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What is the best version of this Broncos’ offense?

Zach Segars was on Broncos Country Tonight talking about his analysis of all Jeudy’s missed catches in 2020 and what that may tell us about the best path for this offense.

Denver Broncos v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Zach Segars of Mile High Sports had some good news and bad news for Ryan Edwards and Benjamin Allbright on Broncos Country Tonight Monday.

The good news (well, sort of “good”) was that the Broncos’ first-round pick from 2019 was not mostly to blame for his 61 incompletions. The bad news is that the guy the Broncos are pinning their hopes on for carrying the team to a winning record in 2021 is responsible for most of them.

Segars watched all 61 of Jeudy’s incompletes in 2020 and charted the misses as the following:

26 bad passes; 12 drops; 13 defensive plays; 5 missed contested catch opportunities; 4 miscommunication throws; 1 throwaway.

So if you take out the good defensive plays and Jeudy’s misses on the 50-50 balls, and chalk up miscommunication to both players and/or outside factors, there are two numbers stand out:

26 to 12 - which means that more than double Jeudy’s drop rate was Lock’s number of bad passes,,,more than twice his drop rate to be exact

“I was really astounded by how many plays where Jeudy didn’t have a shot at it,” Segars said, admitting his breakdown was not exact science, just an estimated guess from watching the film. “Maybe it’s possible Lock reins in some of those accuracy issues, and it’s nice to see the Bridgewater to Jeudy connection in camp, but was disconcerting to me to see just how often those guys just could not find each other.”

That observation brought up two interesting discussion points. First, the fact that Jeudy and Bridgewater have found some chemistry already may have a lot to do with Bridgewater’s softer ball being more like what Jeudy was used to at Alabama - a catchable ball that he can do something with after the catch.

Segars noted that Jeudy is “not an over-the-top burner” but rather a receiver “who will beat you with precision.”

Segars added that even if Lock becomes the good version of his gunslinger self, he’s always going to be that kind of quarterback, and that may not be best for Jeudy’s style.

“Jeudy is always going to be a better fit with a with soemone who will dink and dunk...and beat you with ball placement,” Segars said, adding that on the flip side, that style does not fit well with the Broncos other receivers - KJ Hamler, Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick and maybe even Noah Fant.

And that led to a second interesting point - how the Broncos’ offense can become the best version of itself with the current personnel. It involves looking a little like the Tennessee Titans - winning with defense and the running game.

Consensus was play action quarterbacking and a strong running game was a good idea for the Broncos. As Edwards noted, with mediocre-at-best QB play, the Broncos will have to “be spectacular on defense, not make any turnovers and run the heck out of the ball.”

With the current offensive line, this isn’t out of the question either. Garett Bolles and Dalton Risner and even Graham Glasgow are proven run blockers, so there is a solution there.

“Play-action heavy, run the ball, beat you with defense...that’s the Broncos’ path to success,” Segars said, adding that the statistical difference between a play-action Drew Lock and non-play-action Drew Lock is crazy - he is 11th among all QBs in passer rating using the play action but 35th when not. “A strong run game and play action to counter off of it is the ideal vision.”

And that also can be the difference in a losing season and a winning one.

“If Drew Lock plays like the 11th best quarterback, Broncos would be in the conversation for the playoffs and even the Super Bowl,” Segars said.

But that could mean letting one of the strongest parts of the roster - the wide receiver corps - be a secondary unit compared to the running back corps. Edwards suggested that the secret for the Broncos might be to “become a team that can win on the ground and with defense” rather than rely on the quarterback to win but just keep the team on track.

Segars noted that while this might not be the most exciting, it might be the most prudent.

“It’s not an ideal goal but with roster you have assembled,” he added, “it’s the best path toward winning.”

Poll

What do you think is the best path for this offense?

This poll is closed

  • 44%
    Heavy play-action/run game to mitigate Lock’s inconsistency
    (359 votes)
  • 12%
    A Bridgewater-dink-and-dunk down the field with heavy reliance on Jeudy
    (103 votes)
  • 5%
    Plan on the wide receivers bailing out the QBs
    (43 votes)
  • 29%
    Aaron Rodgers, are you coming to Denver yet?
    (240 votes)
  • 8%
    SHASTA! (other)
    (69 votes)
814 votes total Vote Now