Denver Broncos: Better Ball Security Could Lead to Super Bowl Run in 2014
There is no doubting that the Denver Broncos had the best offensive season in 2013. Six-hundred and six points, five players with at least 10-plus touchdowns and 30-plus points scored in 13 of the 16 games — those numbers are amazing when seen on paper. However, what if they could have gotten even more points and broke even more offensive records? There is one element of the game that they need to work on that would have made that possible — ball security.
Despite having such a great season offensively, the Broncos had trouble holding on to the football as well. The offense led the NFL last year with 16 of them hitting the ground and the defense coming away with the football. For an offense that scored so many points, it makes you wonder, what if they had taken care of the football? Had they held on to the ball more in 2013, you could possibly have been looking at the team scoring even more.
The main culprit behind the lost balls was Peyton Manning, who lost six of them by himself. With the amount of blows he suffered that resulted in the fumbles, the Broncos were quick to address the offensive line so that they could give Manning the best amount of protection from the defensive blitzing. I can only imagine the gasps that the fans had when Manning got walloped from his blindside.
Even with Manning, the running backs had their issues with the ball too. Montee Ball lost four fumbles and Ronnie Hillman lost a critical fumble that changed the course of the game at one point. Granted, Ball did a better job holding on to the ball in the later stages of the season and the postseason; there is no doubt the coaches want him to do a better job and hold on to the ball like it was his pride and joy for the entire season.
And wide receivers are another focus on ball security. The trio of Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker would have stone hands or butter fingers from time to time during the course of the season. The amount of balls that were being dropped was embarrassing. Again, another focus in the offseason for the Broncos as they got Emmanuel Sanders via free agency and drafted a reliable young talent in Cody Latimer.
With all the new additions and the removal of some of these issues, the Broncos should be a solid offensive unit again in 2014. Holding on to the ball could give them even more points in the long run.