While future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning has been a virtual lock to put 30 points on the board whenever he steps on a football field, the 2015 season has brought a ton of change to both, Manning’s once pass-heavy performances– and Denver’s former high-scoring offense.
Thankfully, this expert overview on the Broncos’ offense will give you the insight you’ll need in order to make a series of wise wagers on Denver’s remaining postseason games.
With that said and the 2016 AFC Championship game quickly approaching, let’s get started.
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) January 18, 2016
New England Patriots vs Denver Broncos Odds and TV Info
What: New England Patriots (12-4) at Denver Broncos (12-4)
When: Sunday, January 24, 2016
Kickoff: 3:05 PM ET
Where: Denver, CO
Stadium: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Spread: Patriots -3
Moneyline: New England -175 vs Denver +155
Game Total: 44.5
Stream: CBS Sports
Listen: New England vs Denver
Season Stats – Rank
Total Yards – 355.5 – 16th
Passing Yards – 248.1 – 14th
Rushing Yards – 107.4 – 17th
Points Scored – 22.2 – 19th
Field Goal % – 85.7 – 14th
Broncos Offense Betting Analysis
As you can see from the above offensive statistics, the Broncos were completely and utterly mediocre across the board when they had the ball this season – and I blame this fact firmly on the offensive philosophy of first-year head coach Gary Kubiak.
The Broncos have gone from a team that ranked second in scoring in 2014 (30.1 ppg) and first in scoring in 2013 (37.9 ppg) to one that scored 30 or more points just twice this season.
Denver ranked 14th in passing as Manning made nine starts and backup Brock Osweiler, seven. Osweiler ranked 30th in touchdown passes this season (10) while Manning finished one spot behind him with nine TD passes. Osweiler ranked 25th in passer rating (86.4) while Manning finished 34th (67.9)
Touchdowns – Ronnie Hillman – 7
Rushing – Ronnie Hillman – 863
Passing – Peyton Manning – 2,249
Receiving – Demaryius Thomas – 1,304
Despite their passing struggles this season, veteran wide receiver Demaryius Thomas managed to record 1,304 yards in receptions while Emmanuel Sanders recorded 1,135 yards. Both wideouts caught a half-dozen touchdown passes.
Denver ranked an uninspiring 17th in rushing but saw Ronnie Hillman (863 yards) and former starter C.J. Anderson (720 yards) combine for over 1,500 yards while adding a dozen combined rushing touchdowns.
The Broncos have a very good tight end in veteran Owen Daniels, though their addition of veteran tight end Vernon Davis has failed to pay any dividends whatsoever.
While Kubiak has installed a much more traditional offensive system this year to give the Broncos and Manning the balance they’ve apparently lacked the last few seasons, I say his desire to run the ball – particularly in obvious situations, has hampered the Broncos and could keep them from reaching Super Bowl 50.
NFL analyst and former Cincinnati Bengals star quarterback Boomer Esiason had this to say following Denver’s narrow 23-16 win over Pittsburgh this past weekend.
“When you’re grinding the way that they’re grinding offensively – and they have been grinding for the last five or six weeks even with Brock Osweiler at quarterback – I think this is a real advantage for the Patriots,” Esiason said. “It really is. You gotta feel that they can’t throw the ball over the top. If you can’t do that then you’ve gotta sit on a lot of the short stuff which I think Pittsburgh was doing yesterday. But you never count Peyton Manning out, especially with this game being in Denver.”
I know it sounds strange, but right now, Denver’s offense – and Kubiak’s unwillingness to open it up – could be the thing that derails Payton Manning from winning what has been an elusive second Super Bowl championship.