The Denver Broncos need to win badly. If they don’t win in Week 11, our chances of seeing massive coaching staff changes increase. It may be too late to save coach Nathaniel Hackett and most of his staff, but a win over a team the Broncos Country hates will give you at least a small sliver of hope.
This Sunday, the Broncos return home to take on their biggest rival, the Las Vegas Raiders, in what looks like a must-win game.
The Raiders beat the Broncos earlier this year, the largest margin of victory for an opponent so far this season. Will the Broncos learn from the last game and implement changes this week? They had better do that otherwise changes in the coaching staff may come.
Here are three keys to victory in Week Eleven.
Stop Josh Jacobs
Last time, Raiders running back Josh Jacobs had a career-high 144 yards rushing against the Broncos. Prior to that game in Week 4, Jacobs had averaged about 15 carries per game. Against the Broncos earlier this year, Jacobs is unstoppable which is why the team decided to give him a whopping 28 carries. This is Jacobs’ highest carry total of the season, but he had a 154-yard game the following week to break his yardage record.
Jacobs is not a sprinter like Derek Henry. The Broncos made an intense effort to stop Henry last week, and the team held him to just 53 yards on the ground. This is amazing considering Henry is such a superstar and is the center of everything the Titans want to do on offense. Jacobs isn’t good, but he’s not bad and the Raiders have more about him in offense than the Titans have about Henry.
That’s why the team won’t be able to put in the same dedication to stopping the run. However, I think they should bring some of that plan that worked against Henry (Big Nickel, etc) to slow Jacobs down.
On the podium on Thursday, Hackett admitted his crew watched the Week 4 tape again.
“You definitely watch it. You want to see how they attacked us and the different ways (they did it). We also look at the old things we’ve done and if there’s anything we can pass on because you want it to be a review for the players, especially now that we’re into the season later. We review All of those things and we look at the things they’ve done, we look at the things they might repeat and some of the things they might change. We’re definitely looking at that a little bit, but we still have to revisit the four games (since then) and see what they’re doing now. Hackett said. : “We’ve made a lot of changes in the personnel themselves.”
someone except Sartin
The Broncos’ Patrick Sartain will shut down Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams in a game that should be incredibly fun to watch. In Week 4, Adams was targeted 13 times and caught nine passes for 101 yards. That’s a great number, but looking at the film and advanced data shows you that only about half of that production came against Surtain.
In fact, Surtain caused more tight window throws (5) than receptions (4) for Adams in their first game. Sartain lined up against Adams on 25 of the 35 roads he ran that day, and that could be the Broncos’ plan again. As you can see from the first match, Adams didn’t do much against Sartain. However, he did pitch against two other Broncos players that day.
This time you should be someone other than Sartain. The other corners will be tested on Sunday, and they have to respond. Whoever’s on the Broncos, they’re not as good as Surtain, of course, but they can’t be the weak link in a strong defensive game plan. Adams, McHollins and tight end Foster Morrow will provide challenges for this Broncos secondary, and Sirtain can’t do much. Getting some help with solid play will go a long way.
Like Broncos fans and fans of a good defense, Hackett is anticipating an Adams vs. Sartain inside game on Sunday.
“Without a doubt, I think it’s going to be a great game. We saw that the last time he went after him. (They’re) two players I have a lot of respect for and playing at an incredibly high level now. I think everyone will be excited to see those two guys go for it. I don’t think they’ll They fear being tested and I don’t think Pat is afraid of being tested. It’s going to be a fun game there. Like I said, when the No. 1 guy is taken away, it gives the other players opportunities to be able to make plays. That’s why you have to have different guys that can make with different things,” Hackett said.
More work down the center
Hackett seemed to want nothing more than to get his attack out of the gun. First, this is not how the Shanahan West Coast system is supposed to work. Second, Hackett doesn’t seem to be running this scheme anymore.
Instead, we have this Frankenstein from Crime Don’t Work. Rather than do something different and work from below the center with the wide area concepts we were promised, Hackett appears to be stubbornly sticking to what failed miserably — the rifle. Going into position, working with the rushing offense, and then using play passes would make more sense than anything Hackett was trying to piece together on a weekly basis.
Outside of the gun, teams can pretty much guess a pass is a play. When you dodge the gun, the back usually flushes to the other side of where it lines up. This is also important for defense because if they line up right they will run left and vice versa. It’s total knowledge on defense no matter if it’s a run or a pass – and this Broncos offensive line isn’t very good at pass protection as evidenced by the nearly 20 quarterback hits Wilson had against the Titans in Week 10.
Much of Thursday’s press conference revolved around this rifle versus the central discussion. Hackett didn’t really answer questions about why they used so many guns while lashing out with his statement.
“Under center and the gun — when the game first started, everything was under center basically. Now we see a lot of unique defenses and some players standing in the line of scrimmage. It really starts with protection. Whenever you’re protecting and you have guys running through the A-gaps, it can The line just takes so much. People have to come down. You’ve got serious threats etc. You always, sometimes, want the quarterback to come back to the gun. It’s evolved over time. It’s something — my God, it’s probably been (since) 2000 when he started Really showing up for everyone. There was K-gun and things like that. I think there are advantages to both – being under the football management center and playing the action. You can do a lot of the same things from the gun. When you watch the league, there are people who confuse it Some stick with the gun in the first place.”There’s a lot of good you can do with both,” Hackett said.