clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Broncos pass protection vs Steelers

Believe it or not, it was not as bad as it seemed. The Denver Broncos pass protection was decent last week.

Denver Broncos, 2020 Training Camp, Photo by Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Counting plays that were negated by penalty, the Broncos had 51 passing plays against the Steelers. I watched every single one on the All-22 and have determined whether our QB was pressured (my assessment), whether he was hit, when he was sacked and who was to blame when he was pressured. These are included in the table below. There where some plays where the whole OL was at fault.

pass play Pressure? QB hit? Sack? Fault
1 no no no
2 no no no
3 no no no DPI - no play
4 yes no no Lock - had an open receiver he didn't see.
5 yes yes no Freeman fails to pick up blitzing LB
6 no no no
7 yes yes yes fumble - Lock injury - EW gets abused
8 yes yes no Risner failes to pick up stunting DT
9 yes no no good coverage, Driskell pulls down and rolls right, throws it away
10 no no no designed roll-out
11 yes Pass Protection yes free rusher in full view of QB, has to hit hot-read
12 no no no
13 no no no designed roll-out, well covered
14 no no no
15 yes yes no pressure caused bad throw - incomplete
16 yes yes yes EW and LC both got beaten badly
17 no no no
18 yes yes yes EW gets beaten by speed, LC gets swum, RG ends up blocking no one
19 no no no
20 yes yes no stupid play call on 3rd and 20 from the PIT 40, LC can't reach a 4 tech on PA fake
21 yes yes no Dupree abuses Risner
22 yes yes yes EW gets abused
23 yes yes no Bolles late to pick up stunter, his man hits QB
24 no no no
25 no no no
26 no no no
27 yes yes yes JD has to throw this one away. This sack is on him
28 no no no
29 yes yes no GB dets puched back into JD, incomplete on 3rd and goal leads to FG
30 no no no
31 no no no DPI - no play
32 yes yes no free rusher in full view of QB, has to hit hot-read
33 yes yes no rouching the passer - no play
34 no no no TD - Fant
35 no no no 2-pt conversion - JD backpedalling on the throw
36 yes yes no Risner gets driven back into JD - leads to high throw
37 no no no screen pass
38 no no no
39 no no no
40 no no no DPI - no play
41 no no no no open receivers leads to scramble for 3 yards
42 no no no
43 no no no
44 yes no no TD pass to MG
45 no no no
46 yes yes no deep incompletion to JJ -EW, GG, and LC all let defender get in JD's face
47 yes yes no complete pocket collapse but DPI
48 yes yes no GG gets beaten badly by swim move
49 no no no
50 yes no no GB and EW both get beat 3rd and 2 at PIT 15 2:00 to play in 4Q
51 yes yes yes Pass rusher in JD's vision unblocked - he has to throw this to hot read. Missed TP open for 1st down.

Our Qb was pressured on 24 of the 51 passing plays - 47 percent. He was hit on 19 of those - 37 percent and sacked on seven - 14 percent.

From a blame perspective here is the tally sheet:

Player Times at fault for pressure
Lock/Driskell 4
Bolles 3
Wilkinson 6
Cushenberry 4
Glasgow 2
Risner 2
Freeman 1

Honestly it seemed like Elijah Wilkinson was getting beaten on every passing play, but it wasn’t that bad. Still, I would like to see what Demar Dotson can do.

Some of the time the pressure was caused by a bad play call. One example of this was the 3rd and 20 from the PIT 40 with 4:49 to go in the second quarter. Shurmur calls a play-action fake pass in this situation that has Dalton Risner pull and asks our rookie center Lloyd Cushenberry to reach the backside 4-technique.

Generally you don’t call a play-action fake on 3rd and really long. On this play pressure from #97, the 4-technique, leads to an incompletion and a (missed) 58-yard FG attempt. A small gain here makes this a much more makeable FG attempt. I honestly would have preferred running the ball here. The blocking looks like this might have gained 5-8 yards. There is a huge difference in accuracy between a 50 or even 53-yard FG attempt and a 58 yard attempt historically. That three points would have made a big difference at the end of the game (of course so would not giving up a safety).