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Week 5 GDT: Denver Broncos (3-1) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3)


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1 hour ago, BroncoBruin said:

I thought the defense looked slow today. Darby will help at one of those outside spots, Fuller’s foot speed is being targeted and it’s not looking good. Today it really felt like we were missing a couple athletes who could cover space and disrupt the game. Strnad was really bad today and he hasn’t looked like more than a replacement level guy to me. I wonder if they put Kiser or Williamson in soon. 

I think the loss of Jewell may be haunting us, mentally more than physically.

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How the hell can we have a scenario where we have a two of our top three WRs out injured and the other not 100%, yet Noah Fant doesn’t even get targeted until the 4th quarter? Awful game planning by Shurmur 

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6 hours ago, Broncofan said:

With Fant it's clear he's been playing hurt.   He actually blocked a lot better today, but they just literally didn't target him until the last 20 mins of the game.   

He really didn't block better today. Not sure if you're basically referring to the kick out block for the long Williams run - sorry, but that's an easy block. I've no idea why Stink made such a big deal about it. Loads of space, TE 1v1 vs a Safety - sorry, but that's easy money. The key to that play was the sealing inside by the OL; not Fant.

You're, to an extent, speculating re: the injury. We don't know the extent, so we can only comment on what we do know, and that is Fant is massively underperforming in every aspect of the game. He's currently on a train (at break-neck speed) to Bustsville.

Re: Von in coverage - that is a known floor of Zone coverage where CB's don't travel. If the Offense goes with either 12 personnel (2 WR, 2 TE) or 21 personnel (2 WR, 1 FB, 1 TE), we're going to match with our base 3-4 Defense.

Because our outside CB's don't align anywhere but their side of the field, if the Offense aligns their 2 WR's to the same side of the field, then that a presnap mismatch in that you have to either have your Safety aligned over the top of the slot WR, or (as was the case yesterday) your OLB will do it. The other CB (Surtain yesterday) will then align over the TE to the other side of the formation from the WRs.

Now, Fangio will argue that technically, it shouldn't matter who is aligned over whom because it's a zone coverage call; the spaces you're required to cover are practically the same, regardless of what formation the Offense come out in. The problem is that you're a) giving your coverage away presnap without any motion (Ben knows Von over Claypool isn't man coverage) and b) you're giving a free release for a slot WR to the easiest place for a QB to throw; the middle of the field.

But, you have to put it in to context. 

Our man coverage got roasted all day long, Fuller in particular. Also, zone coverage in your base Defense can also help vs the run, because everyone is looking into the backfield, whereas in man coverage the DBs (CBs especially) are fixed on their receiver.

So if we going to call zone coverage, people might say "well why don't you move the CB with the WR regardless?" - that is not an easy thing to adjust to on the fly. Each player would have to know every single players coverage responsibility to adjust based on the formation the Offense presents.

Sometimes, a better Offensive call beats a Defensive call. It looked ugly but there has to be context applied (like all things in life, eh?)

Edited by lomaxgrUK
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Just a gross game to watch today. I think everyone is tired of watching this boring, antiquated version of Broncos football that has been the norm since we won the Superbowl. It's time to bring fresh concepts and new ideas to this team. I hope Paton sees that. Fangio is just over his head. Shurmur is terrible. Neither of them should be here next year. I understand the playcalling is hampered by the injuries, but there are teams in the NFL doing more with less.

Defensively, the team looked and played disinterested today. Didn't hit Roethlishberger at all sans one play. AJ had some key opportunities he botched, boneheaded penalties, just an all around whiff.

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6 hours ago, lomaxgrUK said:

He really didn't block better today. Not sure if you're basically referring to the kick out block for the long Williams run - sorry, but that's an easy block. I've no idea why Stink made such a big deal about it. Loads of space, TE 1v1 vs a Safety - sorry, but that's easy money. The key to that play was the sealing inside by the OL; not Fant.

You're, to an extent, speculating re: the injury. We don't know the extent, so we can only comment on what we do know, and that is Fant is massively underperforming in every aspect of the game. He's currently on a train (at break-neck speed) to Bustsville.

Re: Von in coverage - that is a known floor of Zone coverage where CB's don't travel. If the Offense goes with either 12 personnel (2 WR, 2 TE) or 21 personnel (2 WR, 1 FB, 1 TE), we're going to match with our base 3-4 Defense.

Because our outside CB's don't align anywhere but their side of the field, if the Offense aligns their 2 WR's to the same side of the field, then that a presnap mismatch in that you have to either have your Safety aligned over the top of the slot WR, or (as was the case yesterday) your OLB will do it. The other CB (Surtain yesterday) will then align over the TE to the other side of the formation from the WRs.

Now, Fangio will argue that technically, it shouldn't matter who is aligned over whom because it's a zone coverage call; the spaces you're required to cover are practically the same, regardless of what formation the Offense come out in. The problem is that you're a) giving your coverage away presnap without any motion (Ben knows Von over Claypool isn't man coverage) and b) you're giving a free release for a slot WR to the easiest place for a QB to throw; the middle of the field.

But, you have to put it in to context. 

Our man coverage got roasted all day long, Fuller in particular. Also, zone coverage in your base Defense can also help vs the run, because everyone is looking into the backfield, whereas in man coverage the DBs (CBs especially) are fixed on their receiver.

So if we going to call zone coverage, people might say "well why don't you move the CB with the WR regardless?" - that is not an easy thing to adjust to on the fly. Each player would have to know every single players coverage responsibility to adjust based on the formation the Offense presents.

Sometimes, a better Offensive call beats a Defensive call. It looked ugly but there has to be context applied (like all things in life, eh?)

Yeah that’s fair re: base zone protecting the run.   The issue we’ve not seen since mid 2018 is we haven’t been so bad against the run to need to support the game as much.  
 

I do credit Pitt changing their OL to a power scheme 2-3 games ago - it’s starting to pay off.   Much like how the Rams went to a predominant power scheme (there’s always a mix) halfway through 2019 to play to their personnel’s strengths.    But our struggles vs the run yesterday and our OL issues were sobering to witness. 

I mentioned it in the General Forum thread re: our OL struggles the last 2 weeks.   It’s clear we faced inferior competition the first 3 weeks.   Bal & Pitt just dominated our OL.  That was unexpected to be that bad.  But those are also 2 of the teams who would be incredibly familiar with Munchak’s scheme and coaching.   That same kind of familiarity is often why intra-divisional games play a lot tighter than the talent differences present.   It will be interesting to see if it plays out going forward.  
 

I hope the OL struggles vs. BAL / PIT are partly related to that extreme familiarity both opponents have with Munchak (also applies to Hou O surprising vs. NE D & Matt Ryan exploding vs. a Saleh D scheme - the Jets pass coverage is awful but zero pressure issues was a shocker - Ryan has crumbled vs. pressure since mid last season) - and why I’m willing to be patient here.   If it’s not that, the answer is a lot more worrisome (for rookies like Meinerz I’m ok with, but guys like Risner / Muti and Bolles it’s obv. concerning).   I think @elliot878 mentioned it when Bolles got extended - playing without crowds and a league lowest-holding rate by refs, you wonder if his excellent play would translate once 2021 crowds and a more normal holding call rate came back.  
 

No matter the reasons so far, Bolles hasn’t replicated his 2020 play.   Fortunately he also didn’t extend at top of market rates - that would have been tough to swallow.   Still, he’s not even the worst problem - just we were all hoping he’d be the OL anchor like he was last year (and as a contrast, how rookie LT Slater is for the Chargers).   Still early but out of the 2nd contract / rookie deal core young guys, you want to see his play elevate back to his 2020 levels.   Again he’s far from our only or biggest problem on the OL - but we need him to be the anchor, too. 

Edited by Broncofan
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4 hours ago, broncos67 said:

Just a gross game to watch today. I think everyone is tired of watching this boring, antiquated version of Broncos football that has been the norm since we won the Superbowl. It's time to bring fresh concepts and new ideas to this team. I hope Paton sees that. Fangio is just over his head. Shurmur is terrible. Neither of them should be here next year. I understand the playcalling is hampered by the injuries, but there are teams in the NFL doing more with less.

Defensively, the team looked and played disinterested today. Didn't hit Roethlishberger at all sans one play. AJ had some key opportunities he botched, boneheaded penalties, just an all around whiff.

Excellent post!  And re the D I have long argued that it is way over rated.  I mean guys like Purcell and Harris are ok and the best that WE got but they don't stack up when measured to other players.  They are Meh!  It is not a top 5 defence more like 15-20 range.  

Also there needs to be a clear redirection from the current path because it's clear the path we are on is the wrong one.  There is a ton to do here, a ton!  The only saving hope for the playoffs (not that they even matter) is that there are a slew of teams bunched in after the division leaders with 3-2 and 2-3 records.  It kind of reminds me of the ridiculousness that is the NHL.  Everyone has a shot at the playoffs but to the owners this is a good thing as the fans all stay interested.  So I guess I'm sticking around for a bit longer continuing to watch gross football.  This whole NFL season has me disappointed save for the Bills routing of the Chiefs last night.  I so hate Mahomes and the Chiefs!!  

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I think it is pretty clear that teams have figured out how to attack this offence - and despite Fangio's reputation as a defensive guru - how to attack the defence. The fact that there was a rally at the end of the game was more down to some gutsy plays by Teddy and the Steelers defence trying to hold on to their lead - but that first half was inexcusable on both sides of the ball.

I think it is going to be a long, long season with more misses than hits

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3 hours ago, jolly red giant said:

I think it is pretty clear that teams have figured out how to attack this offence - and despite Fangio's reputation as a defensive guru - how to attack the defence. The fact that there was a rally at the end of the game was more down to some gutsy plays by Teddy and the Steelers defence trying to hold on to their lead - but that first half was inexcusable on both sides of the ball.

I think it is going to be a long, long season with more misses than hits

Probably a lot of armpit fart sounding games.

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On 10/11/2021 at 3:50 AM, paul-mac said:

How the hell can we have a scenario where we have a two of our top three WRs out injured and the other not 100%, yet Noah Fant doesn’t even get targeted until the 4th quarter? Awful game planning by Shurmur 

How do you have a delay of game on the first play of the game? Talk about being prepared.  Remember when Shanny scripted the first 15 plays and went with those plays for better or worse?  

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Few fire notes from 1st Quarter all 22:

* Shelby Harris has been really poor. PFF seem to think he had a good game, so I guess he turns it around?

* As a general point, the Steelers clearly don't respect our interior DL. They aren't even doubling at the point of attack in the run game; their Guards are just going straight to the 2nd level. There's nothing Johnson and Strnad can do in that situation. DL have to make plays when blocked 1v1 and run goes into their gap(s)

* Big difference for the few plays when Purcell went out. Williams has been awful in relief

* Too many plays off for Von. Not liking his effort on the backside of plays. Compare that to TJ Watt who's like the Tazmanian Devil out there

* Two big plays on Fuller are interesting. The first one (30 or so yards down the sideline to Claypool) was a definite push off, and Fuller was millimetres from deflecting it. Game of inches, as they say. The TD throw he was expecting Simmons to be there because he's playing with outside technique. However, Simmons jumped the underneath route because Sterns got beat badly by Claypool. Still poor from Fuller.

* Couple of long 3rd downs where Teddy hasn't trusted the protection to hold up and has thrown early way short of the sticks

* Both Fant and Saubert have blown blocks that led to TFLs

* OL hasn't blocked all that badly in the run game. Just a couple of splash plays that have put us way behind schedule, and our passing game can't compensate

* One play really stood out was the Watt 3 yard TFL. Steelers matched our 11 personnel (3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB) with their base 3-4. So they had their base 7 man box (i.e 4 LBs, 3 DLs) vs our 5 OL and Noah Fant. 
That is a clear, clear mismatch for us. Teddy has to know he's therefore got man coverage outside, including a Safety on a WR (Steelers only had 2 CB's out there, i.e their base D).
Teddy HAS to check that to a pass play. Lo and behold, Watt whips Fant in 0.00000000000000001 seconds and it's a 3 yard TFL.
Take. What. They. Give. You. It's just a total lack of respect from the Steelers for our passing Offense, just like we saw all of last year.
What I will say for Drew is that last year he would take the shot vs man coverage - he just couldn't execute. But at least he gave it a shot. Far too conservative from Teddy. That isn't on Shurmur at all, because he is making the call before the Steelers show their personnel package.

Edited by lomaxgrUK
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17 minutes ago, lomaxgrUK said:

I've type and deleted Porter so many times since we signed Fuller ....... Like @bMiller031 said, it's me confusing with Tracy Porter.

Edited the OP.

Tracy Porter might want to keep his phone nearby if Fuller keeps playing like he did on Sunday

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