This season, each and every week, I will bring you a film review article, exclusively for Mile High Huddle. Every touchdown that the Broncos score will be broken down for you. Here. On Mile High Huddle.
First, an explanation of my film schematics. The red arrows indicate routes or movement, coverage (as best I see it) will be indicated in squares. Blitzers will have green lines. The scorer’s name is underlined in yellow. Personnel are on the side in white. Once the play begins, I’ll circle things in yellow to bring your attention to them and players’ lines of sight will be in pink. The explanation of routes can be found here:
All this terminology and diagramming will be fairly clear when you see a play broken down. I list the TD# in game (with season-long numbers in parentheses).
TD 1 (5): 4 yard Julius Thomas pass
The Broncos are at the Chiefs’ 4. Second and goal. This play is simple – it’s a designed fade to Julius Thomas against Eric Berry. Nothing complicated at all. The only thing of note here is that the Broncos trust Virgil Green to block Tamba Hali one-on-one. It is a quick-release pass, but that’s still an interesting side note.
TD 2 (6): 4 yard Jacob Tamme pass
12 personnel for Denver here. Tamme starts off in an H-back wing right, but motions across to trips left. Sanders is going to run a fade to the back corner of the end zone. Caldwell is going to occupy his coverage man and basically make contact for a few yards and disrupt the path of Tamme’s assigned coverage. Tamme just runs a 2-yard flat route.
Note that, as Tamme makes the catch, there are no Chiefs close to him. Caldwell has effectively run three Chiefs out of the play. Now, is this an (illegal) pick play? I think it is, and that the Broncos got away with one here. Caldwell is making contact outside the one-yard window allowed. Now, that said, it wasn’t called, nor was ex-Bronco Kevin Vickerson’s (94) hands to the face on RT Chris Clark (specific .gif below).
TD 3 (7): 12 yard Demaryius pass
As with the two previous scores, the Broncos line up in 12 personnel. This time, however, the play is designed to go only one way. TEs Julius Thomas and Jacob Tamme as well as RB C.J. Anderson all stay in to block and WR Emmanuel Sanders runs a tunnel screen route. The focus of this route is Demaryius Thomas running a deep corner from the slot.
Here, Manning is just releasing the ball. The pass rush hasn’t had any time to get there because, quite simply, they haven’t had any time. By my count, Manning released this football in 1.46 seconds. Demaryius is only about four yards off the line. The weakside FS (Husain Abdullah) was momentarily frozen by the fake WR screen but he is starting to move in this frame. The ball is so well placed that only Demaryius has the possibility to make a play on it. Folks, be thankful that you get to watch Manning play, because this is as impressive as it comes.
That’s all for this week. Check back each and every week as I break down the film of every Broncos touchdown!