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Finding hope in analysis of our 07-08 red-zone offense

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  • Finding hope in analysis of our 07-08 red-zone offense

    One of the major struggles that Denver had last year was their inability to score in the red-zone.
    I did some research (thank you ESPN for your drive charts), and did a breakdown of Denver’s offense last year. On the offensive side of the ball Denver was stopped a total of 19 times inside the red-zone, not including end of half/game field goals, and the number goes up considerably if you stretch the red-zone to the 25 yard line. Here’s a breakdown of Denver being stopped in the red-zone last year:

    From the 5 yard-line and in: 12 stops (2 fumbles lost, 3 failed 4th down conversions, and 7 field goals).

    From the 6-10: 1 stop (1 fumble lost).

    From the 11-15: 3 stops (1 failed 4th down conversion and 2 field goals).

    From the 16-20: 3 stops (1 fumble lost and 2 field goals).

    What does all this mean?

    Last year there were several close games that could have turned out quite differently had we scored a touchdown in the red-zone rather than stalling. In our 19-13 overtime loss to Green Bay, we lost a fumble at the 1 yard line and were forced to kick a field goal when we stalled out at the 3 yard line. Had either one of these been touchdowns, we would have won that game. In the 3rd quarter of our 14-23 loss to Jacksonville, we failed to convert a 4th down on the 3 yard line. If we would have punched it in, we would have been up 21-20 at that point, and would have had a decent chance of winning the game. And in our 23-3 loss to San Diego, we turned the ball over twice in the red-zone and were forced to kick a field goal another time when we stalled at the 5 yard line. While I am not saying that we would have won this games for sure if we hadn’t screwed up in the red-zone, but it makes it a much closer game and gives us a realistic chance.

    What have we done to make sure this doesn’t happen again?

    If you look at our draft and offseason acquisitions, we should be able to better handle the red-zone. One of the reasons I love our drafting of Clady is that he is a beast, and will be able to push the pile in goal line stands. While I know that he is not a great run blocker right now, I believe that Shanny will develop him into a powerful and well rounded left tackle. Another draftee that will help in the red-zone is Torain. Torain is a big power back who will be able to punch the ball in. I figure that at the very least, we should have a great red-zone back for at least the first month (Torain and Henry won’t both be hurt in the first month, fingers crossed). And if either of them can stay healthy, we should be set.

    Hillis should also make a difference, as he has great hands for a full back, which gives Cutler another good target to pass to in the red-zone.
    Finally, one of, if not the most important component to red-zone scoring is the offensive line. Last year our line was plagued by injuries, but this year we have greater depth on the line, and players will be playing their more natural position (ie, Kuper will not be playing left tackle).
    I truly believe that we will be better in the red-zone this year, which should win us at least a game or two. It remains to be seen if this will be enough to get us into the playoffs.

    On a side note, I tried researching our defense in the red-zone, but it is more time consuming to do, so I’ll put that out later. However I believe that our off season acquisitions and change in defensive scheme should help us quite a bit.
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  • #2
    Originally posted by sdinner10 View Post
    One of the major struggles that Denver had last year was their inability to score in the red-zone.
    I did some research (thank you ESPN for your drive charts), and did a breakdown of Denver’s offense last year. On the offensive side of the ball Denver was stopped a total of 19 times inside the red-zone, not including end of half/game field goals, and the number goes up considerably if you stretch the red-zone to the 25 yard line. Here’s a breakdown of Denver being stopped in the red-zone last year:

    From the 5 yard-line and in: 12 stops (2 fumbles lost, 3 failed 4th down conversions, and 7 field goals).

    From the 6-10: 1 stop (1 fumble lost).

    From the 11-15: 3 stops (1 failed 4th down conversion and 2 field goals).

    From the 16-20: 3 stops (1 fumble lost and 2 field goals).

    What does all this mean?

    Last year there were several close games that could have turned out quite differently had we scored a touchdown in the red-zone rather than stalling. In our 19-13 overtime loss to Green Bay, we lost a fumble at the 1 yard line and were forced to kick a field goal when we stalled out at the 3 yard line. Had either one of these been touchdowns, we would have won that game. In the 3rd quarter of our 14-23 loss to Jacksonville, we failed to convert a 4th down on the 3 yard line. If we would have punched it in, we would have been up 21-20 at that point, and would have had a decent chance of winning the game. And in our 23-3 loss to San Diego, we turned the ball over twice in the red-zone and were forced to kick a field goal another time when we stalled at the 5 yard line. While I am not saying that we would have won this games for sure if we hadn’t screwed up in the red-zone, but it makes it a much closer game and gives us a realistic chance.

    What have we done to make sure this doesn’t happen again?

    If you look at our draft and offseason acquisitions, we should be able to better handle the red-zone. One of the reasons I love our drafting of Clady is that he is a beast, and will be able to push the pile in goal line stands. While I know that he is not a great run blocker right now, I believe that Shanny will develop him into a powerful and well rounded left tackle. Another draftee that will help in the red-zone is Torain. Torain is a big power back who will be able to punch the ball in. I figure that at the very least, we should have a great red-zone back for at least the first month (Torain and Henry won’t both be hurt in the first month, fingers crossed). And if either of them can stay healthy, we should be set.

    Hillis should also make a difference, as he has great hands for a full back, which gives Cutler another good target to pass to in the red-zone.
    Finally, one of, if not the most important component to red-zone scoring is the offensive line. Last year our line was plagued by injuries, but this year we have greater depth on the line, and players will be playing their more natural position (ie, Kuper will not be playing left tackle).
    I truly believe that we will be better in the red-zone this year, which should win us at least a game or two. It remains to be seen if this will be enough to get us into the playoffs.

    On a side note, I tried researching our defense in the red-zone, but it is more time consuming to do, so I’ll put that out later. However I believe that our off season acquisitions and change in defensive scheme should help us quite a bit.
    Good post! Obviously our lack of production in the Red Zone last year hurt us somewhat but our D hurt way more! I believe we have significantly more depth on the O-line, WR, and RB. Those areas were lacking last year the most on offense IMO. All the team has do is gel and play as a TEAM and this season we'll be much better.

    I'll respond again when you post about the D.
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    • #3
      This has been a multi year problem, red zone production. Hopefully this will change with Cutler developing more as a QB. the o-line ain't what it used to be. I look forward to seing the FB catching some more passes west coast style.

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      • #4
        It all starts with being able to run the ball in the redzone. And the play calling was predictable also. We didnt throw at Marshall in the redzone enough i thought. Hes 6'5 you gotta give the beast jump balls galore down there. But i think SHanny turns this thing around. The guys are happy and flying around at mini camps. Everybody has each others back and taking younger players under there wings. I think were gonna surprise alot of people this year. Not to mention Cutler energy is amazing in camps since getting treated for his diabetis<<(Spell check) lol.

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        • #5
          I'm tired of seeing FB hand offs in the red zone.

          Give me a break... The starting FB is a converted running back. That play call might work once a game, but deep in the red zone, it's a waste of a play imo.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by B4Bronco6 View Post
            I'm tired of seeing FB hand offs in the red zone.

            Give me a break... The starting FB is a converted running back. That play call might work once a game, but deep in the red zone, it's a waste of a play imo.
            That's why Hillis should help us, rather than just being someone to hand the ball off to, he can also catch the ball really well, which gives us another good receiving weapon for short yardage situations.
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            • #7
              Honestly I dont see us being a good red zone team until we get rid of this old , undersized line. Nalen and Hamiliton are the problem. They just cant hold up when other teams are in GL. We did better back in the day, but back then they were younger faster and stronger. Plus we had a great receiving combo with smith and Edy Mac. With them and our running game you never knew what we were going to throw at you. Now...we are so limited on what we can throw at a team. As far as the Marshall jump ball...I think the problem with that is Marshall not being able to go after a ball. This is just my theroy. But in 06 the fade to javon was a huge weapon for us, before then the fade to smith was big. Now...we never run it. I thin it is something that marshall needs to learn. Remember Lelie couldnt run it either. I think that it is something that needs to be taught
              Thanx Blondie79 for the sweet Sig....Love it and I will rock it with pridesigpic

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              • #8
                Originally posted by sdinner10 View Post
                One of the major struggles that Denver had last year was their inability to score in the red-zone.
                I did some research (thank you ESPN for your drive charts), and did a breakdown of Denver’s offense last year. On the offensive side of the ball Denver was stopped a total of 19 times inside the red-zone, not including end of half/game field goals, and the number goes up considerably if you stretch the red-zone to the 25 yard line. Here’s a breakdown of Denver being stopped in the red-zone last year:

                From the 5 yard-line and in: 12 stops (2 fumbles lost, 3 failed 4th down conversions, and 7 field goals).

                From the 6-10: 1 stop (1 fumble lost).

                From the 11-15: 3 stops (1 failed 4th down conversion and 2 field goals).

                From the 16-20: 3 stops (1 fumble lost and 2 field goals).

                What does all this mean?

                Last year there were several close games that could have turned out quite differently had we scored a touchdown in the red-zone rather than stalling. In our 19-13 overtime loss to Green Bay, we lost a fumble at the 1 yard line and were forced to kick a field goal when we stalled out at the 3 yard line. Had either one of these been touchdowns, we would have won that game. In the 3rd quarter of our 14-23 loss to Jacksonville, we failed to convert a 4th down on the 3 yard line. If we would have punched it in, we would have been up 21-20 at that point, and would have had a decent chance of winning the game. And in our 23-3 loss to San Diego, we turned the ball over twice in the red-zone and were forced to kick a field goal another time when we stalled at the 5 yard line. While I am not saying that we would have won this games for sure if we hadn’t screwed up in the red-zone, but it makes it a much closer game and gives us a realistic chance.

                What have we done to make sure this doesn’t happen again?

                If you look at our draft and offseason acquisitions, we should be able to better handle the red-zone. One of the reasons I love our drafting of Clady is that he is a beast, and will be able to push the pile in goal line stands. While I know that he is not a great run blocker right now, I believe that Shanny will develop him into a powerful and well rounded left tackle. Another draftee that will help in the red-zone is Torain. Torain is a big power back who will be able to punch the ball in. I figure that at the very least, we should have a great red-zone back for at least the first month (Torain and Henry won’t both be hurt in the first month, fingers crossed). And if either of them can stay healthy, we should be set.

                Hillis should also make a difference, as he has great hands for a full back, which gives Cutler another good target to pass to in the red-zone.
                Finally, one of, if not the most important component to red-zone scoring is the offensive line. Last year our line was plagued by injuries, but this year we have greater depth on the line, and players will be playing their more natural position (ie, Kuper will not be playing left tackle).
                I truly believe that we will be better in the red-zone this year, which should win us at least a game or two. It remains to be seen if this will be enough to get us into the playoffs.

                On a side note, I tried researching our defense in the red-zone, but it is more time consuming to do, so I’ll put that out later. However I believe that our off season acquisitions and change in defensive scheme should help us quite a bit.
                Nice work and I really appreciate the stats... but... did you keep track of how many total drives there were in each of your categories?

                For instance, from inside the 5 were we stopped 12 times out of 100? 12 times out of 20? The extra perspective would help analyze how bad we really were.

                But just from observation I'd say we were plain bad.


                I am optimistic that we'll improve this year with a healthy O-line (and if Clady can play well as a rookie). It would be nice if Hillis could provide us with a real fullback again, as well as a reliable receiving threat out of the backfield. And if the O-line could do its part, then Daniel Graham could catch a few more balls instead of having to block all the time to make up for the porous line.
                "You can't take the sky from me..."
                ------
                "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Javalon View Post
                  Nice work and I really appreciate the stats... but... did you keep track of how many total drives there were in each of your categories?

                  For instance, from inside the 5 were we stopped 12 times out of 100? 12 times out of 20? The extra perspective would help analyze how bad we really were.

                  But just from observation I'd say we were plain bad.


                  I am optimistic that we'll improve this year with a healthy O-line (and if Clady can play well as a rookie). It would be nice if Hillis could provide us with a real fullback again, as well as a reliable receiving threat out of the backfield. And if the O-line could do its part, then Daniel Graham could catch a few more balls instead of having to block all the time to make up for the porous line.
                  Where's the fun in percentages? If i keep those out I can make the numbers say whatever I want them to say.

                  We were 21st in the league, scoring a TD on 49% of our red zone trips.
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                  • #10
                    I went searching and found our defensive red zone statistics:

                    We ranked 24th, as out of 54 times the other team got into the red zone, they scored a touchdown 31 times, or 57.4% of the time, and they scored a field goal 17% of the time, meaning that they had an 88.9% scoring average.


                    Furthermore, as per my findings using the espn drive charts, we only had 1 interception, 2 fumbles taken away, and 1 4th down stop in the red zone. I don't know how this ranks to other teams, but I know that it is terrible for us, epsecially when you consider how many interceptions we had in the red zone in 2006.

                    I think the combination of our new scheme and our new players should help, as teams last year were just running it against us, both in and out of the red zone, preventing our corners from getting a chance to play the ball.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sdinner10 View Post
                      I went searching and found our defensive red zone statistics:

                      We ranked 24th, as out of 54 times the other team got into the red zone, they scored a touchdown 31 times, or 57.4% of the time, and they scored a field goal 17% of the time, meaning that they had an 88.9% scoring average.


                      Furthermore, as per my findings using the espn drive charts, we only had 1 interception, 2 fumbles taken away, and 1 4th down stop in the red zone. I don't know how this ranks to other teams, but I know that it is terrible for us, epsecially when you consider how many interceptions we had in the red zone in 2006.

                      I think the combination of our new scheme and our new players should help, as teams last year were just running it against us, both in and out of the red zone, preventing our corners from getting a chance to play the ball.

                      I think we've improved our D a lot! I know it's early but look. Robertson, Thomas, and Powell are a vast improvement over last season(Adams, Kennedy). Moss, Crowder, and Dumervil are great talent at DE. Depth at DE is OK with Engelberger and Ekuban also. Boss and Niko are both fast and athletic LBs, DJ returns to his natural position at WILL. We have tremendous depth at LB with Beck, Winborn ,Webster, Larsen, and Woodyard! We improved our S spots with McCree, Manuel, and Lynch as starters(Lynch may rotate out on passing downs). Barrett and Abdullah provide solid depth as well. CB is fine with Bailey and Bly, Foxy and Paymah provide great young depth.

                      With the talent and depth we have, I look for us to be aggressive and blitz more often much like 06. All this team has to do is gel and this year could be something special!
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                      • #12
                        Good Points.

                        [QUOTE=japfaff;2214993]Honestly I dont see us being a good red zone team until we get rid of this old , undersized line. Nalen and Hamiliton are the problem. They just cant hold up when other teams are in GL. We did better back in the day, but back then they were younger faster and stronger. /QUOTE]

                        Nalen and Hamilton have been getting their butts kicked (and bells rung) quite a bit lately. Apparently the OL is getting a bit bigger and, one hopes, tougher. I do hope Nalen can pass the torch to the younger OL this season before he retires. Whether or not Hamilton can come back and play without recurring problems from spinal-cord concussion (that can't be good) remains to be seen. I can see the Broncos acquiring more rookie OL next year.
                        "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

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                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=samparnell;2215344]
                          Originally posted by japfaff View Post
                          Honestly I dont see us being a good red zone team until we get rid of this old , undersized line. Nalen and Hamiliton are the problem. They just cant hold up when other teams are in GL. We did better back in the day, but back then they were younger faster and stronger. /QUOTE]

                          Nalen and Hamilton have been getting their butts kicked (and bells rung) quite a bit lately. Apparently the OL is getting a bit bigger and, one hopes, tougher. I do hope Nalen can pass the torch to the younger OL this season before he retires. Whether or not Hamilton can come back and play without recurring problems from spinal-cord concussion (that can't be good) remains to be seen. I can see the Broncos acquiring more rookie OL next year.
                          I agree, all of the young OL we have signed lately are +300 pounds. We are definitely on a bulking up the OL trend.
                          Kory= 310
                          Gandy= 302
                          Clady= 317
                          Kuper= 302
                          Holland= 322
                          Polumbus= 300
                          Harris= 300
                          Pears= 305

                          Hamilton= 290
                          Nalen= 286
                          weigmann= 285
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                          • #14
                            [QUOTE=broncos SB2010;2215355]
                            Originally posted by samparnell View Post

                            I agree, all of the young OL we have signed lately are +300 pounds. We are definitely on a bulking up the OL trend.
                            Kory= 310
                            Gandy= 302
                            Clady= 317
                            Kuper= 302
                            Holland= 322
                            Polumbus= 300
                            Harris= 300
                            Pears= 305

                            Hamilton= 290
                            Nalen= 286
                            weigmann= 285
                            I like it, knock those DT on their butts for a change. I also think the red zone offenses was due to the lack of production from the OLine. Hopefully everyone can stay healthy and work together to hammer it in.

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                            • #15
                              [QUOTE=Sacklunch;2215371]
                              Originally posted by broncos SB2010 View Post

                              I like it, knock those DT on their butts for a change. I also think the red zone offenses was due to the lack of production from the OLine. Hopefully everyone can stay healthy and work together to hammer it in.
                              I agree the power running game is rare nowadays, some beef on the O-line would help. Remember though bulk is good but they still need to be quick and athletic enough to run our zone blocking scheme. Which is our staple of course!
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