Observations: Denver vs SD (17-3)

Good game. Here some of my observations afterwards:

  1. Broncos O did a good job accounting for the edge in the run game
    • The only concern that the Broncos really faced on offense were the edge players of SD. In the past, teams ran split zone versus them to account for them.
    • However, the Broncos decided to motion their TE into a condensed formation to crack the edge and give the runner a lane to run. This worked well today, although could have been better with better execution up front.
  2. DL was really effective today vs a battered up SD OL.
    • It was clear before the game who the better unit would be and the Broncos took advantage of a bum OL.
    • Rivers felt pressure all day and Wade Phillips, yet again, had a beat on the SD protections. He sent a lot of his stunts away from the center turn which forced the OL to become outnumbered on the man side.
    • I will expect future offenses to incorporate more slide protections and chips into their arsenal. This will take more players out of the passing game however so teams must be careful when they do it vs the Broncos D.
    • It also helps you out a lot when Von Miller is one of your edge rushers. He can create plays with his athleticism alone.
  3. Brock Osweiler’s clock is improving
    • One of the big problems with Osweilier’s game early was identifying his second read and throwing it to him on time. He had to do that in several instances this game and he did it well. Now it’s up to him to do it more consistently in the future.
    • He did however have some bad throws where the strike-point was off. He can fix these issues by improving his footwork and working on his clock like he has been.
  4. Defense is still vulnerable via match-up problem when the offense flexes their TE to a wide side.
    • As I have stated before, Wade Phillips can either stay pat with his current defensive setup and leave that match-up out there, or make adjustments to the rules of the defense to put a corner out there. He has decided to stay pat with his rules.
    • Opposing offenses that have a big body, athletic TE are going to continue to use this match-up to their advantage. Broncos have somewhat adjusted to it in their zone by sinking the backer towards the TE side and keeping a safety over the top. However, the Broncos need to find an answer when they are in man coverage.
  5. San Diego did a good job providing help to corners versus DT
    • In their Cover 1, the Chargers kept their single high safety shaded to DT’s side which prevented him from seeing the ball much late in the game.
    • When this happens, it’s important for the other receivers to win, ahem… Emmanuel Sanders, when they are one-on-one. If they get a one-on-one match-up, the mentality should be that they should win every time. I look forward to seeing if the Broncos WR’s develop their press releases further because if they do, I for see lots of explosive plays in the future.
  6. Broncos are still having troubles getting to the 2nd level of the run game.
    • Most of these runs are developing well. However, they still need to release off of the DL and get up to the backers.
    • Now, the SD defense did an okay job of commanding double teams versus the zone runs. With that being said, the Broncos run game still needs to improve and finish their blocks.
    • CJ Anderson, when he returns, can mitigate this issue by running like he does.
  7. Broncos have to continue to run Keepers (Movement passes) and Play Pass
    • If there is one thing the Broncos are absolutely great at running in the pass game it is a run fake with a cross over the middle of the field and a post as an advantage principal. Since their running game has taken off since the change at QB, they need more passes that put Osweiler on the run and allow the Broncos WR’s to attack the middle of the field behind the sucked-up LBs.
    • These will create a vertical stretch on the core of the defense.
    • Every team has this concept in their playbook. However, the Broncos have the personnel to run this very well. This should be a base concept by now.
  8. (EDIT) SD was consistent in what the Broncos would see. The Broncos recognize d it, and executed well.
    • SD ran the same concepts as they did vs previous opponents. They stayed pat by attacking defenses with their quick game and adjusted to the defense with the run.
    • As I was watching the game, I saw many of the same concepts and made a couple adjustments that allowed their backs to get open one-on-one vs the LB’s. Not only that, but they also attacked the Broncos man coverage efficiently which allowed them to get some explosives. It really doesn’t help though when you can’t get rushing yards vs the Broncos D and that’s exactly what the Broncos did.

What did you guys see? Feel free to comment below!

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I am a former film coordinator for a FCS school. Currently serving in the Navy. I was glad to be around the game of football and had the chance to learn from a lot of great people. I wouldn't be where I am without the gracious support of my family, coaches, assistants, players, and friends. I also greatly appreciate you guys who take the time to read my stuff and show genuine appreciation. It means a ton! You guys are awesome! Twitter Handle: @FBDubs