There has been a recipe to the 2-0 Denver Broncos and to the Super Bowl-winning effort of 2015. The offense does a fair job and scores just enough points to keep it close. The defense comes up with a big stop or turnover that puts the game away.
There were some offensive players who were frustrated by the lack of points the team scored in Denver’s 32-20 win over Indianapolis. Comparatively, looking at some stats, here are some general numbers from the first two games of this season versus last season. We see improvement in a few different areas.
Total Offensive Points Scored
Net Passing Yards
Net Rushing Yards
For this season, all but one of the turnovers belong to second-year quarterback and first-time starter Trevor Siemian, making just his second NFL start on Sunday. Coach Gary Kubiak was asked about his young QB after Denver's win.
“Some of the things that keep coming up are young, but seven out of nine times I think Trevor took us inside the 35-yard line," Kubiak said. "It was amazing. We punted twice. We threw the heck out of the ball, but there are plays that we have to make that are the difference in putting points on the board and not putting points on the board. There has to be some growth there from his standpoint and our standpoint as coaches.”
Banged up wideout Demaryius Thomas weighed in on the perceived offensive troubles as well.
“It’s a little worrisome," Thomas said via NFL.com. "You can’t keep kicking field goals; it’s any given Sunday, Monday or Thursday. One day a team might come out and score three touchdowns on our defense and if we kick five field goals we lose the game. We’ve got to figure out what we can do to get in the end zone.”
There are some in the media who would take that as annoyance with Siemian and a perceived slight against his abilities. Or at the very least, a passive/aggressive complaint about the offense.
But further along in his time with reporters, Thomas would also express confidence in his untested quarterback, complimenting Siemian as a player who stepped up big in the fourth quarter, taking the team on a crucial scoring drive that ate up clock that would cut into a potential game-winning Andrew Luck offensive series that the Denver defense ended up snuffing out anyway.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1708206-trevor-siemian-is-just-wh..."I think he’s surprisingly a good quarterback, for a young guy just getting his second start in a real game," Adams said.
For the past two games, Siemian hasn’t made anyone forget about the 2013 version of Peyton Manning but he has also played better than the 2015 version of Manning as well. In the two wins, Siemian has come up with drives when the team needed him the most, all while not getting caught up in the moment or playing outside of his own abilities.
Siemian is an untested, young quarterback who's still learning to play at the highest level. But for all of his flaws, he has done an admirable job so far.
There is a very fine margin between a team settling for a field goal versus punching it in for six. Windows for throws get smaller, lanes to run through close up quicker and decisions need to be made faster.
Execution as a whole is paramount to scoring when the game shrinks from inside the 20’s but in looking at numbers from last year to this year, we can see the potential to go from a struggling offense to, at the least, a competent offense that compliments the defense.
Everybody wants the Broncos to score more points. A player like Thomas voicing his frustrations should come as an encouraging sign for the unit.
It shows that there isn’t any kind of complacency to let the defense carry the load. The Broncos offense has the potential to be a very difficult challenge for any team in the league, if they manage to kick more extra points than field goals in the upcoming weeks.
Star wideout Emmanuel Sanders summed up the difficulties on offense perfectly, while pointing out that the Broncos are atop the AFC West just two games in to the season.
“At the end of the day, all that we can do is to just keep getting better," Sanders said. "I’ll tell you, I’d rather try to get better with two wins, than losing so everybody is smiles around here. We’re sitting here 2-0 and I know the Broncos fans are excited, and so am I.”
Adam Uribes is an Analyst for Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @auribes37.
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