Denver Broncos Calling On The Atlanta Falcons’ Blitz


Peyton Manning directs his team during the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE)

When the Denver Broncos huddled against the Pittsburgh Steelers in week one, they went 46 yards in three drives. When they went to the no-huddle, the went 240 yards for two touchdowns in three drives.

Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy isn’t giving all of the credit to the no-huddle as the reason why the Broncos offense finally got off the ground.

“Number one, protection was better,” McCoy said. “We started out early in the game, we had a few protection break downs, and really when you go back and look at the film, we stopped ourselves early in the game. We made a few adjustments on the sideline, settled everyone down and the rest was history.”

The rest was record setting history as Peyton Manning became just the third quarterback to throw 400 career touchdowns.

Helping Manning in his debut wasn’t just his own teammates. It was his own ability to turn the blitz into the Steelers’ kryptonite. When the Steelers rushed five or more players, Manning went 9-for-11 for 152 yards.

“I look at it as it’s an opportunity for a big play,” McCoy said of the blitz.

Like the Steelers, the Atlanta Falcons can throw a lot of different looks out there, especially with John Abraham being the primary threat. He had 9.5 sacks last season and a career-high 16.5 sacks in 2008. During his 12 year career, he’s had 9 or more sacks eight times.

“I think Abraham gives you a lot of flexibility in what they can do in the pass rush, and then their secondary is so active, they can play a lot of different coverages,” Manning said. “They’re just sound overall.”

The Falcons may have given up a lot of yards to the Kansas City Chiefs in week one (393 yards), but no one is reading into that, especially Manning and McCoy.

The Broncos could go no-huddle from the start, and based on last week’s result, fans will have something to cheer about early on.