The Denver Broncos seem to lose control of every game during a stretch of play calling that turns out to be very pass heavy. The most recent example was a stretch of 10 straight passes very soon after Trevor Siemian threw a back-breaking pick six in the second quarter.
By the time the Broncos turned back to the run game they were down three scores and the defense was no longer able to stem the tide despite forcing three turnovers and dominating the Miami Dolphins early.
Against the New York Jets, Bill Musgrave needs to lose his love affair with Siemian’s practice ability and go all-in on C.J. Anderson’s elusiveness. That is, if the goal is to win games.
- Speaking of C.J., he is one of the league leaders in yards after first contact and the Broncos as a whole are among the league leaders in rushing yards after first contact. In short, run the damn ball, Denver!
- Why run the damn ball? Because Trevor Siemian is competing for the highly coveted prize of worst quarterback in the NFL. He is bad outside the pocket, he is bad when pressured, and he is bad any time a defense brings a blitz. How he is starting ahead of Brock Osweiler is beyond my comprehension. Unless the goal is to tank the season...
- The Jets are surprisingly good at gaining positive yards on first downs. They are among the leaders in the league on running on first down, while the Broncos defense tends to shut the running game down most weeks. The Jets are also a Top 5 rushing offense when going up against a teams ‘base’ defense.
- The biggest matchup will be the Jets passing attack against the beleaguered No Fly Zone. The Jets get a lot of yards when running the empty formation and also while in trips formation. Why is this significant? Because the Broncos defense are the fourth-worst pass defense when looking at passer ratings of opposing quarterbacks.
- The good news is that the Broncos defense comes up big when it matters most. They are third in the NFL at limiting explosive plays and tend to shut opposing teams down on third down in the fourth quarter or overtime.
To me the game entirely comes down to playcalling. If the Broncos get pass-happy you might as well stop watching right then and there. Every time the run game seems to be working they suddenly abandon it for no apparently reason. I expect more of the same this week, but I remain hopeful.