This post is sponsored by Comcast and their NFL RedZone channel. Want to see every touchdown from every NFL game as it happens as well as live look-ins to all of Sunday's games in key situations? Then you need Comcast's NFL RedZone.
If we are going to have a sponsorship deal, we might as well find a way to incorporate said sponsorship into something that is near and dear to Broncos fans - the team's performance in the Red Zone. This has been a key point of contention for a long time with Denver - take last year into account - 2nd in Yards, 16th in points.
Each week we'll take a look at the Broncos' trips into the Red Zone and how they fared. Good teams, playoffs teams, score in the Red Zone. If the Broncos want to be a playoff team, they'll need to as well.
There are two sides to the Red Zone - the offensive side, of course, and the defensive side. Few people look at how a defense performs when backed up in their own Red Zone but it is vital to the success of the team, no doubt. We'll look at both.
I'm a bit late this week, but wanted to get it to you before the Chargers game. Something to chew on as we count down the minutes until the huge Monday Night match-up.
If the Broncos have had any faults this season, and they have, Red Zone efficiency has to be one of them. Coming into the game against the Patriots, the Broncos were converting just 41% of their Red Zone appearances into touchdowns. Great teams do better.
Against New England, the Broncos was much better, and more efficient, on their trips inside the 20. The Broncos took 3 trips inside the Pats Red Zone, coming away with points each time. Officially, the Broncos were 2/3 in the Red Zone.
On their first trip, with the team already trailing 10-0, Kyle Orton hit Brandon Marshall for an 11-yard Touchdown. The pass came on a 3rd and 3 which is even more impressive.
The second trip came in the 3rd quarter, with the Broncos trailing 17-7. Kyle Orton led the Broncos to the Patriots 6 yard-line where another struggle popped up for Denver. The Broncos have really struggled in short-yardage situations and this was no different. Knowshon Moreno was stuffed on a 3rd and 1 from the 6 forcing the field goal
We all know what the Broncos did on their 3rd trip into the Red Zone. Starting a drive at his own 2 yard-line, Kyle Orton led the Broncos on a game-tying, 98-yard drive in the 4th quarter the culminated in Brandon Marshall's second 11-yard TD reception of the game.
Overall in 2009, the Broncos look like this -
'09 OFFENSE TOTALS
What else can be said about the Broncos defense that hasn't been said already? They new-look Orange Crush has been dominant, especially in the 2nd half of games this season. The team has given up just 7 points after half-time this year(Week 1 in Cin) and haven't allowed a 3rd down conversion after the break in 3 weeks.
Against the Patriots, it was the 1st half that cost the Broncos, especially early. The Patriots jumped to a 10-0 lead, and led 17-7 at the half. As a result, the Broncos defense allowed 2 TDs in 2 Red Zone trips by the Patriots, their worst performance of the season, at least in that category - but still plenty enough to dominate, and beat, the Patriots.
For the season, the Broncos' Defense is one of the best in football inside its own Red Zone -
'09 DEFENSE TOTALS