The Denver Broncos‘ offense continues to eat up opposing defenses as they contribute to the team scoring at least 35 points in the first four games of the season. They just rolled over the Philadelphia Eagles 52-20 as Peyton Manning continues to have an historic season. The weapons for Manning in this offense are incredible with the likes of Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Julius Thomas and Wes Welker, but they can be stopped.
Facing the Broncos, as a defense you just can’t let the wide receivers or tight ends get a free release. Chip the tight ends immediately off the snap of the ball if you are a linebacker or a safety playing in the box. This offense is too explosive to give receivers free lanes to run their routes.
A defense has to play this Broncos’ offense with physicality. Manning will get his share of big plays, and there is no stopping that with the way the rules are currently constructed which leads to my point on penalties.
Not all penalties are bad. Some are actually smart. If a receiver is able to get a step on a corner, for example, if you are the cornerback when in doubt, reach out. Illegal contact penalties are worth it from time to time, and I would even suggest that laying the wood across the middle against these Broncos’ receivers will help down the road over the course of the game.
Manning’s offense has always been about timing. If a defender can lay the wood across the middle and they get flagged they should deal with it. The reward in that regard may be better than the price because if a guy like Welker ends up getting lit up, he may think twice about that route or even get to his spot a little late which could make the difference.
Defensive players around league can’t let the rules get to them and play a different style. Make Manning’s supporting cast work a little harder in the passing game, and they are bound to make a mistake.