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bloodsunday
01-04-2010, 02:56 PM
Games 1 - 6:
Averaged 130 YPG rushing
Allowed 80.83 YPG rushing

Games 7 - 16:
Averaged 104 YPG rushing
Allowed 158.1 YPG rushing

Denver won 2 games all year where they were out rushed by their opponent (NE and Cincy) and both games were by a combined 18 yards.

Denver won every game in which they allowed less than 100 yards rushing.

Denver allowed 80 YPG rushing in the games they won.

Denver averaged 147 YPG rushing in the games they won.

Denver allowed 179 YPG rushing in the games they lost.

Denver averaged 82 YPG rushing in the games they lost.

Neither Kyle Orton, Jay Cutler, or Peyton Manning himself could overcome 158 YPG rushing against you.

The 2nd half of the season was interesting because it contained two monster reversals (Oakland and KC) in which Denver DOMINATED the line of scrimmage in game 1 and got dominated in game 2. Both games at home.

Does anyone else see a pattern here?

oubronco
01-04-2010, 02:58 PM
Yes they faded down the stretch nothing new

bloodsunday
01-04-2010, 03:10 PM
Yes they faded down the stretch nothing new

That's the simple way to look at it.

They continued one critical trend from the Mike Shanahan era -- they lost at the line of scrimmage far too often. As I have been saying since I joined the Mane, Mike Shanahan preferred to build teams with skill position players and always put DL and OL second, particularly in his drafts. He felt we could get by with the ZBS and underrated, smaller OL. That was true between the 20's but we have struggled to run in the redzone -- where execution matters more than scheme -- for years.

It should not be all that surprising that we could not change that in one year. Team like NE, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Philly have drafted to build their teams from the line of scrimmage out for years. They invest heavily in guys to play in the trenches -- their own guys.

It also should not be surprising if you see 2 or 3 starters change on each side of the ball next year. On defense that will likely be 2 - 3 guys in the entire front 7.

I have heard McDaniels comment on us losing the line of scrimmage (and NOT blaming the backs) for several weeks now. It gives me hope that he is paying attention to the real problem this team faces (not Orton and not Moreno).

oubronco
01-04-2010, 03:14 PM
Shanny always got his o-line and they performed well but for some reason ignored the d-line way too much

PRBronco
01-04-2010, 03:17 PM
It's weird, did they pore (or is it pour?) over video for weeks trying to figure out how to "solve" the vaunted Ryan McBean and Kenny Peterson? Did our guys just get worn down?

bloodsunday
01-04-2010, 03:18 PM
Shanny always got his o-line and they performed well but for some reason ignored the d-line way too much

That's not true at all. Once you got beyond the Super Bowl teams in which he brought in his best talent through FA/trade (Jones, Zimmerman, Habib, Stink), he continually drafted late round picks on the OL. He took George Foster after a deal to move back fell through.

The ZBS was a good scheme between the 20's. But it FAILED in the red zone later in Shanny's tenure here because the overall talent level at OL deteriorated. Announcers that bounce around week to week fell in love with the fact that Denver always amassed a lot of yards and a lot of 1000 yd backs, but rarely looked at the quality of those yards. Could Denver get them when the needed them? Not often.

2KBack
01-04-2010, 03:29 PM
That's not true at all. Once you got beyond the Super Bowl teams in which he brought in his best talent through FA/trade (Jones, Zimmerman, Habib, Stink), he continually drafted late round picks on the OL. He took George Foster after a deal to move back fell through.

The ZBS was a good scheme between the 20's. But it FAILED in the red zone later in Shanny's tenure here because the overall talent level at OL deteriorated. Announcers that bounce around week to week fell in love with the fact that Denver always amassed a lot of yards and a lot of 1000 yd backs, but rarely looked at the quality of those yards. Could Denver get them when the needed them? Not often.

Habib and Zimmerman were actually Wade aquisitions

kappys
01-05-2010, 07:29 AM
That's not true at all. Once you got beyond the Super Bowl teams in which he brought in his best talent through FA/trade (Jones, Zimmerman, Habib, Stink), he continually drafted late round picks on the OL. He took George Foster after a deal to move back fell through.

The ZBS was a good scheme between the 20's. But it FAILED in the red zone later in Shanny's tenure here because the overall talent level at OL deteriorated. Announcers that bounce around week to week fell in love with the fact that Denver always amassed a lot of yards and a lot of 1000 yd backs, but rarely looked at the quality of those yards. Could Denver get them when the needed them? Not often.

Its unfair to compare almost any offense to the 97/98 Broncos which featured a HOF QB/LT/TE/RB(barring injury); along with 2 PB WR's and smattering of other PB's at FB and along the O-line.

There's a reason why we simply decimated teams those years. Hopefully we'll see another Broncos team with that kind of talent level one day but I won't be holding my breath.

BroncoBuff
01-05-2010, 07:32 AM
Yes they faded down the stretch nothing new

"Faded" is far too kind ... I'd say they "crashed and burned" down the stretch.

jhns
01-05-2010, 07:37 AM
"Faded" is far too kind ... I'd say they "crashed and burned" down the stretch.

It is starting to be a tradition.

Cito Pelon
01-05-2010, 09:28 AM
Yes, the record would have been 10-11 wins I think without the problems detailed in the OP.

Florida_Bronco
01-05-2010, 09:31 AM
Coincidentally, week 7 (our first loss) is the game where we lost Ryan Harris and where it became apparent that Ben Hamilton had lost it.

Drek said this in another thread, and I think he's dead on. Baltimore exposed us and everyone else saw how to beat us.

Jason in LA
01-05-2010, 09:32 AM
Goes to show that football is still really about who runs the ball better.

TonyR
01-05-2010, 09:51 AM
...down the stretch.

The decline started well before "the stretch". It started after the bye. Med has made some good posts on some possible reasons for this.

snowspot66
01-05-2010, 10:07 AM
Its unfair to compare almost any offense to the 97/98 Broncos which featured a HOF QB/LT/TE/RB(barring injury); along with 2 PB WR's and smattering of other PB's at FB and along the O-line.

There's a reason why we simply decimated teams those years. Hopefully we'll see another Broncos team with that kind of talent level one day but I won't be holding my breath.

I disagree that it's an unfair comparison. Those teams were so successful because they had that talent. The teams of the past decade don't and because of that we can't afford to be small. We get dominated because we don't have any HoF guys beating the hell out of people.

tsiguy96
01-05-2010, 10:11 AM
the defense did lose a lot of games this year. oakland, we had a shot in philly and colts games, KC was a disaster for both sides.

all in all, the defense got destroyed if teams knew how to beat it. thats where lack of talent came in, mcd and nolan did a great job of covering it up as well as they could for as long as they could.

Drek
01-05-2010, 11:51 AM
It is starting to be a tradition.

Its a tradition for any team with massive weaknesses on the lines.

Good coaching can mask weaknesses for a while, but ultimately teams figure you out and your guys simply need to beat their guys.

Shanahan was great at hiding our OL weaknesses. Hell, in 2005 he hid those weaknesses right up until the AFCC, when a bigger, more powerful team exposed them.

McDaniels was very good (not great at either one) at hiding both the OL and DL issues for the first six weeks. Then we played two bigger, more powerful lines both with power football traditions (Baltimore and Pittsburgh). We got exposed there and from then on every team had the book on how to beat us.

It isn't a late season collapse that we're seeing. Its great coaching masking serious deficiencies as long as possible, until it gets figured out by other teams. Mike Shanahan is a great X's and O's coach. Josh McDaniels produced the same record Shanahan has averaged for the last three years with generally similar talent against a tougher schedule. To me that says McDaniels was definitely doing something right in regards to his game plan.

We'd probably have been a four or five win team if we had a mediocre game planning coach any of the last four years with no tendencies of a late season slide, just a whole lot of suck.

I've generally liked McDaniels' first season, but the real questions start to get answered this off-season. Last off-season you could pick plenty of issues that needed fixing and McDaniels did a very good job at it. But getting to pick your battle versus winning the fight forced upon you are two different things. He needs to show this off-season that he 1. understands the massive OL and DL weaknesses we have on this team and 2. that he can address them successfully without wasting a ton of resources along the way.

MplsBronco
01-05-2010, 12:14 PM
This o-lne has been soft for YEARS. I want a power o-line that can dominate in the redzone. I believe the reason we saw McD stubbornly turn to the run on 3rd and short is that he is trying to instill a mindset with this team, an attitude, an identity. And that identity is of a power run game. What we saw is that we don't have the players for this, yet, and perhaps McD was using this season to further evaluate the talent on this team and who fits the mold of the player he wants on this team.

yavoon
01-05-2010, 12:15 PM
Goes to show that football is still really about who runs the ball better.

which is of course why indy and new orleans are at the 1 seeds and the jets squeaked into the playoffs.

football has never been less about who can run the ball.

MplsBronco
01-05-2010, 12:16 PM
which is of course why indy and new orleans are at the 1 seeds and the jets squeaked into the playoffs.

football has never been less about who can run the ball.

Let's see who wins it all, shall we? My bets are that it won't be neither the Saints nor the Colts.

Bob's your Information Minister
01-05-2010, 12:17 PM
Let's see who wins it all, shall we? My bets are that it won't be neither the Saints nor the Colts.

Last year the Super Bowl featured two teams who couldn't run for ****.

TonyR
01-05-2010, 12:24 PM
which is of course why indy and new orleans are at the 1 seeds and the jets squeaked into the playoffs.

football has never been less about who can run the ball.

The Saints were 6th in the league in rushing, the Jets 1st. Indy was last but they have some guy named Peyton Manning at QB.

TonyR
01-05-2010, 12:26 PM
Last year the Super Bowl featured two teams who couldn't run for ****.

But Pit was #2 in rushing defense.

yavoon
01-05-2010, 12:28 PM
Let's see who wins it all, shall we? My bets are that it won't be neither the Saints nor the Colts.

the colts already have a superbowl victory. so do the bucs and pats with mediocre run games. also the rams.

here are the top 5 rushing teams in the NFL.
1.jets squeaked in
2.titans no playoffs
3.panthers no playoffs
4.dolphins no playoffs
5.ravens squeaked in

interestingly the saints are #6.

here are the top 5 passing teams

1.texans no playoffs
2.colts #1 seed
3.patriots division winner
4.saints #1 seed
5.chargers #2 seed

Drek
01-05-2010, 12:32 PM
It's weird, did they pore (or is it pour?) over video for weeks trying to figure out how to "solve" the vaunted Ryan McBean and Kenny Peterson? Did our guys just get worn down?

The weekly game plans masked their weaknesses and accentuated their positives.

After six weeks of that we had to play a big, powerful OL coming off a bye week. As a result they got manhandled. Same thing happened the week after that.

Same as what happened to the OL. The schemes masked the interior weaknesses for a while. When good defenses with capable personnel had time to adjust they keyed in on how we where hiding them it was over. Too late for a overhaul of how the team is doing things, too late to get new personnel, you just have to hope that your players find something extra in the tank, which neither of our lines did.

jhns
01-05-2010, 12:54 PM
He needs to show this off-season that he 1. understands the massive OL and DL weaknesses we have on this team and 2. that he can address them successfully without wasting a ton of resources along the way.

I agree with all of your post. I wouldn't care if it took a lot of resources to fix these issues as long as they get fixed soon. We have very good offensive skill players and a very good defensive secondary. I think we could compete for a SB next year if we found a way to fix LG, C, QB, and a few playmakers on the front 7 (it is hard to say who the weakest links are, we may need to upgrade the talent at most front 7 positions or just get a couple of playmakers and better depth).

Drek
01-05-2010, 01:43 PM
I agree with all of your post. I wouldn't care if it took a lot of resources to fix these issues as long as they get fixed soon. We have very good offensive skill players and a very good defensive secondary. I think we could compete for a SB next year if we found a way to fix LG, C, QB, and a few playmakers on the front 7 (it is hard to say who the weakest links are, we may need to upgrade the talent at most front 7 positions or just get a couple of playmakers and better depth).

What I mean by wasting a ton of resources along the way is what Shanahan did with the CB position for several years. Draft pick after draft pick until he eventually traded Portis for Champ and spent two 2nds and a 3rd on three CBs in the same draft. The Willie Middlebrooks of the world destroy your chances of contending.

I don't see Moreno or Ayers as lost resources that some here try to frame them as for this very reason. Would I have liked them to be more productive? Sure. But as rookies both of them where on the field and competing at a league average or better level every Sunday. There is a baseline of return on investment we will get out of them, and potential for them to do a lot more.

Drafting multiple busts before finding a real solution, no matter how good that solution might be, kills your team depth. This is why Shanahan spent much of his post-Elway tenure here filling the back of the depth chart with retread veterans. His draft picks were either good players or they washed out of the league, almost no solid backups and depth guys in those years. That hurts in two ways. First, your team is older and less athletic, hurting you on special teams and giving you fewer chances of finding a breakout diamond in the rough when injury strikes. Second, you're paying vet minimum for your 2nd and 3rd stringers instead of mid to late round rookie contracts and that restricts your cap flexibility that needs to be spent on premium talent.

We're making a move now to fix that with McDaniels. He has the right mindset at least in that regard. The big question is if he can deliver the drafts and FA signings to make it a reality.

bloodsunday
01-06-2010, 10:35 AM
Its unfair to compare almost any offense to the 97/98 Broncos which featured a HOF QB/LT/TE/RB(barring injury); along with 2 PB WR's and smattering of other PB's at FB and along the O-line.

There's a reason why we simply decimated teams those years. Hopefully we'll see another Broncos team with that kind of talent level one day but I won't be holding my breath.

I'm not really focused on comparing more than trying to destroy a myth. Shanahan built his reputation on those couple of years -- as a HC in general, as a "mastermind", and as a genius at finding ways to run the ball. And frankly he was never able to repeat that success. Yes Denver continued to put hollow stats in the run game, but we were never as effective as Shanahan was given credit for.

bloodsunday
01-06-2010, 10:37 AM
Last year the Super Bowl featured two teams who couldn't run for ****.

Aaah, but the Steeler's have a pretty good QB (something Denver doesn't), and they are the best defense year in and year out at stopping the run.

bloodsunday
01-06-2010, 10:38 AM
The Saints were 6th in the league in rushing, the Jets 1st. Indy was last but they have some guy named Peyton Manning at QB.

Rep. Exactly. You can overcome with a guy like Petyon. We once had a guy named Elway. But how often do those guys come around?

bloodsunday
01-06-2010, 10:42 AM
the colts already have a superbowl victory. so do the bucs and pats with mediocre run games. also the rams.

here are the top 5 rushing teams in the NFL.
1.jets squeaked in
2.titans no playoffs
3.panthers no playoffs
4.dolphins no playoffs
5.ravens squeaked in

interestingly the saints are #6.

here are the top 5 passing teams

1.texans no playoffs
2.colts #1 seed
3.patriots division winner
4.saints #1 seed
5.chargers #2 seed

This is a massive misnomer for serveral reasons. First of all look at the QBs on the teams. The three best rushing teams that missed the playoffs struggled with injury and inconsistency at QB all year -- they had to rush it. And despite their issues at QB, all 3 were dangerous teams the tend of the year, several nearly made it. Secondly, it's only have the equation. How well did the defenses of the playoff teams stop the run?

Pick Six
01-06-2010, 10:49 AM
Coincidentally, week 7 (our first loss) is the game where we lost Ryan Harris and where it became apparent that Ben Hamilton had lost it.

Drek said this in another thread, and I think he's dead on. Baltimore exposed us and everyone else saw how to beat us.

The Baltimore game was also when Dumervil's per-game numbers started to slide downward...