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broncobum6162
12-15-2009, 08:12 AM
From MHR-Shallow thoughts and nearsighted observations

Happy Tuesday, friends, and welcome to another edition of Shallow Thoughts & Nearsighted Observations. Christmas is coming, and I for one, am hoping for a much more joyous holiday season than I experienced last December. All I got for Christmas last year was the Broncos' historic collapse, and all I had to give was the one scenario that could possibly be worse than the season-ending Chargers game (it involved hypothetically cutting an apple, slipping, and stabbing myself in the groin WHILE watching that game.)

I'm not much for moral victories, but today in Donny Deutschland, I will talk about why I feel better about Sunday's loss than I have about any Broncos loss in years. There's no time to waste, so let's not waste any time. Out of the echo chamber, and into the fire, y'all. Ready..... BEGIN!!!

1. I learned on Sunday that what I suspected was the case, was in fact, the case. That is, the Broncos can play with Indianapolis, at Indianapolis. It happened a little, we differently than I thought it would, but the Broncos competed, and got back in the game after getting down in really ugly fashion. Consider these statistics, as I pretend that I care about statistics for a moment. The Broncos outgained Indianapolis 357-312. They held the ball for 31:27, versus the Colts' 28:33. They won the turnover battle 3-1. The Broncos advanced into Colts territory on 8 of 12 posessions. These measures would tend to indicate victory, but in this case, the Broncos fell a little short.

For next time, we can internalize a few thoughts:

a. The Broncos have the players and schemes to cover the Colts receivers, pressure Peyton Manning, and generally disrupt their offense.

b. The Broncos have the players and schemes to move the ball at will against the Colts defense.

c. As a fan base, we all mistakenly thought to ourselves "Here we go again" when the Colts got up 21-0 after 4 possessions. We can take this game as a lesson that the past doesn't indicate the future. Those Broncos teams which got their doors blown off by the Colts passing game are definitely not these Broncos.

Star-divide

One general concern is that the Broncos could have run the ball better, and will need to next time. I felt the run scheme was too zone-heavy and horizontal, and it played into the Colts' plan to run-blitz the gaps. A smaller faster team needs to be man-blocked with a vertical scheme. Those are guys you don't necessarily want moving laterally, because they're comfortable doing so.

The other concern is that at money time, Dallas Clark needed more and better attention. Josh Barrett needed to be on the field manning him up, because he's the best guy in the NFL at covering TEs man-to-man.

All in all, I am proud of the way the Broncos stayed in the game, despite some reasons that lesser men would take to quit. This was really a game which turned on a few plays, and I am pleased to know that the Broncos can compete with Indianapolis, unlike in past years. This week, it's the Raiders, and luckily, JaMarcus Russell will be under center again. Expect Elvis Dumervil to get some shots at him. The Broncos can take care of business at home, and position themselves well to make the postseason. Happy Raiders week, friends.

2. Information From My Eyes, Broncos at Colts:

a. Andre Goodman got beat on a crossing route by Pierre Garcon on the first offensive play of the game, and in the moment, I wondered if there was a major speed mismatch. Goodman settled down to play Garcon spectacularly the rest of the game, breaking up four well thrown balls. Goodman has been terrific all year, but I'd call this his best game as a Bronco.

b. When the Broncos drafted Darcel McBath, I'd never heard of him. I'm very impressed with his play as a rookie, though, and he had a fantastic game Sunday. He separated Dallas Clark from the ball on a 3rd down, and also baited Peyton Manning into his third interception. It's a real bummer that he broke his forearm, and is gone for the season, but he showed well when he got the opportunities. I look for him to make a serious run at Renaldo Hill's starting job next season.

c. I really "misunderestimated" the Colts' DTs, Daniel Muir and Antonio Johnson. They both played fantastic, and drove the Broncos interior players backward consistently.

d. Ryan Clady didn't play very well in the running game, which was a departure from what we've been seeing lately. He got pushed backward several times when he lost leverage, and he mis-read a few run blitzes, and didn't hit right guy. He's young and growing, and we can only hope he learns from this game.

e. Brandon Marshall was spectacular, of course. It's obvious that Kyle Orton really trusts him to make plays at this point. I wish he trusted Eddie Royal a little more, though. The truth is, though, Royal hasn't come up with some plays when he's had chances to do so.

f. I was happy to see Jabar Gaffney back in the mix this week. He's a pro's pro, and the Broncos offense is better when he is involved.

g. I was pleased with what I saw from Robert Ayers and Elvis Dumervil, despite the Broncos' lack of sacks. Both played well against the run, and generated pressure against Manning.

h. Peyton Hillis isn't a very good lead blocker, and I think a key part of the trouble the running game had was with the loss of Spencer Larsen. Larsen has been knocking heads the last two weeks, and he wasn't there this time, obviously.

Hillis is a good RB, but he's a true HB, not a FB. The truth is, he is where he should be on the depth chart; the third RB for the Broncos. Zappa said that some DP posters were calling for Knowshon Moreno to be benched, and Hillis to get the starting job. That's not going to happen, and frankly, it's asinine. Hillis could get more opportunity to make plays, but he deserves to be behind Moreno and Correll Buckhalter. There's no question in my mind of that.

i. The Colts last drive was enabled by missed tackles by Vonnie Holliday (first play of the series) and Maro Haggan (3rd down inside the Broncos 10.)

j. Oh, Dallas Clark. Ty Law did a good job on him, but he often was assigned to cover Austin Collie. Wesley Woodyard is a good zone player, but he can't cover a Clark in man-to-man. That 4th and 4 was badly schemed, because Brian Dawkins shouldn't be manned up on Clark either.

Finally, at the end of the game, the approach should have been to look at the formation. The power was left, and the only receiving threat was Clark, playing with his hand down on the right side. You need somebody to drive him straight into the ground, so he can't get out in the pattern. That's how I would coach that situation anyway. Tackle him when he pretends to block, without getting called for holding.

k. D.J. Williams had a very good game, except for the one stupid penalty. Darrell Reid got (another) one of those too, while we're at it.

_Oro_
12-15-2009, 08:18 AM
The other concern is that at money time, Dallas Clark needed more and better attention. Josh Barrett needed to be on the field manning him up, because he's the best guy in the NFL at covering TEs man-to-man.

This might be a little bit much.

s0phr0syne
12-15-2009, 08:37 AM
This might be a little bit much.


haha, my initial reaction as well.


Barrett has done well when he's been asked to do this, esp. against Gonzo last year. But BEST is a descriptor we might reserve for after he can prove it time and time again.

oubronco
12-15-2009, 09:20 AM
the defense was just horrible in the first quarter and when it needed a stop the most at the end of the game it couldn't do it

I know the offense squandered up alot of opportunities and the playcalling was suspect especially in short yardage but when it most needed to make a play the defense couldn't do it

If we get the chance to play them again, if we make the playoffs. Do you guys think the defense can repeat there dominance in the 2nd Qtr till the last drive that Manning orchastrated or will it be the defense that we saw in the first Qtr and the end of the game?

Tombstone RJ
12-15-2009, 09:31 AM
the defense was just horrible in the first quarter and when it needed a stop the most at the end of the game it couldn't do it

I know the offense squandered up alot of opportunities and the playcalling was suspect especially in short yardage but when it most needed to make a play the defense couldn't do it

If we get the chance to play them again, if we make the playoffs. Do you guys think the defense can repeat there dominance in the 2nd Qtr till the last drive that Manning orchastrated or will it be the defense that we saw in the first Qtr and the end of the game?

The Broncos can absolutely beat the Colts in a rematch.

WolfpackGuy
12-15-2009, 09:40 AM
If there is a rematch, the offense better show up.

The defense looked like ass at the start of the game, but they shut down the Colts for two quarters.

If the Broncos pick up that 4th down in the first quarter, I think there's a different outcome.

Paladin
12-15-2009, 12:56 PM
The Broncos can absolutely beat the Colts in a rematch.

And better: The Colts know it. That is an important piece of the game......