Analytics prove Denver Broncos need to be more aggressive in 2020
Looking at the Denver Broncos analytics, it is clear that the team needs to show more aggression going forward.
The Denver Broncos came close to winning a few extra games during the 2019 season. There were some things that just stopped that from happening.
There was a lack of aggression by the team and its rookie head coach.
It’s not that big of a surprise as first-time head coaches need to figure out what the best thing to do for the team is. It took the Broncos a long time to figure things out in 2019 but that is expected to change.
In a study by Hayden Winks, the Broncos come in at a disappointing 29th overall when it comes to aggressiveness.
Here are the specifics.
4th Down Aggressiveness: 29th
Pass Rate on Early Downs: 21st
Pass Rate While Trailing: 16th
Play-Action Rate: 20th
Downfield Pass Rate: 29th
Middle of the Field Pass Rate: 22nd
Pre-Snap Motion Percentage: 8th
Outside Run Rate: 12th
Shotgun Run Rate: 22nd
Offensive Pace: 20th
You can read what Wink had to say here.
On third downs, the Broncos converted just 31.68 percent, which was good for 30th in the entire league. They converted 64-of-202 third downs.
Their down-field pass rate in 2019 was disappointing but not extremely surprising as they went with three separate quarterbacks throughout the season. I fully anticipate them to get a lot better in that department with Drew Lock at the helm. While the New York Giants weren’t great at that part of the game, they were still better than Denver. (Pat Shurmur, now the Broncos offensive coordinator, was New York’s head coach in 2019).
On fourth down, the Broncos converted 11-of-16. That is great. But looking at the stats shown by Wink, going for it on fourth down that many times apparently is not aggressive enough.
With Shurmur, there just may be more fourth-down attempts. The Giants converted 14-of-31 in 2019, good for eighth place.
As for play-action, there are many factors that go into it. Defenses need to show the right coverages for it to work, and it needs to be practiced a lot.
The Broncos are going to need to be more aggressive going forward, especially when it comes to beating tough teams such as the division rival Kansas City Chiefs. It is a must.
This offense should be fascinating to watch. With the additions of Melvin Gordon, Jerry Jeudy, and K.J. Hamler, and the return of the other young weapons, we could see a lot more aggression by the Broncos in 2020. Hopefully, that will lead to more victories and a playoff birth.