Re: Stopping Denver's Run Game
posted at 12/15/2011 2:40 AM EST
From what I've seen they are running a kind of wing-T offense/spread option. They change their personnel from literally five wide, like five true WRs, to a two RB backfield and use misdirection plays shifting between the packages.
1.) Defending them means setting an edge. It's absolutely crucial. The interior lineman have to keep their men under wraps too, because the Broncos are relying on a bunch of pulling guards, etc, to get blockers to the second level. It's crucial that the LBers stay clean and are allowed to flow to the ball at the edges.
2.) Be patient about the playfakes, and force the Broncos to show their hand. Like the Florida option, and this wierd Fox hybrid thing, the misdirection plays create a lot of noise. Don't overpursue. Let them get the short yardage gains on their "first" handoff into traffic, if it means not giving up a 3rd and 8 12 yard reverse, or scamper.
3.) Dig out the college playbook. Play the option well. I think they put in 10-15 option plays per game. The LBers might not have faced this in a while, but they need to refresh their memory. My guess is that they use "assignment" defense when they see an option play. Bring a safety to mid-depth or right to the line, making an ersatz 44 ... letting the END take the QB, the WLB or SS take the RB, and the SAM or ILB can flow to the direction of the pitch, or vice versa. Using assignments basically fans each end of the front out to make sure there is containment whichever way the ball goes.
4.) Here is the trick too, you need to blitz Tebow, because as bad as his rating is, it is simply atrocious under the blitz. But you also need "contain" blitzes. The Jets lost to the Broncos on a blitz because all of the pressure emerged from the middle, and Tebow ran like a scared cat ... for a TD.
From a broad strategic standpoint, though, just get the Broncos in a 3rd and long, and don't break down.