Defending against the Denver Broncos Offense

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In passing to receivers, 72 plays that were 15 yards or more, 24 of them went to Brandon Marshall. Brandon Marshall was the explosive threat of Denver. Against Cincinnati, the winning TD was thrown to Marshall but tipped to Stokley. Against Dallas, Marshall caught a 51 yard TD. Against Washington he caught a 75 yard TD and a 40 yard TD. Against the Giants he caught a 33 yards pass, against Kansas City a 49 yard pass, against Indianapolis a 23 yard pass and against Oakland a 24 yard and 19 yard pass. He accounted for 10 of Denver’s 30 offensive touchdowns.

When you look at an explosive offense, the question is do they go downfield deep and connect or do the receivers get the yards after the catch? This is important because if the game is played on a short field with short runs and passes, the safeties can play up. When Denver connected on an explosive play to a receiver, it was thrown deep 27 times in the first 15 games and 6 times in the last game shootout with Kansas City. A total of 33 out of 72 times did Kyle Orton connect deep. 39 out of 72 were thrown short with yards after catch added on by the receiver.

Who do you think was the deep threat? Brandon Marshall? Nope, only 9 deep balls to Brandon. Jabar Gaffney caught 12 of them. The rest went to the tight ends. Brandon Marshall was a great player, a TD threat, a deep threat and a yards after catch threat. Denver will miss him! 

So we know this, the running backs are not breaking off long runs, and Denver throws more than 15 yards downfield successfully about twice a game. Most of the Denver offensive game is played within the yard markers.

So Denver is not an explosive offense. There are only two options left. Either they are a ball control offense with long sustained drives, or their defense hands them the ball in good field position. Let’s consider the ball control offense. In order to do that correctly, we must go game by game.

Cincinnati – Week 1.

• 11 possessions; 8 punts, 1 TD, 2 FG

Cleveland – Week 2

• 11 possessions; 2 punts, 1 turnover on downs, 1 fumble, 2 missed FG, 3 TDs, 2 FG

Oakland – Week 3

• 9 possessions; 2 punts, 1 turnover on downs, 1 fumble, 2 TDs, 3 FG

Dallas – Week 4

• 11 possessions; 6 punts, 1 turnover on downs, 2 TDs, 1 FG

New England – Week 5

• 12 possessions; 5 punts, 1 interception, 1 fumble, 1 missed FG, 2 TDs, 2 FGs

San Diego – Week 6

• 10 possessions; 4 punts, 1 missed FG, 3 TDs, 2 FGs

Baltimore – Week 7

• 10 possessions; 8 punts, 1 fumble, 1 TD

Pittsburgh – Week 8

• 11 possessions; 7 punts, 3 interceptions, 1 FG

Washington – Week 9

• 11 possessions; 4 punts, 2 turnover on downs, 1 interception, 1 fumble, 2 TDs, 1 FG

San Diego – Week 10

• 10 possessions; 2 punts, 3 turnover on downs, 2 fumbles, I interception, 1 FG

NY Giants – Week 11

• 11 possessions; 3 punts, 1 interception, 1 EOH, 2 TDs, 4 FGs

Kansas City – Week 12

• 15 possessions; 3 punts, 1 interception, 2 fumbles, 1 EOH, 1 EOG, 4 TDs, 3 FGs

Indianapolis – Week 13

• 13 possessions; 4 punts, 3 turnover on downs, 1 EOH, 1 interception, 1 missed FG, 2 TD, 1 FG

Oakland – Week 14

• 12 possessions; 6 punts, 1 EOG, 1 TD, 4 FGs

Philadelphia – Week 15

• 14 possessions; 7 punts, 1 interception, 1 EOH, 3 TDs, 2 FGs

Kansas City – Week 16

• 14 possessions; 6 punts, 3 interceptions, 1 EOG, 3 TDs, 1 FG

Denver had 184 drives with 77 punts, 33 turnovers, 31 touchdowns and 30 field goals.

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Tags: Brandon Marshall Denver Broncos Jacksonville Jaguars Kyle Orton