Denver Broncos: Offensive gameplan altered against Patriots?
The Denver Broncos have been without offensive coordinator Rick Dennison this week, so will Gary Kubiak adjust the playcalling responsibilities?
The Denver Broncos have never been so desperate for a balanced offensive attack as they are this weekend against the New England Patriots.
Coming off of a performance against the Tennessee Titans in which they scored only 10 points, the Broncos are searching for continuity in some way, shape, or form from any facet of the offense.
This is a team that leads the NFL in three-and-outs, a vast difference from a team in 2013 that had five different players with 10 or more touchdowns.
But the Broncos are now a team that wins primarily with defense and timely offense, and that simply can’t be relied upon with so much at stake in the final three games of the season. This week against the Patriots, the Broncos need balance. They can’t win games carrying the ball nine times. They can’t win turning the ball over and hurting themselves.
This Broncos team is trying to beat Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots for a third straight time, and the third game with a different quarterback.
Whatever the reasons, offensive coordinator Rick Dennison was communicating with Gary Kubiak and Gregg Knapp (quarterbacks coach) from a distance this week. The offensive game planning has been in the control of the head coach and quarterbacks coach, and Dennison has merely been informed of what’s going on, per Kubiak.
“It’s (play-calling) just been more elevated between me and ‘Knapper.’ ‘Rico’ is up to date on what’s going on and how we set our plan and how we plan on doing things. We’ve met every night even though he’s not here, just physically not here.”
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One major area of concern, at least from my perspective this season, has been who is in charge of playcalling for the Broncos. It hasn’t been consistent all season. Actually, you could say that it has been consistent, but in perhaps the worst way possible.
The Broncos are one of the worst starting teams in the NFL this season. They are also one of the best finishing teams in the league. They are doing everything backwards by trying to be conservative to start games, waiting to be aggressive until it’s almost too late.
There has been no real ‘groove’ if you will to this unit in 2016, and that has been frustrating to watch. There’s nothing more frustrating than failed third downs. There’s nothing worse than seeing Riley Dixon trot out onto the field when the play isn’t an extra point.
No offense, Riley…
It could be argued the Broncos simply don’t have the personnel to be effective on offense on a consistent basis, but with the spurts we’ve seen at times this season, we know that is simply not the case. The man — or men — in charge of calling plays have to be better, and many would argue that Rick Dennison (if he’s primarily in charge of calling plays) has been a big reason why the Broncos have struggled early in games.
With Kubiak and Knapp putting together this week’s offensive gameplan, it will be interesting to see how the Broncos approach the Patriots, who don’t do anything overwhelmingly ‘great’ defensively. They are always well-coached, and they have a couple of really good defensive backs in Malcolm Butler and Devin McCourty. Outside of that?
The Patriots just have guys who play really well in their system. The Broncos have to find ways to exploit them on defense if they are going to outscore such a talented offense.