clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Tale of the Tape: Week 2 - Colts vs. Broncos

Breaking down the film from some of last week’s key plays against the Indianapolis Colts.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

We’ll keep this short and sweet this week. In fact, this one probably should have been labeled “short story of the tape”. (ba dum tish)

Let’s dive in.

Play 1

This is a nice one to get us started from the first drive of the game. I included this because I just love bootleg plays. They are so pretty!

This is a stretch run action right, with Siemian booting out the backside to the left. This one is in 11 personnel, and the defense is in man coverage. This one actually works well against man or zone.

Sanders (bottom of the screen) and Virgil Green are the primary reads with Virgil working the flat, and Sanders on the deep cross.

Absolutely everyone bites on the run fake. Look at how much green Trevor has in front of him, and Sanders is whipping his man across the middle. Norwood clears out the slot corner and safety with his deep route.

I would actually like to see a version of this where DT also runs a clear out, or a deep post as a big play option. Mainly, just to get that corner out of there. If that corner isn’t around for DTs hook route, Sanders doesn’t get blasted after the catch, and has a chance to pick up more YAC.

Either way, great play and nice throw by Siemian on the run to his left.

Play 2

Since we’re on the offense, a lot of folks have asked about our red zone issues and our 3rd and short struggles. From what I saw, there was blame to go around to everyone.

Siemian had an absolute stinker on the first drive on a 3rd and 2 where he missed a wide open DT and took a sack instead. I won’t break that down because I think Tim is putting together all of Siemian’s throws from last week so I’ll leave it for him to talk about.

We’ll focus specifically on the running game for this breakdown.

Here’s a 2nd and short in the red zone, in the 3rd quarter.

First thing to notice is the head count on the strong side and weak side.

Blue side is the play side, and is very favorable for running. Here you have 5-on-4 in the Broncos favor. On the red side, 2-on-5, or 2-on-4 if you want to be generous and not count the safety.

This is extremely important, as we will see.

So here’s how the play develops up to the handoff. Things are looking pretty good, especially playside. There’s a bit of a crease in the backside A-gap (between C and RG), but notice all the chasing linebackers. We want to run away from them.

Knowing all of these things and seeing the blocking at the decision point where CJ has to decide what to do, which route would you take? If you chose either of the blue options, you would have a first down, and likely a touchdown. Alas, CJ chose poorly.

I get that Paradis was getting pushed back into his lap a little bit, but he maintained control of his guy, and everything else play-side was wide open.

This is just a terrible read by CJ.

Play 3

Next one is on a different drive in the 4th quarter. 3rd and short, in the red zone. This is the play right before the semi-controversial FG, and subsequent Von Miller strip six.

First off, let’s again do a head count. I have to question the play call here running into a 9-man box. I get that we want to be tough and out physical teams on 3rd and short, but you’re blocking 7-on-9 and even with the backside defender unblocked and frozen by the bootfake, you’re still at a disadvantage.

Meanwhile, you have two big time WRs 1-v-1 against 6th and 7th string corners. You’re telling me with everyone selling out against the run, DT or Emmanuel couldn’t win a simple slant or drag route?

Ok, I’m done ranting. Let’s get back to the play.

Someone who is smarter than me might have to help me out here. Paradis looks to try and reach block the 3-tech DT which seems insane to me given how far away he is. It seems like he should be moving up to the second level to get #52.

Additionally, the backside blocking was horrendous with Weems on the ground after a failed cut block attempt. Schofield is equally unsuccessful and about to be thrown off his feet.

On the offense’s left side, someone failed to move to the second level. I can’t tell if Paradis made the wrong move initially, or Garcia got trapped between the two D-linemen and couldn’t release, but you have 3 Broncos blocking 2 D-linemen and both LBs running free. Janovich will take out #29, but #52 and #27 stop the play short.

CJ makes the right decision not cutting back here since the backside is bottled up. If Weems and Schofield had blocked up the backside a little better, CJ might have been able to fool #52 into overrunning the play, and cut back on him for a nice gain.

So to recap: on three red zone plays we have a bad QB read, a bad RB read on an outside zone run, questionable play calling on 3rd and short, and bad blocking by the O-line. No wonder the players are emphasizing that the offense as a whole needs to improve.

Play 4

Enough negativity! I saved some good plays for last.

Member, mason.s did an excellent fanpost breaking down this Talib pick-6 so I’m not going to even try. I’ll leave the GIF here for ya’ll and let you go see his breakdown.

One extra thing I do want to call out is Wolfe’s interior pressure that helped this play happen.

One of the keys that we talked about before the game was getting interior pressure on Andrew Luck. Wolfe does just that on this play and forces him to not see Talib jumping right in front of his target.

Play 5

You know we couldn’t NOT break this down, right?

Von Miller absolutely “Cam’d” Andrew Luck on this play. It is just a simple 4-man rush on a 1st and 10. A big key is that the Colts were behind with the clock ticking so we knew they needed to pass.

They say every pass rusher needs to have a counter move to their main staple move. What makes Von so amazing is that he has counter-counter moves! As a counter to his speed rush, Von can spin inside, or drive inside with a bull-rush.

Reitz was well acquainted with his bull-rush from earlier in the game.

So, Von came up with a counter to his counter move, and faked a step inside to simulate a bull-rush, which gets Reitz off balance. Miller then explodes right past him in Luck.

And now, in slow-mo, check out his fake step and the impact that had on Reitz.

Hope you enjoyed it Broncos Country! Let’s discuss in the comments.