Broncos run a play by squeezing yards with great help from ‘heavy’ staff – The Denver Post


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Clinging to a three-point lead but holding an almost eight-minute possession advantage over the New York Giants in Week 1, the goal from Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur was double to start the second half. -time.

Score to create a split against the points-contested Giants and take New York’s defense to figurative pulp.

To do both, the Broncos got heavy… literally.

In a 16-game touchdown, the Broncos used tight double-ended staff on eight shots, offering a glimpse into Shurmur’s modus operandi on the 3-0 start.

Use big people to beat your opponents.

Entering Sunday’s game against Baltimore, the Broncos sit fourth in rushes (31.7 per game) and tied for seventh in rushing yards (127.3).

“I believe in managing football,” Shurmur said ahead of practice on Thursday. “I think you have to involve the full-backs in the game plan by giving it to them and I think that helps your team.”

It certainly helped the Broncos offense.

• According to the Denver Post game chart, they had at least two tight ends on the field for 96 of their 199 offensive snaps (not counting knees), including 50% wins against the Giants and New York Jets.

• They have the fifth highest peak play rate in the league (42.8%).

• They are tied for first in five-minute practices (seven) and lead the league in average times to score practices (4:43).

• And they lead the league in times of possession (36:16).

Tight end Noah Fant played 80.2% of the snaps (162 of 202), followed by Albert Okwuegbunam (103, 51%) and Eric Saubert (70, 34.7%). Last week against the Jets, tight end / fullback Andrew Beck was active and played 12 snaps.

“We have a setup where I feel good to put three tight ends there and there are times that it helps get a little bit of breathing space for a few receivers,” Shurmur said.

During the aforementioned practice against the Giants, the Broncos started at their 25-yard line. In the tight two-end staff, Melvin Gordon had carries for five, six and six yards and Javonte Williams carried twice for six yards. No big plays, but positive rushes set up playing action and tire an opponent, especially in Broncos home games.

Shurmur is committed to using multi-tight staff throughout the game, not just for a change of pace.

Against Jacksonville, the Broncos used “13” staff (one fullback, one receiver and three tight ends) on four straight opening plays, gaining 12 rushing yards and 22 passing yards on the way to a basket.

Against the Jets, the Broncos opened their second practice with four straight “12” staff snaps (one fullback, two receivers and two tight ends) to move from their 25-yard line to 49 yards. On the goal line, the Broncos threw their personal “23” forfeit (two running backs and three tight ends) for two games, including Gordon’s one-yard touchdown.

Beck was a good scratch in Weeks 1 and 2, but served as a defenseman against the Jets.

“There’s a ton of versatility in this (end) piece,” Beck said. “Guys can run, block, be physical, catch passes, make guys miss and (Shurmur) knows that so he has a lot of confidence in these guys running.

“It can open up the playbook for these sets a bit more than for other coordinators.”

Don’t expect multi-tight looks to go away. It works and the Broncos are running out of receivers after losing Jerry Jeudy (ankle, out at least two other games) and KJ Hamler (ACL, out for the year).

“What I love about (our racing game) is that we were able to stay consistent throughout the game,” said Shurmur. “We were able to use it in all areas of the field.

Being undefeated allows you to pick up nits. One area for the Broncos is yards per carry: they rank 15th at 4.02. Can they continue to prosper under the premise of victory by a thousand cuts of paper? May be. But a few standing doubles or home runs wouldn’t hurt.

“When you come back, there are always places where we like to say, ‘We left meat on the bone,’ and we could have gotten a little bit of each piece,” Shurmur said. “Like every part of our offensive plan that you try to improve, you seek to use every yard you can in whatever you do.”

Committed to run the game

A look at the Broncos’ racing game standings in the first three weeks of the season:

Category Mean Ranking
Rushes 31.7 Fourth
Precipitation course 127.3 Tied for seventh
Average per transport 4.02 15th
Execution rate 48.20% Fifth
Four-meter runs 36 Tied for 12th
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