Denver Broncos: Five Areas That Must Improve
Five Areas Where the Broncos Need to Improve
The Denver Broncos are 7-3 and after beating the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, they have all but wrapped up the AFC West. The Broncos are a very good football team with a chance to be great if things go their way. Having said that there are five things that they need to address as they go down the stretch, and into the playoffs. Before we get to those things, let’s review the things that the Broncos have going for them as the playoffs approach.
The first one is obviously Peyton Manning and his level of play. If you have an elite quarterback, then you have a shot to win the whole thing on the first Sunday of February. Manning is playing as well now as he ever has, and he continues to develop rapport with his receivers.
The other huge positive for the Broncos is a defense that has gone from bad to average to one of the top five units in the league. That might be hard to believe, especially with their recent history, but the Broncos defense is playing as well as anyone right now. Von Miller is capable of blowing up opposing offenses all by himself and he has a lot of help. The pass rush featuring Miller and Elvis Dumervil is scary, and the secondary is covering anything that moves. When the opposing quarterback has no time to throw and no one to throw it to; that’s a winning combination for any defense.
The Broncos have a lot going for them and there are plenty of reasons for the fans to be excited, but there is always room for improvement. After all, the AFC West Championship is in the bag; the Broncos are now onto bigger goals.
Hang onto the football
The Broncos are on a five game winning streak and haven’t really solved their turnover issue yet. They will live with the interceptions; they are going to happen to the best of quarterbacks. It is the fumbles that have to stop before they stop the Broncos. Sometime fumbles are forced by a strip or punch out, but the Broncos are putting too many balls on the ground. It hasn’t cost them yet but when the playoffs start, the fumbles have to end.
It seems strange to say as the Broncos are scoring 30 points a game but getting off to better starts would be nice. The Broncos have only scored 10 points on first possessions this season, and have often struggled through the first two of three possessions. The defense is playing great football; imagine how great they would be if the offense put up 10 or 14 points on their first two possessions. They can afford the slow starts now but they may not be able to in January.
The running game has to be more consistent which will be tougher now without Willis McGahee. The Broncos are a passing team but they must start getting more production out of their running game. To their credit, they were off to a good start versus the Chargers before McGahee got hurt. The passing game under Manning relies heavily on play-action and if they can’t run the ball, then play-action is tougher to sell. The Broncos do not have to rush for 150 yards a game, but they do have to be productive when they do run it.
Stay on the field
The Broncos, it seems, are more comfortable with 3rd and 5 as opposed to 3rd and 1. They have to be better on short yardage in order to keep drives alive. The offense had a solid first drive going versus the Chargers before being stopped on a 3rd and 1 play. One of the keys to an efficient offense is staying on the field, and converting 3rd and short would go a long way towards accomplishing that goal.
The last area is one that is improving but still needs to get better, and that involves drops. The number of dropped passes has decreased from early in the season to now, but there were three or four more drops on Sunday. Once again, the Broncos are good enough to overcome those types of mistakes versus the lesser teams but it could cost them in a playoff game.
The Denver Broncos are a very good football team and none of these issues are huge. They are just a few things that they need to clean up over the next six weeks, and set themselves for a deep playoff run. As they say, it you are not getting better then you are getting worse.
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