Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Lack of deep passing game keeps Broncos grounded

By: FRANK SCHWAB
November 10, 2009
0
photo - Denver Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton is slow to get off the ground after being pressured by the Pittsburgh Steelers defense during the second half at Invesco Field in Denver on Monday, Nov. 9, 2009. Photo by BRYAN OLLER, THE GAZETTE
Denver Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton is slow to get off the ground after being pressured by the Pittsburgh Steelers defense during the second half at Invesco Field in Denver on Monday, Nov. 9, 2009. Photo by BRYAN OLLER, THE GAZETTE 

Every running play seemed like a wasted down, and most passing plays after halftime were a struggle. The Denver Broncos offense, once a pleasant surprise, has to regroup.

The team is in a major offensive slump, with only one touchdown in two games. Denver’s only touchdown Monday came courtesy of the defense. The Broncos never got inside Pittsburgh’s 20-yard line.

Denver, which had 66 rushing yards against Baltimore two weeks ago, had 27 against the Steelers. Quarterback Kyle Orton, who didn’t reach 100 yards passing against the Ravens until a meaningless final drive, had 58 second-half yards against Pittsburgh. Denver averaged 9.8 yards per drive after halftime Monday.

“As a quarterback, I put it on myself,” Orton said. “It is my offense, and I will get it back on track.”

The lack of a deep passing game could be affecting productivity as the offense relies on short and intermediate routes. Denver is tied for 22nd in the NFL in passes of 20 yards or more. According to the NFL’s game statistics site, only 31 of Denver’s 269 pass attempts have been deep throws — which are defined as 16 or more yards.

Coach Josh McDaniels said protecting the quarterback and finding good matchups are two factors that dictate how often the team tries a deep pass. And if the safeties are playing deep, he doesn’t want the quarterback to lob a low-percentage attempt.

“You’re trying to look at it from both sides: be smart and take shots,” he said last week. “Not all shots have to be 60-yard throws down the field. We’ve never really done that where I’ve been. We try to make sure we’re smart with the ways we try to make explosive plays.” 

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

Some news is free.
Exceptional journalism takes time, effort and your support.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.