The name of the game here is ball control. Whether the Broncos want to come out in no-huddle and push the tempo against a Seahawks defense that is used to playing slower will be what I look for first. If the Broncos do this they see a distinct advantage in trying to keep Seattle on alert. So much of this postseason for Denver has been predicated upon long, grinding drives that eat up the clock. It does a couple of things. First it keeps the other team from scoring. Second it allows the Denver Offense to get into a groove.d
Tomorrow in the Super Bowl, I look forward to the Denver offense coming out a bit slow. Sans Manning and Welker, these guys do not have experience on this stage, and the game will already be moving faster than anticipated. Slow things down and get your players to relax. This game is a marathon not a sprint. It won't be won in the 1st quarter.
Come out and try to run some easy stuff to get some momentum. Why not come out in 12 personnel, singleback formation, then playaction to Julius coming across the field for a 7-8 yard gain? Why not come out in heavy personnel and run a stretch play to the outside? Why not come out and get a quick completion to your back in the flat for a 4-5 yard gain? High percentage, low risk plays are what the doctor ordered up front. I have a feeling that early energy from the Seahawk D will be electric. Let them play out of sorts. you win this situation by being controlled and methodical.
The only way you keep the ball moving against Seattle is by converting 3rd downs. The only way you convert them consistently is by keeping them favorable. The number to shoot for today is 6 or less. You face 6 and less often, the entire playbook is at your disposal--even a run against a light box. Keep the chains moving, make that defense who was #1 in three and outs stay on the field 5-6-7 plays at a time even when they force a punt.
Once you have things humming, apply the pressure. Go no huddle and attack the deep zones against Cover 3 with some of the Cover 3 beaters we've seen this week. There will be some one on one matchups to take advantage of, cannot be afraid to exploit them. Spread them out with empty backfields and run the ball against 6. This will be one of the keys, if the Broncos cannot run the ball against a light box the Seahawks will be able to keep their DB's out of run support. If the Broncos can find a way to be successful, their will be opportunities to attack a defense that decides there is no other option than to commit from the secondary to run support.
One of the areas the Broncos can improve today is their redzone scoring offense. There have been way too many field goal attempts in the red area the past couple of weeks.
On top of that, no turnovers. Turnovers will even the playing field for Seattle which is something we don't want to see.
Nobody talked much about our defense but operation super bowl ring begins and ends with them shutting down the run. A successful Seattle running game means playaction. With a mobile quarterback, the threat to run is already significant. If their traditional scheme is too successful, they can dictate the pace and speed of the game. Even when you stop their traditional running game, you must fear the threat of the read option. Seattle figures to run this play early and often to try and get the aggressive Denver front 7 out of place.
Playaction worries me because it is something the Seattle offense relies on for big plays and something the Denver D has not proven it can minimize especially with iffy safety play.
I'm not so sure constant pressure is the best idea. I would prefer a muddle rush to ensure the integrity of those outside running lanes Wilson likes to go to when things get out of hand. Whatever the Broncos do up front and with their front 7 they cannot afford to get out of place. Being overaggressive is bad news against Seattle.
The outside men have to be aware that Wilson will take shots if he reads single coverage. Tony Carter is going to have to win some battles against some larger and more physical wide receivers. Wesley Woodyard or Danny Trevathan, whoever is assigned to spy Wilson must be consistent objective. No need to vacate their part of the field and create running lanes by going for the sack. He's too quick and athletic to let that tactic bother him.
When the play breaks down, our secondary has to be aware of not letting receivers behind them.
If I were Denver I would avoid playing a lot of Cover 1 or "man free" just because it creates too many opportunities for the quarterback to run downfield with eyes focused elsewhere.
Finally, I hope the D took offense to being treated as an afterthought for the past couple of weeks. Bottom line, this is a unit that has outperformed it's counterpart since Week 16. When you only allow 6 points through the first three quarters of each playoff game, you're doing something right.
Why the Broncos Will Win
This team has faced more issues throughout the duration of their season and has been tested on every level imaginable. Adversity is a great way to give players an opportunity to step up, and the Broncos have answered that challenge at every turn.
This team has been training for this moment ever since Rahim Moore let Baltimore tie the game in what became the most painful postseason loss in franchise history. It's not just about installing and executing a gameplan week after week, this team had to learn how to win and be successful.. They have met the challenge and no game has been too big for them. You have to remember the Broncos have played all season with giant targets on their back. They did so under the prime-time lights more than any other NFL team.
Back in July I wrote we were going to win the Super Bowl because this was our time. We were going to win because no one else belonged. Seattle belongs, but this is our time. After 15 years of trying to find that championship formula, the Broncos have done it. It takes a special team to make it so far, and after this team withstood injury after injury to get here, it began to feel like nothing could stop us except ourselves. This team is ready to ride, ready to claim it's place in history along with the 97' 98' Broncos that brought home Championship Gold.
Broncos 27 Seahawks 23