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: 33 yard Aqib Talib interception return
The Bengals open their second drive in 11 personnel – 1 TE, 1 RB. The Broncos counter with a base 4-3 personnel, a mismatch as LB Todd Davis is forced to cover the slot receiver. Note Von Miller also aligned as a box LB standing outside the hashes at the 24 yard line. He moves down to fill the gap.
The Broncos are running a Cover 2 shell although it looks like T.J. Ward moves underneath and they roll into a Cover 3. A.J. Green simply runs a slant as Andy Dalton playfakes to RB Jeremy Hill. Dalton immediately looks for Green, who simply short-arms the ball after Talib disrupts his timing on the press. Ward, who moved in reading the QB’s eyes, delivers a shot to Green as Talib makes the interception. Talib has a great return and nets the seven points.
TD 2: 1 yard C.J. Anderson run
The Broncos bring in every eligible OL player, plus TEs Julius Thomas and Virgil Green, then just run it straight ahead with C.J. Anderson. Anderson just pounds ahead, managing to step over Cincinnati DT Brandon Thompson, who does a great job splitting a double team at the point of attack and getting into the backfield.
Anderson does have a small crease at the goal line. Instead, he just chooses to run through a Bengal. Good grit for the score.
TD 3: 4 yard Emmanuel Sanders pass
Although it’s base 11 personnel for Denver here, it’s an exotic look. Five wide, bunch left, with Manning under center. It’s a quick slant screen to Sanders. He makes the catch then uses some great leg drive and strength to push his way across the goal line.
TD 4: 5 yard Emmanuel Sanders pass
Another exotic base 11 personnel look. Again, bunch left, but with Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Anderson this time. The Bengals focus their attentions on the bunch, expecting a quick play. Instead, they get confused, and the banjo coverage fails. Three orange jerseys converge on Welker and Demaryius Thomas is left wide open. It looks like Adam Jones had the coverage responsibilities there.
Sanders is lined up outside the numbers to the right of the offensive formation. He simply runs an inside go-slant and S Reggie Nelson is caught peeking down at Julius Thomas. Sanders just runs right by for the score.