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The malfunctioning Denver Broncos offense

We dug deep into the issues with the 2016 Denver Broncos offense in comparison with previous Gary Kubiak offenses.

NFL: Denver Broncos at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

This is going to focus on who the Denver Broncos quarterbacks have targeted so far this year by position group. I’m going to compare that to what has been historically done in the Shanahan/Kubiak offense. First the historical data.

So where are we this year in terms of target%

WR - 70%, TE - 13%, RB/FB - 17%

Never in the history of the Shanahan/Kubiak offense have such a high % of the throws been targeted at the WR group. We do have a strong group of WRs and a fairly weak group of TEs, but right now, our TE target% is also the lowest in the history of “this” offense in the NFL. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since the targets are not that much different from what our offense did in 2015 (although with even fewer passes to the TEs).

There is hope - if your desire is more use of the RB/FB/TE in the passing game. Last game was our most balanced passing attack in terms of position groups since the opening game of the season. Take a look below at the progression of targets as the season has worn on.

Our 9 TE targets last game was a season high and our 13 total targets to players who are not WRs was tied for a season high.

For this team, this year, I don’t know what the ideal balance is or even if one exists. What I do know is that this offense is not doing what Kubiak offenses have historically done in terms of target distribution. Will a change in target distribution help this offense? Maybe. In my opinion, it is worth a shot, if for no other reason than throws to TEs and RBs tend to be “safer” throws that are easier to complete. They also allow you to isolate defenders in coverage who may or may not be very good at covering receivers.