Broncos vs. Vikings

The following post is a snap-by-snap recap of the offense from the Minnesota win. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, and my wife is out of town, so this is a good chance to spend the time on it. Before saying anything else I would like to clarify a few things. First, these are my notes from the game as it happened, with some touch ups (and a thorough scrub to remove foul language) and some corrections on a rewatch this morning. I make these notes on my phone and then email them to myself the next day. I did not mess with the notes a whole lot, so you may notice some spelling issues and grammar mistakes, please forgive those. I did a rough proofread before posting, but it is a lot and honestly, I didn’t spend a great deal of time on that.

Second, you may notice me using jersey numbers instead of names at times (It is faster, which means I don’t have to miss as much), I tried to add the names in place of the numbers, but I likely missed a few. Sorry if that confuses anyone. Lastly, I do not have the All-22 footage, so every bit of this is off of the broadcast view of the game, which often sucks. With that being said, I added details where I could, but I didn’t speculate much on what I couldn’t see. Also, it is worth noting that I am by no means a football expert, so I didn’t go very in depth with formations or play calls. In some places I do identify if it’s out of shotgun or under center but that’s about it and there are likely inconsistencies with that as well. Anyone can feel free to add any context they feel necessary in the comments. I’m posting this as a fan that has watched a lot of football, nothing more. At the end of every drive, I added a small recap, and I did the same at the end of every quarter and half. If you don’t feel like reading snap by snap, you can just skip to the end of each drive and get a general feel for what went on.

Drive 1

After Addison fumble recovery offense starting at own 30.

1. Pass to Jeudy- middle of the field gain of 6.

2. 2nd and 4- dump off right flat to McLaughlin. Gain of 9. Decent block attempt from Jeudy, Wilson appears to check down after a single read.

3. 1st and 10- inside hand off to Williams, gain of 3.

4. 2nd and 7. Drop back from shot gun, immediate pressure from left side, Bolles beat, Wilson sacked loss of 8.

5. 3rd and 15 from the 20. Shotgun. Check down to Perine in the right flat, gain of 7 to the 13. Wilson looked to multiple reads.

6. 4th and 8- Lutz 31 yes FG good

Sack killed drive. Offense looked serviceable outside of that play. Moving the ball, Wilson looked okay. Jeudy looks to be blocking pretty well, or at least attempting to do so, which is a complaint I often hear about him. Getting only 3 in that scenario is less than ideal.

Drive 2

Minnesota punt. Starting at 20 after touchback.

1. 1st and 10. Under center. Inside run Williams, hard run, contact and momentum stopped just passed LOS, carried pile another 4-5 yards.

2. 2nd and 5- started under center, Wilson checked into shotgun. Pass to the short left to 33, gain of 3. Looks like Wilson made a quick read and immediately checked down.

3. 3rd and 2. Shotgun. Wilson hard pump fake to the right, had Nate Atkins open down the sideline, doesn’t throw it. Throws hard and high 10 yards to the left. Definitely a 1st if is a better throw. Sutton made a play on the ball, but it was too high.

4. 4th down punt

3 and out. Started out a promising drive derailed by bad throw, and likely and poor decision not to hit Atkins. Stayed on time and ahead of the chains. Any time this team is at 3rd and 2 is a good thing. Only 2 drives in the first quarter. Some things to be encouraged by, but still seeing many of the same issues. Pressure on the QB quickly and missed reads. Holding the ball too long.

Drive 3

Starting at 25 after touchback.

1. 1st and 10. Shotgun. Wilson rolls out of shotgun to his right and throws to Sutton for 5 yards. Low throw and would have been several more yards if throw is on target.

2. 2nd and 5. Under center. Pitch to the right to Javonte. Another hard run by Williams. Bottled up pretty quickly but turns it in to a 2-yard gain.

3. 3rd and 3- shotgun empty- Wilson checks at the line. Wilson holds the ball and ends up escaping to his right, technically sacked but I believe this was ruled as incomplete on the field and it wasn’t corrected. McLaughlin standing wide open in the left flat, but likely not in Wilson’s vision because Bolles is engaged in a block to that direction. As soon as Russ breaks the pocket McLaughlin hustles to try to present a target for Wilson. Too late.

4. 4th and 3- punt

Another decent start, bad throw and holding the ball on third down, although coverage didn’t look too bad. Curious as to why Mclaughlin was to his left as an outlet, since Russ doesn’t look that way often when under duress.

Drive 4

Starting at 25 after Minnesota FG

1. 1st and 10- shotgun, throws deep right to Jeudy for 19, 15 yards in the air. Looked as if Jeudy was the second read. JJ did a good job of working back to the ball. Protection was good and Wilson did a good job moving up in the pocket.

2. 1st and 10- from the 44, shotgun. Inside run for 3 yards by Williams.

3. 2nd and 7. Shotgun. 3 throws deep down left sideline for Sutton. 33 yards. Great read and throw, great diving catch. Protection was good.

4. 1st and 10 from the 20. Under center. Run left with 33 for 4 yards. Another good strong run by Williams, breaking tackles.

5. 2nd and 6 from the 16- shotgun. Wilson throws swing pass to McLaughlin in the flat to his right, 1 yard loss. Don’t think this was a check down. Hate the swing pass call here.

6. 3rd and 7 from the 17- shotgun, short throw to Jeudy short of the sticks ends up a 5-yard gain.

7. 4th and 2- Lutz FG good

This was a really good drive with 2 great reads and throws by Wilson. Issues in red zone, do not love the swing pass call, but the protection seemed decent, and they moved the ball. First drive that was sustained. Still settling for FGs inside the RZ.

Drive 5

Starting on the 20 after the Minnesota punt and touchback. Drive starting with 1:11 on the clock.

1. 1st and 10 from the 20- shotgun, throw for 8 to the left to Mimms. Quick read and throw by Wilson.

2. 2nd and 2, from the 28. Shotgun. In hurry up. Another throw to the numbers on the left. Complete to Trautman for 19 yards. Another quick decision by Wilson. Good throw. Timeout with 47 seconds left.

3. 1st and 10 from the 47. Shotgun. Heavy blitz, pressure up the middle, Wilson throws to Trautman on the right hash for 12 yards. This was a great play by Wilson in the face of pressure. Burned a ton of clock instead of using one of two timeouts. Playing for a FG?

4. 1st and 10 from the 39. Shotgun. Quick throw to the right numbers to Perine for 5 yards. Timeout with 17 seconds left.

5. 2nd and 5. From the 34. Shotgun. Pressure up the middle, coverage looked good, Wilson scrambled to his right and threw it away. Not sure he could have done much. 11 seconds left.

6. 3rd and 5 from the 34- shotgun- deep ball to Jeudy. Really terrible decision and throw to the end zone by 3. JJ playing great D breaks up the sure INT.

7. 4th and 5 from the 34- Lutz 52-yard FG good.

5 drives in the first half. Points on 3, other 2 were 3 and outs. Lots of good ball movement, too many mistakes killing drives. Wilson is really a mixed bag. Broncos down 10-9. Do not love the way that last drive seemed to be playing for a FG, also Wilson cannot throw that final ball. For all the complaints about Jeudy (many valid), the FG as time expired wouldn’t have happened if he didn’t break up the INT. Wilson should buy him a beer.

Second half

Drive 1 (6th total drive)

Starting at the 25 after touchback

1. 1st and 10 from the 25- under center (!)- Williams run to right for -2 yards. Good play by Harrison Philips to beat McGlinchey or Cush, couldn’t tell for sure.

2. 2nd and 12 from the 24- holding call on Nate Atkins wipes out huge swing pass to Mims, would love to see him with the ball more. Was a definite hold, even if I think it was ticky tacky.

3. 2nd and 17 from the 19- shotgun- designed screen to McLaughlin. Seemed to develop slowly (possibly by design) and got blown up for a 3-yard loss.

4. 3rd and 20 from the 15- shotgun- throw in the flat to Perine, looked like a design to try and get some yards back prior to a punt. 8-yard gain.

5. 4th and 12 from the 23. Punt

3 and out, and actually lost 2 yards total on the drive. This team sucks coming out of the half. Holding and pressure killed drive. Seems to be the same mistakes.

Drive 2 (7th total drive)

Starting at the 25 after touchback

1. 1st and 10- shotgun- swing pass to the left to McLaughlin for a 1-yard gain, starting to hate this play.

2. 2nd and 9 from the 26- under center, pitch to the right to Williams, another really hard run by Williams. Tough yards after contact. 6-yard gain

3. 3rd and 3 from the 32- shotgun- quick pressure from the left, Javonte picks up blitz but Wilson gets happy feet and scrambles left. Throws deep for Mims but overthrown by 10 yards. Could have been a miscommunication between 19 and 3, may have broken off the route when Wilson was expected him to keep moving up field. I felt as if Wilson could have moved up in the pocket here and given himself a better chance.

4. 4th and 3- punt.

Another 3 and out. Wilson could have handled 3rd down pressure better. Williams continues to impress and I am amazed he runs so hard so consistently considering the severity of the injury.

Drive 3 (8th total drive)

Starting on the 34 after the Addison fumble

1. 1st and ten from the 34- under center, pitch to the right to Williams, another strong run, well blocked- 15 yard gain.

2. 1st and 10 from the 49- shotgun- designed swing pass to the left to JJ who came behind Wilson in motion before the snap. Big 19-yard gain. Great block on the outside by Humphrey. Without that it would have been blown up. Maybe quit complaining about the swing pass.

3. 1st and 10. From the 32- shotgun- inside run to McLaughlin gain of 1.

4. 2nd and 9- from the 31- shot gun- another swing pass, this time to the right, to McLaughlin for 8 yards. Another play where the outside receivers blocked well.

5. 3rd and 1 from the 23- under center- QB sneak to the right of Cush. Tush push, brotherly shove or whatever. Gains 2. End of third quarter.

3 total drives in the 3rd, but no points. Current drive has looked good, but the O was bad in this quarter, all around, not just Wilson. Williams has been running hard as always. WRs are really putting effort into blocking.

1. 1st and 10 from the 21. Shotgun- designed throw to the flat to Jeudy for 9 yards. Never seen a receiver fake a throw after the catch like he did there, but it actually got the LB to leave his feet. Comedy. Great route by Sutton crossing the face of the defender without making contact, avoiding the PI call.

2. 2nd and 1 from the 11. Under center. Inside run to 33. No gain. Could have been worse. He was met 2 yards behind the line of scrimmage but carried the defender to the line. Looks like Bolles got beat.

3. 3rd and 1 from the 11- another QB sneak that worked. Called back because Bolles was on the end of the unbalanced line and apparently didn’t report.

4. 3rd and 5 from the 16- Minnesota only brought 3 but Bolles was 1 on 1 and his man ended up sacking Wilson. Not sure Bolles is totally to blame here, as Wilson showed 0 pocket awareness here and actually stepped into the rusher. Really really ugly play.

5. 4th and 8- Lutz 37-yard FG good.

This was a great drive with multiple plays designed to get Jeudy in space with the ball. Hurts to see a great drive end in such pathetic fashion but it was a good drive, nonetheless. Lutz is the offense. Ive enjoyed watching the WRs effort tonight.

Drive 4 (9th total drive)

Starting on the 9 after the McMillian INT.

1. 1st and goal from the 9. Under center. Williams runs to the right for 1 yard.

2. 2nd and goal from the 8- shotgun- quick pass to the left for Mims. Good design, it was successful, unfortunately he got called for grabbing the facemask while stiff arming the DB. Legit call, but I hate it.

3. 2nd and goal from the 23. Shotgun- checks down to Javonte. Wilson went through the progressions well and was about to scramble to the left when he saw Williams in the flat. 13-yard gain.

4. 3rd and goal from the 10- shotgun- Minnesota brought the house and Wilson saw it, and made a decent throw to Jeudy, considering the pressure, though it was a tad behind. Defender did grab Jeudy just a bit early, but it was close. JJ almost came away with it. I have heard a lot of complaints about Jeudy not catching this ball, but I think it would have been a great catch considering the contact and location.

5. 4th and goal from the 10-Lutz 17-yard FG is good. Lutz is the offense.

I was so mad after this drive. It was an example of the total dysfunction we have seen for the past 7 or so years. Rewatching it today I realized it was just one penalty that killed it. The other 3 plays were positive, I mean that because Wilson recognized the pressure and threw the right ball. Could have easily been a TD.

Drive 5 (10th total drive)

Starting in the 25 after touchback

1. 1st and ten- shot gun- run left with Williams- no gain

2. 2nd and 10- shotgun- pass deep right to Humphrey incomplete. Wilson pumped twice, not sure if to try to influence the safety, or if he just wasn’t sure where to go. The throw to 17 was not terrible, but not great, I think it would have been pretty difficult to fit that ball in

3. 3rd and 10- shotgun, inside run with Perine. Good run and blocked well.

4. 4th and 3- shotgun- Wilson checked the play at the line- there was pressure, but Wilson felt it and moved to his left, then floated a nice touch pass over the head of the LB and Sutton made an incredible catch and drew a PI.

5. 1st and 10- shotgun- short pass over the middle that Perine turned into a 10-yard gain. Hard run after catch. Looked like 33.

6. 1st and 10- shotgun- another short pass over the middle to Perine, turns this one into 17 yards.

7. 1st and 10- shotgun- pressure, Wilson scrambles and finds Perine again at the numbers on the right side of the field for a gain of 6. 25 fumbled but the ball went out of bounds.

8. 2nd and 4 - shotgun- pressure. Wilson moves in the pocket and throws it away- good decision.

9. 3rd and 4- shotgun- Wilson checks down again to Perine to the 15.

10. 1st and 10- shotgun- Vikings bring pressure again- Wilson feels it and but moves up into a messy pocket- throws deep left for Sutton who makes an incredible leaping catch.

This was an incredible drive- Wilson made some big throws and good reads. Perine carried the drive and was running hard. Maybe he should have been involved earlier? Sutton made two incredible catches.

I am not sure what is wrong with this team after half. For the most part this game reflected many others we have seen for years and years. Untimely penalties and poor play from multiple positions kills so many drives. But at the same time, in many instances the ball is moving. Out of ten total drives, they scored points on 6. Normally I would say scoring on 60% of your offensive possessions is great, but it’s hard to do that when 5 of those scoring drives end with FGs instead of touchdowns. Also, the two drives that started from the 30 and the 9 resulting in FGs is infuriating.

Russ gets a ton of criticism, and much of it is deserved. In this game he definitely held the ball at times and stepped up into dirty pockets. Then would run out of clean pockets that he could have climbed in to. He made several bad throws. The high throw on the second drive comes to mind. He also made some really quick decisions and got the ball out on time and on target at times. He made some incredible throws. At times he recognized pressure, and at other times he showed zero awareness. He was certainly clutch on the last drive.

Winning is better than losing, of that, I am sure. I am encouraged by the effort the offense is showing, especially in the run game and the WRs blocking. I saw many times last year (and even earlier this year) that WRs would absolutely not throw a block. That seems to have been remedied right now. I am sure that next week will be telling. Cleveland has a great defense. Here is to hoping that they can turn some of these FGs into TDs next week.

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR.