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  • Run the Ball/Stop the Run

    It's an old, but tried and true way of winning football games that can carry a team far into the cold and sometimes wet weather of the postseason. Last year it was a deficiency which is why it was addressed in the offseason.

    So far it is working much better this year. After game 2, the Broncos are slightly run heavy at 55% run. But, that includes Trevor's eleven rushing attempts which were scrambles on a called pass play. So, McCoy has actually called a balanced offense in the first two games (47%run/53% pass).

    I haven't charted the plays, but it looks to me like most of the rushing attempts are angle blocked. The coordination between the O-Line, TEs, Backs and Receivers on rushing attempts has been excellent. In each game there have been effective draw plays off of pass protection looks, just as there have been PAPs off of run steps by the O-Line.

    Denver's rushing attack is averaging over four yards per attempt and a hundred fifty yards per game. That runs the clock and puts pressure on opposing defensive fronts to focus on stopping the run. That opens up the passing attack which is doing well at 7.5 ypa.

    There is a concern about ball security with two giveaways in each of the first two games; two lost fumbles and two picks. The fumble in game 2 was a result of a breakdown in pass protection. It is important to maintain the rushing attack with plenty of PAPs and not to fall behind on the scoreboard, so that the offense isn't forced to be one-dimensional in order to stay in the game. IDK how well Denver's O would do in a come-from-behind mode.

    Denver's capable Secondary has made it possible to put seven or eight defenders in the box to defend the run. The one-gap run defense is still basically the same as before. It has been effective holding the two opponents to about 50 ypg and less than 3 ypa. That needs to be maintained. The strength of Denver's defense is in defending pass attempts both in pass rush and pass coverage. The reward for stopping the run is rushing the passer.

    Going forward we'll see if the Broncos can maintain the formula of running the ball while stopping the run. If improvement can be found in the ball security department, this style of football should carry the Broncos far this season.

    Last edited by samparnell; 09-19-2017, 08:29 AM.
    "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

  • #2
    Excellent post. Totally agree. Although "modern football" seems to be pass happy, I still say running the ball is fundamentally important and makes for winning football for a multitude of reasons: ballance, wearing out the defense, clock management. I'm really liking what I'm seeing so far in this offense - balance and confidence.
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    • #3
      I'm of the same opinion and it couldn't be more true. The key to this balance is about, as you pointed out, not turning the ball over. There seems to be lapses in concentration through the first two games where upon building a lead begets complacency and a tendency to "rest on the field" - on both sides of the ball. Then comes the turnovers and/or defensive breakdowns though in the Cowboys game the Broncos caught themselves lulling before disaster and returned to the thrashing of the Cowboys. Now, thrash Buffalo though the Bill's "D" is better than the Cowboys' especially against the run, so a dominant passing game may prove to be a winner in this one though roughing up their "D" with the run is still paramount if it can be maintain w/o injuries.

      Then there's the matter of stopping the Bill's rush attack, them having McCoy, and Taylor getting lose. Have to keep someone on Taylor to keep him at bay while stuffing up the middle and off tackle to thwart McCoy.

      Go thrash 'em Broncos!

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      • #4
        Yeah, the one thing I notice with Siemian is those lapses of concentration where he takes sacks while in FG range. Happened in 2016 game 1 vs the Panthers, probably twice, and has happened several times I have watched him play, including this recent Cowboys game. Once he cleans that up, he will be able to make your D even more dangerous by giving them crucial cushions in points in games that are close.

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        • #5
          It's all about Mr. Anderson right now.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by chad72 View Post
            Yeah, the one thing I notice with Siemian is those lapses of concentration where he takes sacks while in FG range. Happened in 2016 game 1 vs the Panthers, probably twice, and has happened several times I have watched him play, including this recent Cowboys game. Once he cleans that up, he will be able to make your D even more dangerous by giving them crucial cushions in points in games that are close.
            Can't wait to crush the colts like a soda can I Wish Luck good health.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by samparnell View Post
              It's an old, but tried and true way of winning football games that can carry a team far into the cold and sometimes wet weather of the postseason. Last year it was a deficiency which is why it was addressed in the offseason.

              So far it is working much better this year. After game 2, the Broncos are slightly run heavy at 55% run. But, that includes Trevor's eleven rushing attempts which were scrambles on a called pass play. So, McCoy has actually called a balanced offense in the first two games (47%run/53% pass).

              I haven't charted the plays, but it looks to me like most of the rushing attempts are angle blocked. The coordination between the O-Line, TEs, Backs and Receivers on rushing attempts has been excellent. In each game there have been effective draw plays off of pass protection looks, just as there have been PAPs off of run steps by the O-Line.

              Denver's rushing attack is averaging over four yards per attempt and a hundred fifty yards per game. That runs the clock and puts pressure on opposing defensive fronts to focus on stopping the run. That opens up the passing attack which is doing well at 7.5 ypa.

              There is a concern about ball security with two giveaways in each of the first two games; two lost fumbles and two picks. The fumble in game 2 was a result of a breakdown in pass protection. It is important to maintain the rushing attack with plenty of PAPs and not to fall behind on the scoreboard, so that the offense isn't forced to be one-dimensional in order to stay in the game. IDK how well Denver's O would do in a come-from-behind mode.

              Denver's capable Secondary has made it possible to put seven or eight defenders in the box to defend the run. The one-gap run defense is still basically the same as before. It has been effective holding the two opponents to about 50 ypg and less than 3 ypa. That needs to be maintained. The strength of Denver's defense is in defending pass attempts both in pass rush and pass coverage. The reward for stopping the run is rushing the passer.

              Going forward we'll see if the Broncos can maintain the formula of running the ball while stopping the run. If improvement can be found in the ball security department, this style of football should carry the Broncos far this season.

              Great post, Sam! Keeping our RB's healthy is critically important. Let's pray to the Football Gods to help us keep Anderson and Charles healthy throughout the season and into those cold and wet Wintery days of '18!

              Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

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              • #8
                Originally posted by SaltySnipes View Post
                Can't wait to crush the colts like a soda can I Wish Luck good health.
                Unfortunately our only hope is in Luck. We just hope he is back by the first divisional game and we might be 1-4 by that time. Peyton didn't win it all till year 9. At least we have a GM who knows what he is doing when he sees a dearth of talent on the roster. Still need upgrades at several places to challenge the elite teams, that is why Luck is the great leveler, much like Peyton was, till we have another draft and FA offseason to shore up more talent.

                However, at the end of the year, Luck and the Colts will be ready to play spoiler for a lot of teams, I can guarantee that.

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                • #9
                  Sam....I always agree with you on this one, the value of the run game (for and against, you might say). I will admit though that I like a balanced team that can hurt you with the pass, while defending against the pass, because we are still in a QB/Pass driven league. So if I can go one step further and hope for the best in all four of these quadrants - Run O/Run D/Pass O/Pass D, I could not be much happier. That is a lofty goal, no doubt. And I also believe that a team's ability to control the pass game has a big influence on how the run games go.

                  But yes, I am a fan of the run game, including run D. And what I saw on Sunday was better than I had expected to see, even though we have looked to improve that aspect of the game.

                  It will be critical to have healthy backs on O this season. CJ looked nasty, and Jamal has a lot of game left in him. But we have some depth at this point, and that could be needed at some point along the way.

                  As for our D....I am so encouraged by the way we closed down Zeke and the all star Oline! It was almost an unfair fight! I knew we had the players to create pressure and limit the pass game, but if this performance of run D becomes the norm, few teams will be able to put up real points.

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                  • #10
                    In Siemian's rookie year last season it was easier for teams to defend against the run because he was not a great threat to pass. Particularly in the antiquated offensive scheme initiated by Kubiak. Siemian now is tied with Stafford to lead the NFL in TD passes and as a legitimate passing threat the run game should benefit.

                    This is where a player like Jamal Charles is brutal against other teams as he can be both an effective receiver and a take-it-to-the-house running back.
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                    • #11
                      While we ponder the Offense and Defense, we need to remember that Special Teams often prove to be as much if not more important. The Broncos have serious lapses on Special Teams so they need to focus.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MDN1959 View Post
                        While we ponder the Offense and Defense, we need to remember that Special Teams often prove to be as much if not more important. The Broncos have serious lapses on Special Teams so they need to focus.
                        I think most of us remember that Special Teams are an important group, but maybe (just maybe) we tend not to add them into the conversation as well because we end up talking about the entire team as opposed to the focus of this one, specific thread. In fact, in my response, I covered the run and the pass game on both sides of the ball, which was getting pretty wide in scope, and even thought to include STs....but clearly it becomes another lengthy, broad response to a more limited topic.

                        Make sense?

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                        • #13
                          Yes! All offseason the debate focused on the QB, when QB wasn't the limiting factor last year. All the talk of Siemian and his ceiling, bringing in a star RB, and of needing Lynch's downfield throws - none of it would matter at all if the oline didn't improve. It's been better this year, especially run blocking, and that's making a huge difference in the pass game as well. That's true on the defensive side too (though the pass rush isn't what it was in 2015). So far. Depth is a real concern on both lines as the Bolles near miss pointed out. Barbre is proving to be a key signing. We'll see if they can keep it up and stay healthy. I keep hoping Watson will learn from his mistakes - he has the size and physicality. RB depth is strong with Booker coming back and Henderson sitting on the sidelines. I feel like we're in good shape there, similar to the WR situation.

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