Within the span of about 5 minutes in the 3rd Q on Sunday, the Broncos went from being down 10-7 to leading 28-10. I am going to analyze every TD play the Broncos had and also give some play by play and commentary along the way to show you what helped turned the tide against the Bucs.
It all started with a Britton Colquitt punt. He boomed a kick all the way down to the TB 8 and made Tiquan Underwood signal for the fair catch. On 1st down, Doug Martin runs into a sea of Broncos defenders up the middle. Somehow he manages to hamster his way out of it and gain two yards 2nd and 8. Josh Freeman then throws a weak ball short to the sideline that is deflected by a diving Chris Harris. If it is thrown better it is a pick 6 because Harris jumped the route 3rd and 8. Freeman again throws and errant pass high and outside of Tiquan Underwood.
Michael Koenen outkicks his coverage (63 yard boot) and gives Trindon Holliday some room for a nice return. The little guy gets the ball close to midfield. Peyton Manning and Co. have a short field to work with. After a few completions and a big PI penalty, the Broncos find themselves with a first and goal at the 8 yardline. Which brings us to scoring play #1
Peyton Manning to Demaryius Thomas, 8YD TD
DT makes a cut to the outside as if he's heading toward the sideline in the endzone.
But it is a double move (remember when I examined the Broncos use of double moves in the goalline passing game)? He sucks the DB in and then turns the route back inside.
The DB, now has his back turned to Manning and though his coverage is pretty decent still, his leverage and position is enough to give Manning a favorable window.
The ball is out and the DB has only started to turn his head around....too late and too slow to react.
It drops perfectly into DT's hands TD
Look how tight the coverage is, what made this play was the DB being out of position with his back turned to Manning. If he gets his head around quicker, it might have been deflected or intercepted.
Credit both Thomas for a crisp cut and smooth transition during the double move, credit Manning for noticing the DB's disadvantages and for making a very precise and gutsy throw. Broncos 14, Bucs 10
After a Bucs 3 and out which was also aided by a 10 yard holding penalty, a punt gave the Broncos the ball back at their 43 yard line. This time the Broncos marched down to the Bucs 10 yard line following some Manning completions, and a decent run by Hillman. After a Knowshon Moreno 1 yard loss on 1st down, we come to our 2nd scoring play.
Peyton Manning to Demaryius Thomas 10 YD TD
Here I diagram the play. It is one of the rare instances that the Broncos find themselves in 12 personnel with both Dreessen and Tamme to the right of the formation with Decker. That circle around Knowshon's route just means I can't see exactly what kind of route it is but he ends up in that area (only the broadcast film is available right now).
Notice the hand gesture above by Manning to DT. I see a huge opening over the middle of the field. The safety is off about ten yards in outside leverage. DT is too athletic and fast to be covered by the LB about 4 yards off. So I'm guessing the info I'm relaying is close to what Peyton sees and therefore makes him adjust the route pre-snap.
Here we have the safety protecting the corner and the LB out of position. To cover an inside route by DT he has to flip his hips so that his back ends up toward Manning (remember TD #1).
The ball is out. DT has more than a stride on the safety. Just in case the LB decides to get his hands up, Manning puts the ball up high for DT to go and get it.
That's how you beat double coverage ladies and gentlemen! Broncos 21, Bucs 10
This next score comes quick. After the ensuing kickoff, Doug Martin rushes for 2 yards on first down which sets up this play:
Von Miller Eatin' Greedy, Scorin' Points Pick 6 or VMEGSPP6 for short ;)
Here Von is lined up at LDE as if he's going to rush. Chris Harris is right behind him. One thing that clues me that Von isn't going to rush---his stance isn't as wide as it is when he does.
Von and Chris Harris drop back into a shallow zone. Mitch Unrein (find TB #76) has just put a sweet swim move and has beaten his man.
As soon as Mitch hits him and wraps up, Freeman lets go of the ball. Either he never saw Von, or the hit made his throw inaccurate, I don't know what is the case. It was a stupid decision in the first place because if Von doesn't get it Chris Harris will----and the result will be the same.
Regardless, Von leaps into the air and snags the ball...nothing but open real-estate to the endzone is left.
I included this one because you can see Champ Bailey throw his hand in the air with the "#1" sign as soon as he sees it----he knows his teammate has 6 points! Broncos 28, Bucs 10.
***LATE ADDITION: This just shows what a bad decision it is. Harris has even stepped up, he was a few yards back. Triple coverage---Mitch made a great play, but if the throw is accurate, it still looks like 6 to me.
This sequence couldn't have been more hideous for the Bucs or more glorious for our Broncos. We have a team that can score in bunches and can do it from any phase. Remember, each unit played a role in this quick turnaround. It started with a punt, ended with a defensive TD, and had a few beautiful Manning to Thomas TD connections inbetween. All in all, this is a potent reminder of just how dangerous this team is.
There you have it Broncos Country, hope you enjoyed the read! As always if you have any questions or comments, let's rap----GO BRONCOS!!!
LATE ADDITION: Mitch Unrein TD reception
Personnel: 23 (Unrein and Moreno the backs, Tony Clark the 3rd TE lined up off Franklin, Virgil Green wing left, Dreessen outside of Clady)
The yellow arrow is Clark, the blue one is Mitch, the Bronco circled is Dreessen, and Virgil Green and his motion is highlighed with a red arrow.
The motion brings the other corner (safety?) from the left side to the right. This effectively leaves two Broncos receivers (Dreessen, and Unrein) with one defender, since as we will see the play fake will hold the linebacker.
Dreessen fires out and his man goes with him, as Unrein breaks into his pattern, he chips the RDE who is Franklin's responsibility. The backer steps up and has his eyes on Moreno.
The backer finally sees it, but Dreessen has his man occupied, and it is too late. Mitch is all alone.
Great catch big guy!
Great design, great motion by Manning to create a 2-1, great execution all around. TB never had a chance!