Observations: Kansas City vs Denver (27-30)

Our program had a motto that we lived and died by throughout the year: W.I.N. This is also known as “What Is Next”. When going through adversity or coming out of a difficult loss, keep in mind that you can only control the events that happen after. The Broncos need to put the mistakes behind them and move forward if they are to have a shot at making the playoffs. A playoff berth is the goal going forward. Thinking any farther than that is a distraction.

A short disclaimer before I go forward: I do not know the workings of the Broncos organization. What the coaching staff decides to do going forward is more informed than I ever hope to be. These are merely suggestions and if they decide to go another route, I am sure they will have weighed the options and deemed that their way is better for the health of their team. They are qualified and apt, that is for sure.

Here are some things the Broncos coaching staff may or may not go over with their players and their staff tomorrow morning:

  1. The only unit that is expected to play perfectly (ST) was the most imperfect unit on the field.
    • There is no excuse to justify how bad the special teams unit played last night. From a holding penalty on Kayvon Webster, to the Norwood fumble on the punt, to the 7 men on the wrong side of the formation during a FG attempt, to the holding penalties by both Kapri Bibbs and another guy whom I can’t recall, to the god-awful fitting of the KOC unit when the Chiefs took it all the way to the house, it was a travesty how undisciplined the special teams unit played. All three units have to play cohesively and pick the other units up when they struggle and unfortunately, the defense could not pick up everyone.
    • It takes all three units to win consistently in the NFL where every team has talent and all teams are competitive. There are incredible exceptions to this rule and by incredible, I mean there are not a lot of examples to point to at all.
    • Unfair or not, the phrase “Perfection is the expectation!” is an apt phrase to describe how special teams need to perform. The Broncos special teams performed poorly in this regard and Joe DeCamillis will be cursing at the game film when he gets back to the office tomorrow morning. Expect his frustration to be expressed to his unit.
  2. The Broncos need a better answer for the Jam if they don’t trust Trevor Siemien to throw out of it. They also need an answer for Force. 
    • The Jam Front – A front that clogs up the middle of the OL so that it becomes impossible to run one back runs. Technically, it’s when three interior DL cover up the guards and the Center so that they can’t execute their run concepts. See below: 
    • Although the Chiefs were running a form of this to accommodate their 3-down (think 3-4) fronts, the concept was still the same. The Broncos were able to find some success running the I/S Split zone run where they bring a TE with the run which helped them get 8 yards on a 2nd and short. They also were able to make some big plays down the field when Siemien found an Emmanuel Sanders for two big plays. Other than that, the Chiefs were able to stop the run and halt drives especially in the first half of the game.
    • There are some great answers for the Jam. 1. Throw out of it 2. Run two back runs weak-side 3. Get one back runs to the perimeter ie. pin-and-pull O/S Zone. There some others out there, the Broncos must find them and make these adjustments work.
    • My second point is that the Broncos did not adjust for the force player often enough in their run game which held back the Broncos offensively. What is force? Force is the defender who is not a part of the front (DB’s) who comes up to help the run. The force player is usually the safety and if you can identify him, which you should either run away from him or throw over the top of him, you can take advantage of defenses aggressive nature, especially when you don’t have a reliable passing game.
  3. I also think the Broncos should install some pre-snap throws to take these defenders out of the box. 
    • At our school, we install a pre-snap throw on our runs to give our QB the option to throw it if he sees an advantage. The WR will run what we call a “Hang Loose”, which in essence is a hitch route, to occupy the cornerback covering him. If the corner is playing off the ball and giving our WR a lot of room, the Qb can throw to him and pick up easy yards. If the corner presses, the WR runs a fade and the QB can take a shot at the big play if he knows for sure that the offense will be outnumbered running the ball.
    • Green Bay also does this too and Aaron Rodgers is the best in the league at maximizing value of of these throws. Their offense picks up a lot of first downs and creates time of possession and keeps defenders out of the box.
    • Considering that defenses are more than happy to press the Bronco WRs in an effort to dare Trevor Siemien to throw over them whilst loading the box against the run, it would only help the Broncos if they were to give Trevor another option besides flipping the run / audibling to another run (you can hear this through the telecast because Trevor will yell “Can-Can” and they will run a run play 100% of the time after he snaps the ball).
  4. It took a team effort to lose that game. 
    • The objective of an Andy Reid offense is to kill clock by running the ball effectively and complete high-percentage throws to maximize drives and keep their offense on the field. The defense was able to hold the Chiefs down spectacularly in the first three quarters and through most of the fourth quarter. The only time they let the Chiefs operate at their own tempo was on the last drive of both the fourth quarter and overtime which became the ultimate difference maker in the game. The pass rush kept up the pressure, the DL pushed the pocket, the DBs covered well in the passing game, especially in man-to-man situations, and the LB’s fit very well in the run. Not a lot of explosives were given. It was shaping out to be a typical Bronco “grit-like” game until those last two drives by KC’s offense took place.
    • Which to be completely fair, the Bronco offense had too many three and outs which contributed to the fatigue of the defense and ST units. In order for the Broncos to win going forward, their offense has to be able to stay on the field longer and convert more punts into FG’s. “Score more points and you win more games” – John Madden.
  5. Gary Kubiak made an executive decision on that 62 yard FG with his gut and sometimes, it doesn’t work out.
    • A couple things to take into account here:
      1. Gary Kubiak wanted to play for the win, not tie.
      2. The only one who could have made the decision on the field whether to put the kicker in or not rested on his shoulders. That is part of the reason why he is the HC.
    • I think the decision he made was in retrospect the wrong decision to make. However, I would have made the same decision that he did. When you are in the middle of a playoff race in a tight division game, you play for the win, not the tie.
    • The only thing that I took issue with is that he didn’t consult his kicker before throwing him into the game. From reports from on-field guys, his stated max was 60 yards. Gary Kubiak sure did have a lot of confidence in his kicker but, the question I think was more important was whether the kicker had confidence in himself. That is the only kind of confidence that matters and it turns out, McManus didn’t have it.
  6. Trevor Siemien, undeniably, has the confidence to persist through adversity throughout a game and that cannot be appreciated enough.
    • When the game is on the line and you need to put your balls on the table, Trevor Siemien answered the call and it is not because of his physical ability nor is it his acumen. It is his unwavering belief in himself and coupled with his better than average physical abilities, I think he can have sustained success playing at this level.
    • Take for example his off the back-foot throw to a Bennie Fowler to put the Broncos up at the end of the fourth quarter. Or the runs he made to create and keep drives alive. That only happens if he doesn’t dwell on his mistakes and missed throws before the second half and keeps his composure to focus on What is Next.
    • Keep in mind that he is young. It takes time to develop and flourish in perhaps the most competitive league in sports.
    • Trevor threw the ball incredibly well in the second half when the Chiefs dared to throw over the top of them. He answered the call and it is a shame that his efforts resulted in a team loss at the end of the day.

Please leave me some thoughts below. Hope you all have a good day tomorrow.

Go Trump!

Just kidding. Hope that brightened up your day a bit.

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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