Following a game in which the Broncos’ run-to-pass ratio was about 85-to-15 percent, you would probably think their game plan was anything but creative. It appears to have simply been, run (and then run again and again and again).
But it’s the way Denver ran the ball on Sunday that impressed me. The Broncos’ offensive line flat out man handled Kansas City’s defensive line (blowing the Chief’s off of the line of scrimmage), allowing Denver to play power football.
The Broncos coaching staff prepared Denver’s offense and helped them keep Kansas City’s defense on their toes by mixing in creative plays with power plays, resulting in Denver running the ball down KC’s throat. About fourteen minutes into the first quarter, the Broncos ran a triple option play — a common play at the collegiate level that is rarely seen in the NFL.
On the play, which is a variation of Denver’s zone read run, quarterback Tim Tebow faked to running back Lance Ball and attacked the line of scrimmage before pitching the ball out to explosive receiver Eddie Royal. Eleven yards later, Royal had given Denver another first down.
Royal carried the ball three times when it was all said and done, filling a role similar to what Vikings’ receiver Percy Harvin had while at Florida with Tebow. Later in the game, the Broncos ran a passing triple option play — a shovel pass to Royal (which fell incomplete).
Three weeks after I pleaded with Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy to be more creative with the offense and throw out the Kyle Orton playbook, the Broncos have rushed for 543 yards in their past two games. Denver’s dominating rushing attack was on full display two weeks ago when the Broncos rode their zone read option run against Oakland on the way to 299 rushing yards.
My request for some option running plays seems to have worked, now I have another for McCoy and coach John Fox. Give Tebow an opportunity to throw on some play action plays and throw in some bootlegs. Denver ran a bootleg play last preseason that Tebow executed perfectly, why not bring it back?
The Broncos coaching staff has done a great job the past two weeks in running an offense tailored to fit the weapons they have to work with. The offense has evolved a little each week and the zone read run has seen variations in back-to-back games. It will be interesting to see if the Broncos offense can keep rolling against the Jets this week.