The Denver Broncos are trying to save their season as best they can and the most recent attempt has come overnight…literally. Head coach Nathaniel Hackett has given up play calling duties to Klint Kubiak, the son of former Broncos coach, offensive coordinator and quarterback Gary Kubiak.
Obviously we are in a wait and see situation right now. The Broncos are in third place in the AFC West and two games out of second place. With eight games remaining in the season, a lot of things can go down. Maybe this is the switch this team needs. Maybe it should have happened weeks ago.
Well, I think that the reason for the move not happening weeks ago is because Hackett probably felt that he had to take control of the play calling and just get better at it in order to save himself from being fired. Hackett was proactive in terms of his analytic decision making when he hired Jerry Rosburg to assist him.
Let’s take a look at the tendencies of the Minnesota Vikings from last season, where Klint Kubiak was the offensive coordinator.
According to SharpFootball, the most common play on third and long for the Vikings last season was a pass to receiver Justin Jefferson. That’s a great start. On extra long passes (11+ yards) on third down, the player who apparently saw the most action was wide receiver K.J. Osborn.
On first and second down, it appears that Kubiak’s decision making was very run-heavy. Why not? The Vikings have one of the top running backs in the NFL in Dalvin Cook, although they have a couple of superstar wide receivers, too, in Jefferson and Adam Thielen.
Here is this nugget from Mike Klis, highlighting the difference in points per game between the two teams:
Are we going to see the same old Denver Broncos on Sunday against the Raiders, or will we be able to see an offense that is capable of actually being good? What we have seen so far this season has been unacceptable and atrocious. Unfortunately, the Broncos are missing some key wide receivers this week, with Courtland Sutton being the only notable name active.
K.J. Hamler is out, as is Jerry Jeudy. Tim Patrick is out for the year.
If I were to predict how this will go, I’d say the Broncos need to get Sutton, Greg Dulcich, and Melvin Gordon the football. Obviously we know how Broncos Country feels about Gordon these days, but maybe things will go differently now with a new play caller.
It has been a rough year for the Denver Broncos. What could the team do during the 2023 offseason to try and improve? Here are four ideas.
So, really, the Denver Broncos are not technically out of the playoff race. They still can make a late push. They’ll just be a wildcard team at best, though, and that’s what everybody expected in training camp as the Chiefs are the top dogs in the division until they aren’t.