When the Broncos opened up the Peyton Manning era in the season opener vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 9th, Manning didn't turn the ball over a single time, and it was hard to find anything to criticize about Manning's debut with the 'Orange Crush', as he slowly dissected Pittsburgh's defense, going 19/26 for 253 yards and two touchdowns.
From the very beginning of the game, until the Broncos sealed the game with their final offensive touchdown of the game on a one yard touchdown pass from Manning to Jacob Tamme with just three minutes remaining, the Broncos operated the no-huddle attack to precision. The Broncos utilized the short passing game, with a stout ground game in wearing down the Steelers' defense in winning their season opener.
Since that opening day win, the Broncos have utilized the no-huddle attack with less frequency, in large part, due to the opening drive in the Georgia Dome vs. the Falcons. That was where Manning threw his first of three interceptions in the first quarter, as he looked rattled and lacked poise while trying to silence the Atlanta crowd.
The Broncos would revert back to the no-huddle offense in the fourth quarter, where they would go on to nearly erase a 20-point deficit, closing the gap 27-21 before finally losing the game when the defense failed to prevent Julio Jones from converting on a third-and-five going into the two minute warning.
The point is this – the Broncos' offense is stagnant when they operate a normal offense. Through three games, while the Broncos have operated a non-no huddle attack, they have scored a total of 18 points – two of which were on a safety. When they operate in the no-huddle, they have scored a total of 59 points.
When the Broncos went into the no-huddle vs. the Falcons in the fourth quarter, they promptly scored two touchdowns. When the Broncos went into the no-huddle vs. the Texans this past Sunday, they promptly scored two touchdowns.
You see the trend here?
The Broncos' offense moves the ball best when it keeps the defense off-balance.
Until proven otherwise, John Fox and the coaching staff needs to allow Manning and the Broncos offense to operate in the no-huddle in order to not only maximize Denver's chances of scoring, but also to maximize their chances of winning.
Or else we might see more "too little, too late" losses like we saw vs. the Falcons and the Texans.
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