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.
All images from NFL Game Rewind.
TD 1: 2 yard Emmanuel Sanders pass
Commonly referred to by its Manning audible, “Roll Montana”, the Broncos have used “Red Right Tight Sprint Right Option” several times. Here, they use the same shift in protection right as Manning rolls out. One tweak to the original 49ers is keeping TE Julius Thomas in to block. Only the 3 WRs actually run routes.
Sanders’ route takes him across the back of the end zone from the strongside to playside. He simply out-efforts rookie CB Jason Verrett and S Jahleel Addae, who both seem to jog as the play moves away from them. Note Demaryius Thomas, who is effectively held downfield by CB Shareece Wright on the in/out route. Welker is shadowed well by S Marcus Gilchrist. Sanders just is the only option for Manning here.
Also of note: check out Paul Cornick’s block on DL Kendall Reyes of the Chargers. Reyes (#91) starts lined up as the 2i tech and pursues well. He actually overruns Manning. Cornick is waiting and delivers a block that actually puts Reyes on the ground. That is the kind of blocking fire I like to see from the big boys.
TD 2: 31 yard Emmanuel Sanders pass
The Broncos just run 3 verts against press man coverage. CB Richard Marshall (since released by the Chargers, for obvious reasons) against Emmanuel Sanders just looks like he falls asleep at the wheel and doesn’t jam Sanders at all. He freezes as Sanders releases and it’s all over. Manning knows where he wants this ball to go even as Sanders is only 5 yards downfield.
TD 3: 3 yard Emmanuel Sanders pass
If you haven’t noticed a pattern yet over the past couple of weeks, it’s this: no, Julius Thomas hasn’t been making much of an impact. Why? Because most of the time he’s kept in protection as a blocker and not out running routes. That’s the case here as the shifty Sanders just runs an out/slant route. Wright doesn’t stand a chance.
TD 4: 2 yard Juwan Thompson run
The Broncos bring in T Chris Clark and just run downhill smash-mouth goal-line football here. Nobody pulls, they just line up and consistently win at the point of attack for the points. Kudos to TE Virgil Green, lined up in as an H-back wing right, for his block. He clears LB %%MATCH_15%% out of the hole and Juwan Thompson squirts in for the score.
TD 5: 1 yard Juwan Thompson run
This is the same 22(T) personnel. Again Juwan Thompson is lined up as the FB and takes the handoff. He alters path slightly. But again, nothing complicated here, just line up and pound the rock.
That's all for this week! Check back in next week and find out how the Broncos put points on the board.