Whenever the Broncos get ready to play a new team, they are in some ways at a disadvantage from the outset because of the unorthodox style of offense that they run.
“One of the things that is a disadvantage for us is we don’t get to see a lot of people do what we do offensively, so we don’t really get to see how the opponent is going to play,” John Fox said. “Our players and coaches have done a good job adjusting to that early in the game.”
In the team’s last four wins, they have put up a total of 17 first quarter points compared to 31 fourth quarter points. Once the Broncos see how a defense is playing them, they adjust accordingly.
Against the 2-9 Vikings, the Broncos will face a team that is 9th against the rush, and 4th in sacks with 33 on the season. That does not bode well for an offense that saw their quarterback run for a league-record 22 times last week against San Diego. Tim Tebow had 67 yards that day, and he’s averaging 50.6 rushing yards per game.
“It’s almost in some ways like having a running back in the backfield because those numbers are the kind of numbers that we’d like to get for Adrian (Peterson) each week,” Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said.
Perhaps the best matchup of the game will be Tim Tebow vs. passing rushing giant Jared Allen. Allen is second in the league in sacks this year, and his main focus will be on containing Tebow.
“If I get a shot to hit the quarterback, I’m going to take it,” Allen said. “If the commissioner doesn’t like it and he fines me later, well that’s something I’ll deal with. My goal is to get the guys on the ground by any means necessary.”
Fox, Tebow, and the rest of the Broncos know that Allen will be gunning for their young
gunrun-slinger come Sunday.
“I’ve got great respect for what he’s accomplished, how he plays,” Fox said of Allen. “He has a big-time motor meaning he’s relentless in going about his business, and I think that’s why he’s been a very productive player in this league.”
Like in past games, the Broncos will have to adjust their offense on the fly, and they will likely have to adjust it because of the pressure coming from Allen.
“Just taking what they give us, seeing how they play against us, and going in there with a great game plan, but also being able to make sideline adjustments will be key,” Tebow said. “They’ve got a lot of great playmakers on defense, especially the front seven.”
The Vikings goal on defense? Well, that’s easy.
“We can’t keep them in the game,” Allen said. “We have to be successful against the option, we have to be successful in early downs.
If only executing it against the Broncos were that easy.
The gloves will be put on and the bell will ring for this heavy-weight bout. Tebow vs. Allen. Allen vs. Tebow. It’s a bare-knuckle kind of brawl to be highlighted by big-blows and giant jabs.
Ding, ding, ding.