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Are Broncos Different under Del Rio?

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  • Are Broncos Different under Del Rio?

    I saw a thread about DEN appearing to coast against KC on SUN night and it made me think overall about DEN playing under Del Rio the last 2 weeks. DEN has gotten out to a great head start over 2 division rivals that they have to play again the last 2 weeks. They have had some protection issues and Peyton Manning has a bad ankle to plant and drive the ball downfield. They have lost their Head coach to heart issues. So, what has changed exactly and can you quantify it or is it only Qualitative in nature?

    1. DEN got out to early first half leads and was extremely efficient turning drives into points in both first halves. DEN is number one in offensive points per possession, but they had been a much better second half points team than first half before. They are also number one in Drive Success Rate (DSR)getting a first down or touchdown on almost 80% of their drives to date before this game against KC.

    2. DEN is 23rd in TOP per drive, despite being highly successful at getting more downs to work. This is due to their high tempo design and trying to keep the defense simple and tired for advantage. When they are effective on their drives this tempo correlates to Points scored highly.

    3. Against SD, DEN had 5 first half drives that ended in 21 points. Damn efficient and had a DSR of 80%. Their TOP was only 7:31 to 22:29 for SD! SD held the ball almost three times longer but trailed 21-6 at the half. In the second half, they scored on the opening possession to take a 28 to 6 lead in only 4 plays for 3:26 seconds! After that, DEN's strategy definitely changed on offense as they drastically slowed the tempo and tried to shorten the game. They did not score another point in the contest. Remember, their high tempo highly correlates to points scored....

    4. Against KC, DEN had 6 first half possessions scoring 2 TD's and getting a FG for a 17 point effort. Remember KC is also the top Defense in DSR and points per drive! DEN had 5/6 DSR in the first half and only one 3 and out while keeping the TOP even due to KC's inept offensive effort more than trying to hold the ball more. They struggled more in the third Quarter than they have previously but still had a 3/4 DSR and missing several makeable plays and taking penalties. Here is a simple break down of that third quarter:

    A. They missed Julius Thomas on the first play of the second half running solo up the seam. Rare Manning Misread.
    B. Then Julius missed a catchable throw turning around late on a back shoulder throw from Manning. Three and out without a first down on 2 missed plays.
    C. Next drive, two nice runs by Moreno for a first down but then a bad hold on third down and 9 negates a huge play for Welker. The ensuing 3rd an 19 was just don't turn the ball over. (NOTE: The bad hold was ok IMHO. Do not let Peyton get hit because you failed to pick up the stunt in that situation. However, Peyton had already let go of the ball for a big play before he really held Johnson!)
    D. Third drive and they pick up a first down only to screw up 2 blitz reads and leave Peyton with 2 bad throws due to mix ups. Andre Caldwell or Julius Thomas blew a blitz read on third down and it was Caldwell's guy who hurt Julius due to the mix up. My money is on Caldwell here but that hurt literally and JT barely played again.
    E. Finally, the Scoring drive in the third Quarter. They were still playing high tempo here and trying to create distance as it was only a TD game at this point. DEN runs the ball for a solid first down and then starts attacking the aggressive man under defense with crossers. KC switches to Zone and Peyton Dumps one out to Ball for 6 yards. KC backs off again trying to bend but not break here, but the threat of DT on a slant takes Cooper inside and sets the edge for Ball to walk in the endzone untouched!

    5. The fourth Quarter with a lead of 2 TD's DEN keeps up tempo for the FG drive. They keep running Crossers against any tight man under coverages and Decker looks like Welker in the slot catching one for 17 yards untouched again just like the previous drive. (NOTE: If Welker misses the NE game, Decker will play the Slot and DEN will not miss much production from there IMHO. Maybe a good Podcast question to explore as well) Peyton then misses a Wide open Caldwell who torches Cooper as Bad as DT had earlier on his 70 yard TD reception on the exact same route. Next play Peyton hits a wide open Montee Ball on a short under route and he picks up a first down.

    6. Now DEN slows the tempo once they are inside FG range. Peyton Sets quickly, but slows the tempo taking all the time available off the clock knowing it will soon be a three score game for KC and inside of eight minutes left. Interestingly, they snap the ball earlier on second and 9 and go to the DT screen play that scores almost every time when executed right into the other team blitz. KC does Blitz, but unfortunately, the WR's are late to react, almost like they expect Peyton to run it down to almost zero like he had the previous couple of plays, and the play looks like a JV team trying to execute. That was a missed TD IMHO because KC was blocked and there was a huge seam for DT to exploit. They get 8 yards on a quick out with Welker and then run the clock and try and draw an offside penalty on 4th and one. DEN really does not start to coast until after they kick the FG and go up 17 points.

    7. In reality, DEN coasted a lot more against SD than they did KC the other night, because they held a bigger lead early and started trying to run the clock more. DEN just shot themselves in the foot more with poor execution in the second half against KC and still played up tempo until the game was well over. Once they had the 17 point lead, they traded time and tempo for trying to score points. The best part of this was not the offenses change but the Defense playing much better against SD and KC than they had to date. Allowing DEN some space at the end of both of those games, while the Offense was still successful just not trying to score as much and really taking their foot off the gas and trusting their defense.

    8. That leads to the Del Rio Broncos. Are they more conservative with him at the helm? No. They actually have been a better first half team and not relied on scoring a lot of second half points to take teams out. The defense has been a lot more stout, playing so much better per drive in yards and points allowed the last 2 weeks. I think, and this is IMHO, that the defense has been more focused and productive the last few weeks. What really hurt DEN were the injuries that forced miscommunication from the safeties and stupid penalties. Stuff that can and will be corrected for next week against NE.

    All in all, I really like where DEN is sitting going to NE. NE's CB's are banged up and Talib is most likely to get a suspension from the league for his antics against Steve Smith last night. That plus being minus Steve Gregory at safety means their defense will NOT be able to even attempt playing Tight man under or Cover three against DEN next week. God help them if they try and play zone! Well don't help them too much

  • #2
    Nice post.

    I suggest Del Rio for first half HC, then Fox takes over at HT. Success!!

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    • #3
      Nice post.

      Really hard to quantify what is due to Del Rio, what might have been Fox's input prior to him stepping down temporarily as HC, and what effect Miller and a healthier D has at this point in the year. I think ultimately your point is that the Broncos are simply doing what they need to do to win games.

      The O clearly tried to eat up as much game clock as they could in the second half against SD. Some of that carried over to the latter portion of the Chiefs game as well, but was supplemented with more Manning protection.

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      • #4
        Great post. It really is the "three score strategy." Way to quantify it.

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        • #5
          Del Rio knows his place and doesn't step on Payed-a-Ton's toes.

          I doubt he'll stand there and argue with Manning over a 4th and 1.5 decision...

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          • #6
            I wouldn't necessarily say that the difference is due to Del Rio. We just don't know because we didn't start games earlier in the year with leads, we were often close/behind at half. Now we are executing in the first half better, and that allows us to coast/work the clock - probably what Fox/Gase/Del Rio had designed into the system.

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            • #7
              The other thing to note here is DEN ate up KC's defense at will, when they did not shoot themselves in the foot. DEN's DSR was 10/12 or .833 when they were trying to pick up a first down. That is HIGHER than their .792% DSR coming into the game. KC was only giving up .592% coming into the game.

              KC's points per drive was a terrific .96 coming into the game, but was at 2.25 per drive for this game. DEN's was 3.16 coming into the game. And, it was very clear the points DEN left on the field and simply quit trying to get late in the game in order to win.

              All that with KC having a bye week to prepare for DEN as well....

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ColoradoDarin View Post
                I wouldn't necessarily say that the difference is due to Del Rio. We just don't know because we didn't start games earlier in the year with leads, we were often close/behind at half. Now we are executing in the first half better, and that allows us to coast/work the clock - probably what Fox/Gase/Del Rio had designed into the system.
                I am not arguing that anything IS different under Del Rio. However, DEN has scored 15 points under their average the last 2 games and scored 3 points in the fourth quarter after leading the NFL in fourth quarter Points to date.

                What I am trying to set up here, is the How and Why. Wins is the name of the game and what matters. However, there are plenty of people who want DEN to annihilate teams simply because they can.

                The difference under Del Rio is merely situational and also very encouraging going forward. DEN's Defense has showed up very strong the last 2 weeks, despite Del Rio having to take time to be the head coach. That can seriously hurt a Defensive gameplan or execution. That has NOT been the case at all. What is encouraging is the offense's ability to continue to perform at an excellent level despite scoring more than 2 TD's less per game. And, the defense getting to force teams to be one dimensional with a large lead.

                The fact is DEN is actually performing as well or better under Del Rio right now, despite the huge fantasy Football numbers they have been putting up. They are playing smart, situational football. Something they did not do in the playoffs last year, and something they struggled to do on defense earlier in the year.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mediator12 View Post
                  I am not arguing that anything IS different under Del Rio. However, DEN has scored 15 points under their average the last 2 games and scored 3 points in the fourth quarter after leading the NFL in fourth quarter Points to date.

                  What I am trying to set up here, is the How and Why. Wins is the name of the game and what matters. However, there are plenty of people who want DEN to annihilate teams simply because they can.

                  The difference under Del Rio is merely situational and also very encouraging going forward. DEN's Defense has showed up very strong the last 2 weeks, despite Del Rio having to take time to be the head coach. That can seriously hurt a Defensive gameplan or execution. That has NOT been the case at all. What is encouraging is the offense's ability to continue to perform at an excellent level despite scoring more than 2 TD's less per game. And, the defense getting to force teams to be one dimensional with a large lead.

                  The fact is DEN is actually performing as well or better under Del Rio right now, despite the huge fantasy Football numbers they have been putting up. They are playing smart, situational football. Something they did not do in the playoffs last year, and something they struggled to do on defense earlier in the year.
                  Yeah, I'm not disagreeing, just adding that we didn't fully execute on O in the first couple of games (especially Balt and NYG) in the first half to know if we would have coasted in those.

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                  • #10
                    Peyton's ankle is different under Del Rio.

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                    • #11
                      They both are the same in one thing...
                      When having a lead going into the 4th qtr they love to play not to lose.
                      One of these day we're going to get bitten in the ass...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by strafen View Post
                        They both are the same in one thing...
                        When having a lead going into the 4th qtr they love to play not to lose.
                        One of these day we're going to get bitten in the ass...
                        We've been one of the best second half teams in the league. Where are you getting this?

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                        • #13
                          The 3 score lead and slow it down strategy works against teams like KC and SD, and most of the NFL.

                          Brady and the Pats can get hot so quickly, that this week I think you'll see us go back to a go all out Offense until there is NO chance for a come back at all. Late 4th qtr.

                          Gronk and the Pats quick run game will be a test, especially with Moore out and the secondary in flux. Last team with the ball may be the winner in what could be a shoot out. But Our D is playing better the last few weeks and that needs to continue.

                          I hope Holliday can finally get some mojo going this week. STs may be the decider in this game.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TheReverend View Post
                            you're just a attention grabbing whore!

                            great write up.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by strafen View Post
                              They both are the same in one thing...
                              When having a lead going into the 4th qtr they love to play not to lose.
                              One of these day we're going to get bitten in the ass...
                              I'd rather run the ball, protect the large lead, and reduce the amount of opportunities for teams to hit our QB.

                              It's not like they are protecting 4-7 point leads, these are leads that would take 2-3 scores to get back into the game kind of leads.

                              Comment

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