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.
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: 1 yard Ronnie Hillman run
With reserve/blocking TE Virgil Green inactive due to injury, the Broncos are forced to use an unconventional goal line set here. It’s 14 personnel, with Julius Thomas, Jacob Tamme, T Chris Clark and C/G Will Montgomery used as TEs. Two pass-catching TEs, and two offensive linemen. That is ugly.
The run is designed to go between LT-LG in the B gap but Hillman actually bounces it around edge and gets outside. The Broncos are very lucky that there wasn’t any kind of holding penalty called on Tamme, who gets more than a fistful of S Patrick Chung to seal the edge for the score.
TD 2: 18 yard Julius Thomas pass
It’s a simple crossing routes pattern here, with a deep safety choice. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders (note: with Darrelle Revis in coverage) come across the middle while Wes Welker runs a deep in and Julius Thomas a fade. FS Devin McCourty can’t get there in time and Manning throws a perfect fade to Thomas for the score.
Note Ronnie Hillman out of the backfield, who runs a wheel route. Although Jamie Collins (#91) is in coverage, he gets sucked in just taking too long to sell the pass rush and Akeem Ayers (#55) collapses with Demaryius Thomas. Hillman is left briefly alone on the sideline and his speed puts him past Collins. Manning easily could have taken advantage of this mismatch, but chose to go to Thomas instead.
TD 3: 15 yard Ronnie Hillman pass
Remember that Hillman wheel route? You’re going to see that again here. Manning sends Hillman out in motion and LB Collins trails him, so Manning knows he’s facing man coverage. Upon returning to the formation, Collins apparently decides to blitz. This plays into Manning’s hand, although he already knew he had the quick Hillman in a mismatch against Collins. Although Hillman is left wide open, it’s entirely probable he might have won that matchup anyway. The Thomases collapse the coverage to the middle of the field and Hillman gets in for the score.
That's all for this week! Check back in next week and find out how the Broncos put points on the board.