Creative Imagination

The Denver Bronco's offensive imagination has been absent since the first two games of the pre-season. There was nothing but generic football in the game against Miami, and if the "D" wouldn't have stepped up in the second half against San Diego, the Broncos would have lost that game as well.

Monday night against the Kansas City Chiefs in a fired-up Invesco Field; the Broncos welcomed some new inventive play calling to the field. In a game that put the winner atop the AFC West, Denver dominated the offensive side of the ball with plays like the triple reverse, miss direction, and fullback screen.

From the first play of the game it was evident that the Broncos had gone back to the drawing board, as far as their offense was concerned. The triple reverse to Ashley Lelie for 17 yards set a whole new tone for the Broncos. Anytime Lelie has the second highest rushing yards in a game, you know some new wrinkles have been added. Heck, those aren't wrinkles, those are giant fissures.

The coaches seem to be coming to the understanding that this is not the same offensive personnel that led the Broncos to back to back Super Bowls. They can't just line up and pound the ball for five yards. No, this offense is a little smaller; less experienced, and let's face it, less talented. These players need to be excited and motivated about the plays that are called. I'm sure Lelie was happy getting the ball in a few other situations rather than the customary fly patterns down the sideline.

This kind of play calling demonstrates the imagination that got Shannahan his reputation as one of the premier offensive minds in the NFL. He could have stuck to the old plan of run, play action, run, but he saw that it wasn't working, so he changed the game plan. It seemed they were passing to set up the run, and were willing to take some chances for a change. These chances resulted in points and plays that confused the K.C. defense.

The new play calling caught Kansas City's defense off guard, a defense that was reconstructed in the off season; an off-season that saw the additions of Kendrell Bell, Patrick Surtain, and hard hitting safety Sammy Knight. These guys were supposed to sure up the "D" and stop the big play that plagued the Chiefs "D" last year. Oops, the Broncos must not have received that memo.

Bronco play calling used the strength of the Chief's defense and their speed against them. Runs went down hill, with one cut back and a burst. This was evident in Mike Anderson's 40 yard touchdown run with 3:39 left in the first quarter. Anderson ended up with 98 yards on the ground.

Once the orange and blue established the run, it was easy to get the defense moving one way so the offense could throw or bootleg the other. The previous unanimous choice to win the AFC West, the Chiefs, were on their heels all night.

Jake Plummer also controlled the ball better than usual. He was patient and calm the whole game, going 13 -18, 152 yards, a rushing TD, and NO INTERCEPTIONS!! This goes to show if you get him feeling comfortable, out of the pocket, he can win games for this team.

This type of game strategy can change a season if it continues.



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