Denver Broncos gameplan execution against Lions was nearly perfect

The Denver Broncos offense sets the play during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Denver Broncos at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The Denver Broncos offense sets the play during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Denver Broncos at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

The Denver Broncos throttled the Detroit Lions on Sunday, and their gameplan to do so was nearly perfect, and a blueprint for the rest of the season.

On Sunday, the Denver Broncos embarrassed the Detroit Lions,  beating them 38-10 on what turned out to be a very special day.

Whether it was the moment of silence, the video tribute, the “DT” chants, or the players honoring his legacy with the “88” on the sideline, Sunday was a day that will be remembered forever within the Broncos organization.

Everything off the field was absolutely perfect, and the football on the field was pretty darn close.

The Denver Broncos are 7-6; they are firmly in the playoff mix with a huge game against the Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday.

With a win against the Bengals, Denver could very well slide in into the 7th and final seed in the AFC playoffs, and they’re going to need to win the next few games a certain way.

We know what the Broncos’ offense is and isn’t.  We know that Teddy Bridgewater generally can not play from behind.  We know that the offense cannot dial up 35 passing plays and expect to win.  And we also know that the Broncos’ offense boasts perhaps the strongest running back duo in the NFL in Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams.

If the Broncos want to stack a few more wins before the season ends, they’ll need to follow the gameplan that they just employed against the Lions.

I know the Lions are the worst team in the league, so it should come as no surprise that the Broncos offense was able to have their way–if they weren’t able to, we’d have bigger issues, but the team scored 38 points on offense, and even though it was against the Lions, it was still a very impressive offensive output.

You see, the Broncos typically only win one way.  This is in large part due to Teddy Bridgewater and his obvious limitations as a quarterback.  Teddy has been solid, and, frankly, Pat Shurmur has been able to get more out of Teddy than any other team the signal-caller has been on.

The Broncos win games by doing a few things.

First, they play solid defense.  Usually, if the team can hold the opponent to under 20 points, the offense will have a chance.

Secondly, the offense wins the time of possession battle.  The longer the Broncos’ offense holds the ball, the better chance they have at scoring more points.

Lastly, they run the ball more times than they pass the ball.  When the Broncos do this, they give themselves the best chance to win.  If the Broncos had an elite quarterback like Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson, the very opposite could be true.  But right now, Teddy Bridgewater is the quarterback, and the team needs to run the ball if they want to win games.

So, did the Broncos accomplish all of these things against the Lions?

The Broncos held the Lions to 316 total yards.  Jared Goff had 215 passing yards on 39 attempts, and the offense was only able to score 10 points.  The defense created multiple turnovers and sacked the quarterback.  By any measure, the defense had an exceptional game.

Did the Broncos win the time-of-possession battle? Yep.  They held the ball for 32:07, while the Lions held the ball for 27:53.  This is key if the Broncos want to win against more high-powered offenses, like the Bengals, Chargers, and Chiefs.

Did the Broncos run the ball more times than they passed the ball?  Teddy Bridgewater threw the ball 25 times, and the Broncos ran the ball 39 times.  Denver had 184 yards on the ground and 174 through the air.  While it may not look sexy, and our talented receivers may be limited, this is the formula to win games.

Other bonuses in this game that also greatly help outcomes is Denver only committing 2 penalties and not turning the ball over.

To get off-topic for a second, what has seemed to slip under the radar for the Broncos is the offense greatly limiting their giveaways.  The Broncos are +1 in the turnover battle this season.  Denver has the 10th fewest giveaways on the season.

Sunday against the Detroit Lions was a nearly perfect blueprint for the Denver Broncos.  With four games remaining, the team surely has to win two of them, but probably needs to win three if they want to clinch a playoff spot.