What can the Broncos learn from the Super Bowl teams?
The Denver Broncos will once again be watching this year’s Super Bowl from the comfort of their own homes. The Broncos need to get back to glory, and what better way to learn than from the teams in this year’s title game?
The Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals are our Super Bowl teams this year. Both these teams have gotten to this game by incorporating similar philosophies, but differ in how those philosophies were built.
The Bengals are a feisty, youth-filled team with a 2nd-year star in Joe Burrow under center. While the Rams brought in many seasoned, dominant veterans to help build their roster and compete for the championship led by QB Matthew Stafford.
Both are different, both can be learned from, both win.
Lessons the Broncos can learn from the Super Bowl Rams and Bengals
1. Quarterback is everything
The most important position in sports. And if you don’t have a good one, it’s tough sledding.
Since Peyton Manning retired, the Broncos have been unable to find a signal-caller for the past 6 years. We all know the map they followed to get to this point, now they just have to find a new direction.
GM George Paton had glowing reviews in his first year on the job with the team he inherited. He was able to successfully sign back key players, make good roster decisions, and his first draft looks to be full of key contributors. However, even after all that good the Broncos still found themselves finishing in last place in the AFC West.
The Broncos not being able to find a quarterback has actively shown that they can’t win enough games to be amongst the elite.
Both the Bengals and Rams have their guy in Joe Burrow and Matthew Stafford. And they are big reasons why their teams play this Sunday.
It has been well known that the Broncos will be looking to take a swing at getting this franchise a quarterback. With the rumors starting with Aaron Rodgers, this option would be a good start for the Broncos to show this is their way of saying “Quarterback is everything”.
2. Once a bottom-feeder, always a threat.
With the Broncos finishing in last place in the division, it marks another underwhelming season. But just like the Super Bowl teams have shown, sometimes when you finish last, it doesn’t mean you can’t get back on top, quickly.
The Bengals were last place in the AFC North, with a 2-14 record in 2019. Two years later? They are in the Superbowl. They have shown it is absolutely possible to turn the tide in your favor in a short amount of time.
Zac Taylor was under fire early in his head coaching career, however, he was given some time and was able to find his way. With two sure-fire drafts, some sizable free-agent signings and all of a sudden the Bengals were ascending in the right direction. And having Joe Burrow as his quarterback definitely helps, too.
The Rams, on the other hand, had the first overall pick in the 2015 draft. Since then, they were able to claw their way to competitiveness having been to the playoffs four out of the last five seasons and appearing in two Super Bowls.
A big reason why the Rams are in this year’s title show is that they took big swings at obtaining the final pieces of their championship puzzle. Obtaining both Jalen Ramsay and Von Miller was instrumental on defense and amongst the biggest swing was the deal made for QB Matthew Stafford. It really has felt like since they got their QB, this team could really take that last step to find success.
The Broncos do seem to be going in the right direction with their roster, as the saying tends to be the Broncos are a “QB away”. And while that may be true, they need to find the last remaining pieces of their own championship puzzle to ensure that they can be the next bottom-feeder to get back on top of the food chain.
3. Utilize your weapons, and let your stars shine.
Having a quarterback is vital for a franchise, we all know this. But what you put around your guy is a huge component to ensure success in today’s NFL.
The Super Bowl Bengals and Rams boast playmakers in multiple positions on offense and not only are they productive, both these teams understand how and when to get them the ball.
The Bengals not only have rookie sensation Ja’Marr Chase as their WR1, but they have found the second and third wideouts behind him. Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd both had over 800 yards receiving and had at least 5 touchdowns. Pairing that production with Chase’s 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns? Man, these cats can play.
Meanwhile, the Rams also roster good offense playmakers. And it just so happens that they have the best wide receiver in football in Cooper Kupp. Kupp was a revelation this season and is in the conversation of MVP with his league-leading 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns. Make no mistake, the Rams understand when this guy has the ball, good things will follow.
The Broncos have the talent on offense to make what the Bengals and Rams do a reality. Having Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, Jerry Jeudy, and Noah Fant screams “give me the ball”. The inability to get their playmakers the football had been one of the main problems with the Broncos of late.
Just how bad was it? Jerry Jeudy didn’t have a touchdown this year.
Utilize your weapons, and the Super bowl can start to be within reach.
4. Find the equilibrium
Both these Super Bowl teams do plenty of good on the offensive side of the ball, but another reason as to why they play on Sunday is they both have defenses that complement their offense in a successful way.
In today’s NFL, it is vital to be able to slow opposing offenses, especially the ones that deploy high-tempo, vertical passing attacks. As a defense, it is ideal to keep the offense in front of you and even if you give up yards, not allowing touchdowns in the red zone is the key. Finally, generating turnovers is perhaps the most important to find success on defense.
If a defense can demonstrate even some aspects of this approach, it will take pressure off and allow the offense to be set up in a position to score points more regularly. Both Super Bowl teams have found their equilibrium up to this point.
The Broncos have been lopsided in this regard for quite some time, and their inability to find balance has contributed to their lack of success.
The good news is, the Broncos have the talent to make it work on both sides of the ball and it seems they have the GM to lead the way and an aspiring new head coach to compliment.
Super Bowl teams generally find a way to demonstrate a healthy combination of what is listed above, can the Broncos find their way?