The Playbook Abides

The Playbook Abides: Tebow(etheus) Unbound - Part 1

A day after Tim Tebow made his first start, heaven and earth are still divided.

Can the guy play quarterback or not?

Woody Paige thinks so.  Colin Cowherd disagrees.  Charles Robinson thinks he won't survive with his style of play.  Furthermore, he thinks fans of Tebow border on zealotry.

That's a bit much, and not fair at all to real zealots like Peyton Hillis' fans.

Rather than rely on a guy who rambles (Paige), a guy with a funny haircut (Cowherd), and a guy who probably gets carded before he hits a McDonald's Playland, let's take a look for ourselves.

Tebow threw sixteen times during the game.  Over the next four days, we'll be looking at each and every throw.

Let's start out today by examining the first four. I present to you Tebow(etheus) unbound, Part 1.  If the literary reference of the title escapes you, you just might be a Hillis fan redneck.  

Continue reading "The Playbook Abides: Tebow(etheus) Unbound - Part 1"

The Playbook Abides - Man coverage at your own risk

Good cover corners are worth their weight in cap space.

That's because in today's pass-happy NFL, in which cornerbacks must play a significant amount of man-to-man, you can't afford to be without one--or five.

Cover corners can make the difference between the simple incompletion you forget as part of the opponent's completion percentage and a made-for-ESPN highlight.  This is especially true when facing an elite quarterback like Philip Rivers.

As we'll see in this week's version of The Playbook Abides, Rivers exposed the potential danger of playing man coverage in the Chargers' victory on Monday night.

Continue reading "The Playbook Abides - Man coverage at your own risk"

The Playbook Abides - Pressure without risk

For weeks Broncos fans have been calling for increased pressure on the quarterback.

Wink Martindale listened.  Either that or he just got sick and tired of letting guys like Troy Smith and Jason Campbell have all day in the pocket.

The Broncos pressured the Chiefs when it mattered--namely in the 1st half of the game.  How did they do it?

By utilizing what is the god-given right of every 3-4 defense: the zone blitz.

In this week's The Playbook Abides, we'll be taking a look at a zone blitz that might just make you change your mind about Wink Martindale.

Wink got creative; the Broncos got a sack.

Continue reading "The Playbook Abides - Pressure without risk"

The Playbook Abides - KC’s goal line pick route

After looking at a lot of game tape on the Chiefs, one thing strikes you immediately about this team.

Charlie Weis is an excellent offensive coordinator.

After spending hours watching game film on the Chiefs, it was hard to discern many patterns--believe me, I looked.

In one game, Weis opened up out of the shotgun.  In the next he ran a lot of two-back sets and play action. Then the next game there was a lot of shifting and motion out of the backfield and with the tight ends. He runs out of power formations and the max-protection shotgun.  In short, Weis keeps his opponents off balance.

Continue reading "The Playbook Abides - KC’s goal line pick route"

The Playbook Abides - One block, busted play

Yesterday Zane Beadles was again practicing with the Broncos' first-team offense at left guard.

Who knows if this will make a difference with the league's 32nd-ranked running game?  You can be sure of one thing, however.

It can't hurt.

I know yesterday I promised you Tim Tebow, but given the news regarding Beadles, it was more appropriate to show you why left guard is a problem the Broncos must solve.   

In this version of the The Playbook Abides, we'll take a look at a play from the Broncos-Raiders game--a game that was so bad, the Broncos' coaches felt the need to throw it in the trash and shield it from the team for fear they wouldn't learn a thing.

Here at Fat Man, we exercise no such parental control.  Welcome to the obscenity that is the Broncos running game, friends.

Continue reading "The Playbook Abides - One block, busted play"

The Playbook Abides - When a good run goes bad

This week, thanks to the bye, we're taking a look at a series of interesting plays from Denver's first eight games.  Hopefully, we'll learn a thing or two about what makes the Broncos tick,  and further, what makes them go tick...tock...boom.

Yesterday, we looked at the Broncos' longest run from scrimmage--a 17-yard gain which took place during the season opener in Jacksonville. 

Today, we'll look at a similar situation, but this time, we'll see what happens when a run with perfectly good intentions just goes horribly bad.  

I think you'll be surprised--with a little dash of aggression--just how easy it is to cause disruption in an opponent's running game.  Moreover, I think you'll walk away with a new appreciation for wide receivers.  Finally, I'm guessing that you'll question the call by Josh McDaniels on this one.

So let's get to it.  This play is from the Baltimore game in Week 4.

Continue reading "The Playbook Abides - When a good run goes bad"

The Playbook Abides - When a run comes together

After a bye week, you'd think there wouldn't be much Broncos football to talk about.

But you'd be wrong.  Here at Fat Man, we're always on a quest to give you the largest portions of Broncos analysis around.

So this week we're introducing a series of pieces entitled The Playbook Abides, the premise of which is to review the playbook behind a critical play from the previous week.  But because we don't have a game to review, we'll use this week to look at a variety of plays from Broncos games earlier in the year.

We can't splice and dice NFL game tapes, but you'll get the next best thing--we're going to draw them up on our own chalkboard.

Our first lesson?  What happens when the Broncos (on rare occasions this year) run the ball well.

Continue reading "The Playbook Abides - When a run comes together"

Moving Molehills - What’s wrong with Denver’s running game?

When Josh McDaniels ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

And right now, Belichick’s apprentice is pretty pissed off.

That’s because the Broncos, despite being larger at the buffet line, can’t win at the line of scrimmage.

McDaniels even went so far as to question the Broncos’ mental toughness.

He should.  After watching film of Sunday’s game, I’ve become convinced the Broncos are physically tough.  When they are man-on-man, they can block.  The Ravens didn’t destroy the Broncos physically Sunday when Denver ran the ball.

But one mental error—which is translated physically—can break down an entire play. 

And McDaniels, if he’s willing to admit it or not, would probably tell you that sometimes the defense just brings more guys than you can block.

Continue reading "Moving Molehills - What’s wrong with Denver’s running game?"