Happy Wednesday, Broncos Country!
As we approach this weekend's prime time Sunday Night Football match-up against the Detroit Lions, most of the discourse surrounding Denver has been in regard to their offensive struggles in the first two games of the season.
Fellow writer Tim Lynch wrote a piece yesterday that highlighted some of the positives he has seen. The piece discussed several positives to take away from the Broncos offensive production this far. Time of possession, plays called and the team ranking 11th in points per game were factored into his analysis. It also mentioned that it has been hard for the Broncos to accumulate many yards offensively because the defense has given them short fields to work with.
I appreciate Tim's insight, but disagree with him on this one. In my opinion, a wealth of plays being called and time of possession does not matter that much in the grand scheme of things, especially when those figures are skewed. The two game tying drives (a total of 28 plays) at the end of the Ravens and Chiefs games accounted for 1/5 of the total offensive snaps the Broncos have recorded this season. While both drives were integral for the Broncos ability to win in both games, it is hard to justify the "good" in the Broncos offense, especially when with the numerous three-and-outs, as well as failing to put points on the board or settling for field goals when scoring six is the desired reality.
Perhaps what may even be more noteworthy is that the Broncos #11 overall ranking in scoring listed in that article includes the two defensive touchdowns the Broncos have scored from Aqib Talib's interception return and Bradley Roby's fumble recovery. If you take out the those scores to adjust properly for sole offensive production, the Broncos points per game average drops down from 25 to 18, which is in the bottom quarter of the NFL. That is a huge disparity to acknowledge. The defense may be good enough to get us to ten wins with that poor of offensive production, but the odds of Denver going far in the playoffs with that sort of output are marginal at best.
In order for the efficacy of the Broncos offense to improve, I agree with a recent take our friends at The Sports Quotient delivered: the running game has to be established and the offensive line needs to do a better job of protecting Peyton Manning. If that doesn't happen — it won't bode well for the Broncos when the games matter the most. Denver can't rely on the arm of Peyton Manning and the 30+ percent gap between pass plays and run plays will have to decrease significantly in order to have an efficient and balanced offense.
The greatest concern for me offensively, is Denver's inability to adjust for the significant amount of blitzes opposing defenses are throwing our way. In particular, A-gap blitzes that are coming right up the middle of our offensive line. It is disrupting our passing game and also having a significantly adverse impact on our run game. I expect big improvements in that area this coming weekend when the Broncos face the Lions in Detroit.
All and all, though I disagree with Tim's discourse in a prior article, we both agree that the Broncos offense will get on track eventually and soon enough, the usual production we have seen in the Peyton Manning era on that side of the ball will occur. Once again, thanks for reading and be sure to check out the articles below for your Wednesday morning dose of all things Broncos and the NFL.
Champ Bailey: Jay Cutler 'rubbed a lot of people the wrong way'
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3 and Out: Week 3
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Denver Broncos know that defenses are blitzing Peyton Manning more
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Bradley Roby in a pursuit for respect, greatness with Broncos
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Lions’ 0-2 Start Doesn’t Mesh With Playoff Hopes
USA Today ran the numbers, and teams that start 0-2 like the Lions are - newsflash - far less likely to make the playoffs. According to the story, "over the past six seasons you have a 4% chance of making the playoffs if you're winless headed into Week 3." And since the NFL expanded to its playoff format in 1990, only 11.2 percent of 204 teams to start 2-0 have made the playoffs that season.
Film study: Detroit Lions' problems start with offensive line
And though the line has rightfully taken a lot of blame for the 0-2 Lions' woes, 'it's a collective effort' all around.
Broncos notes: Lions QB Stafford questionable to play
There is concern in Detroit that Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford may not play this Sunday night against the Denver Broncos.
Detroit Lions — Five thoughts moving forward; Broncos up next
After the 26-16 thumping by the Vikings on Sunday, the Lions couldn’t take time to lick their wounds on Monday.
Eagles LB Kiko Alonso suffers partially torn ACL
The Eagles bad start to the 2015 season got worse Tuesday when Ian Rapoport reported linebacker Kiko Alonso suffered a partially torn ACL in Sunday's loss. Will Alonso play again this year?
Chuck Pagano backtracks, thanks God for Andrew Luck
Call it a backtracking for the ages or call it a clarification of hurried postgame remarks, but either way Colts head coach Chuck Pagano had some nice things to say about Andrew Luck on Tuesday.
Ryan Fitzpatrick to remain starter when Geno returns
Ryan Fitzpatrick will remain the team's starter when Geno Smith is ready to return to action for the Jets. Todd Bowles confirmed the news during a conference call with reporters on Tuesday,
Jones on Weeden: You won't find a more gifted passer
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has a lot of faith in quarterback Brandon Weeden, who will take over for the injured Tony Romo on Sunday against the Falcons.
DeMarco Murray's death stare through Sam Bradford says it all
Of all the things that has gone wrong in Philadelphia over the first two weeks, DeMarco Murray's nosedive into irrelevance has to top the list.
15 mind-blowing stats about the 2015 NFL season
From Peyton's woes to Andrew Luck's worse woes.