Russell Wilson’s bracelet, the Broncos’ anemic third offense and Peyton’s Places – The Denver Post
Eleven things about the Broncos as they return to action in Tennessee and look to build on a pre-bye week win in London.
1. If you’re looking for a single statistical turnaround that could lead to a boost for Denver, consider the Broncos are No. 31 in the NFL in third-party conversion rate. Even that doesn’t do the fight justice, though. In the past decade, only three NFL teams have finished a full season below Denver’s current mark of 29.2%.
2. “Conceptually we have to be a little smarter in that looking around the league you see a lot more area coverage instead of man coverage (on third down),” the coordinator said offensive Justin Outten. He identified a focus for personnel as, “Take advantage of those situations and have conceptual variety, where you can have a man-beater and an area-beater at the same time.”
3. In third and manageable, the Broncos are struggling thanks to a combination of a lack of timing and pace in their passing game and a lack of consistent rushing offense. The easiest way to keep drives in third is to have play call options, but even that hasn’t helped Denver so far.
4. OK, it’s not really rocket science here, but if you often fail third downs, it makes it hard to cap workouts with points. Denver is No. 28 in the NFL in that department, scoring on just 28% of its possessions so far this season, according to Pro Football Reference. That’s despite the Broncos having one of the lowest turnover rates (8.6% of possessions) in the game.
5. Maybe Russell Wilson’s bracelet will help. It’s a little ironic, but despite all the fuss over Pete Carroll’s comments and Wilson’s retort, having some of the more wordy play calls organized by number seems to make sense for Wilson and the coach- chef Nathaniel Hackett. Many NFL quarterbacks wear bracelets, including Hackett’s last guy, Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay.
6. “As a game designer sometimes you want to get a little creative and those things can get a little wordy,” Hackett said. … “Sometimes we get a little bit more detail on these things because sometimes we try to go a little crazy. So this allows you to do that. I think it also helps with crowd noise. If you have crowd noises, let him listen to me, he just has to hear a wristband number, then he can come in and communicate with the guys properly. There are many different things it is good for.
7. Now that the Broncos hold San Francisco’s first draft pick in 2023, it’s only natural to keep an eye on the Bay Area for the rest of the season to see where that stands. Denver has already done its part to help boost the value of this pick, beating the 49ers earlier in the season.
8. This weekend, however, brings a bit of Catch-22 for Broncos fans. San Francisco plays the Chargers, who at 5-3 are one of several teams between Denver and a potential playoff spot. So either Los Angeles gets another win or the Broncos’ draft value falls Sunday night. Who do you have? Maybe it depends on what happens in Nashville.
9. Had a chance last week to catch a glimpse of a Sunday episode of “Peyton’s Places,” part of Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions empire. This one features Manning and Wilson talking about the latter’s baseball career. Wilson, of course, was a 2010 MLB draft selection from the Colorado Rockies. It’s a lighthearted 20 minutes, featuring batting practice, a chat between two sports stars, and a retelling of when NC State football coach Tom O’Brien told Wilson he wouldn’t. could not return to the Wolfpack due to his insistence on pursuing baseball. Whoops.
10. In fact, the series isn’t all about Wilson’s baseball career. Manning proudly points out that he hit .440 as a senior high school shortstop at Isadore Newman in Louisiana. Wilson may have had the line from the episode when Manning was batting practice at Coors Field, likening the Hall of Fame quarterback’s swing to “a poor man’s Craig Counsell.”
11. The second half of the season is here and with it comes a more normal schedule for the Broncos. Eight consecutive Sundays before the typical flexibility of the last weekend. Even with a consecutive stint in the Eastern Time Zone on trips to Carolina and Baltimore, it should have a more standard feel. Now, what will the game on the pitch look like?