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Broncos offense shows improvement but still lacks explosive plays

Payton told the Denver media that the lack of explosive plays stood out from Sunday’s loss to the Raiders.

Las Vegas Raiders v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

For the most part, the Denver Broncos offense looked better and improved.

Russell Wilson played better than at any time he has in a Broncos uniform.

The running game looked tremendous. It would have been nice to see a little faith in that aspect of the offense when Denver had a first-and-goal at the Las Vegas 8-yard line. If the Broncos score a touchdown instead of kicking a field goal, they more than likely put the game away.

There were definite positives to take from the showing Denver’s offense put up on Sunday in a 17-16 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

But there are still definite areas that need improvement. Hopefully, that will come.

As Broncos head coach Sean Payton said to the Denver media on Monday, what was unusual was the six possessions on offense.

“In other words, points then become at a premium,” he said. “Generally speaking, you’re between 10 and 12 possessions a game. Part of it was a result of both teams having long, sustained drives, overcoming some third downs, (and) maybe some penalties to keep drives moving. It was a little unusual that way.”

The other aspect that stood out to Payton was the lack of explosive plays. He said there were a couple of pays that would measure into the explosive category, but there weren’t enough for Payton’s liking. He also mentioned the limited number of possessions didn’t help.

Payton did say there are ways to create more explosive plays on offense for the Broncos.

“I would say two things. Certainly, you miss Jerry (Jeudy) and you miss Greg (Dulcich),” Payton said. “The other thing, we got a little bit more — a lot more — soft zone coverage. To Russ’s credit, the ball came down underneath a number of times when it needed to. It’s that back-and-forth. You’re waiting for the down safety looks, you’re waiting for the opportunities that maybe provide you those chances down the field, but I would say a little bit more shell (coverage] than expected and force the throws to come underneath.”

In terms of the offensive line, Payton thought the Broncos looked pretty good in both run and pass blocking.

“I thought there were two or three clips where in the running game specifically, we don’t get the Mike (linebacker) the correct way,” Payton said. “So we were pushing maybe in a direction where we should have been pushing to another. That has to get cleaned up. I thought overall, our protection downs were solid and were good. I thought we did a good job when we did leave the pocket, we had some scramble drill touchdowns. Overall, that would be my assessment.”

Was Denver’s offense perfect? By no stretch of the imagination.

But there was some good and some bad, which you expect in Week 1 with a new system and down some key playmakers at the skill positions.

Still, you could see the improvement and the hope is that it keeps getting better and better.