By now we all understand that the game between the Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints has the potential to be a shootout. The game has been broken down many times by now, but I am going to give you the Broncos game plan for both offense and defense.
In the first six games, the Broncos plan on offense has been to come out and establish the run. Because of that, they are playing more deliberate and slow. That is contributing to the slow starts and that has to change on Sunday night. The Broncos and Peyton Manning need to come out in the no-huddle from the very beginning and let Manning get into an early rhythm. Getting behind to the Saints is not a good idea; Drew Brees will not let the Broncos back in the game if they jump out to a 24-0 lead as the San Diego Chargers did two weeks ago.
It’s time to use the pass to get out front and then pound the Saints with Willis McGahee and Ronnie Hillman. The defense for the Saints is there for the taking but the Broncos are letting them off the hook if they don’t come out aggressive in the first quarter. The Saints are going to be ready to play coming off of two straight wins and now they are getting their original interim coach back in, Joe Vitt. They are going to come into the game believing that things are turning around, and if they win tonight then they are really ready to roll. The Broncos need to squash that with early scores. The goal for the Broncos offense in the first quarter has to be to make the Saints defense say, “Here we go again.”
Defensively, it is important to remember that the Saints are going to score points, they are just too good not too. However, the Broncos defense is much better than the Saints, and if they can get a few stops here and there then the Broncos are in good shape. The Saints cannot run the ball; they don’t really even try to run the ball. Because of that, the Broncos can focus on the pass and play the run on their way to the quarterback. If the Saints get a couple of decent runs because of that aggressive approach on defense then so be it, they are not going to beat the Broncos by running the football. In short, look for the Broncos to play five and six defensive backs all night and put pressure on Brees. The defense does not need to play great, just get a couple of stops and get the ball back to Manning.
The biggest thing the Broncos defense needs to do is play well on third-down. When the Saints do face a third-down situation, the Broncos have to take advantage of those and get off of the field. Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller have to make plays on third-down with a couple of sacks, and a lot of pressure throughout the night.
The Denver Broncos have a shot to do some big things in the second half of the season, but it has to start tonight. The Saints might be their toughest test left in the 2012 season, win this one and all things are possible.
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