless

Manning threw a total of 20 passes in the first quarter completing 15 of them. Altogether, the Broncos managed to run 30 plays in the first quarter. Last year the Broncos were 4th in the NFL averaging 69 offensive plays per game. With the ability to speed the game up like they showed on Saturday, it really looks to me like the Broncos will look to get out to quick starts in 2013. Move fast, keep the defense on their toes, score a lot of points early, then back off the tempo some in the 2nd half.

At 5280 feet, why not use the altitude to our advantage?

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