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Old 09-30-2008, 08:08 PM  
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Broncos change side for blame
Shanahan: "D" OK, but offense dropped ball

By Lindsay H. Jones
The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 09/30/2008


With nearly 24 hours to gain perspective on his team's 33-19 loss to the Chiefs in Kansas City, Broncos coach Mike Shanahan got defensive about his defense.

The final stats from Sunday, such as the 198 yards rushing by Kansas City's Larry Johnson and the 33 points, don't provide an accurate depiction of how the defense played, Shanahan said.

"When you take a look at a game like that, people will point to the defense, and that is so far from the truth," Shanahan said.

In backing the defense, Shanahan placed much of the blame for the team's first loss of the season on an offense that committed four turnovers and scored only one touchdown in four trips to the red zone. Those were the stats that had Shanahan most concerned Monday.

In fact, Shanahan said, it was the defense's effort through more than three quarters that allowed the Broncos to be in the game at all, because the offense's turnovers and breakdowns on kickoff coverage allowed the Chiefs to start six drives in Denver territory. Four of those possessions resulted in points for Kansas City two touchdowns and two field goals.

"There is a lot that goes into a football game, and everybody wants to throw it at the defense," Shanahan said. "Any offense that does that gives your defense no chance."

But defensive players spoke Sunday night and Monday about the need to continue to make improvements after giving up more than 30 points for the third consecutive game. The Broncos have surrendered 103 points since giving up only 14 to Oakland in the season opener.

"We've got to go back and draw it up and fix it," linebacker Boss Bailey said.

The loss to Kansas City brought attention to some defensive trouble spots that had existed, but were perhaps overshadowed, through the Broncos' victories in the first three weeks.

The team has failed to develop a consistent pass rush and has recorded six sacks only three in the past three games and has allowed its opponents

to convert 43 percent of third downs. The team ranks No. 30 out of 32 teams in overall defense, is second-to-last against the pass and is No. 24 against the run. "The fact that we didn't pull it out, you know, it brings a lot of attention to things that you know would not have gotten so much ink if we had won," safety Marlon McCree said. "We're playing hard, we're just not, at times, playing smart or aggressive enough."

Shanahan admitted the unit must play better but maintains, as he did a week ago, that the defense's troubles are fixable.

"We talked about missed tackles and gap responsibilities, and we still have to improve on our third downs," Shanahan said. "All the things we did poorly in the game, you try to work on and eliminate those mistakes."

Players said they are committed to making those changes. They reported for Monday conditioning for the first time this season the team earns an extra off day when it wins and watched film of Sunday's loss. The team is off today and will start practicing Wednesday for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay, a team on a three-game winning streak.

"I don't think there is one guy on the team, coach or anybody, that can be happy with the way things worked out," linebacker Jamie Winborn said. "We're not going to point any fingers or anything like that. I think everyone on this team feels the same way, that 'I have got to do better.' "
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:29 PM   #2
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Nice spin by the rat. However, I doubt it'll have the effect he's looking for.
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:34 PM   #3
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Well, when your team is built one sided, pretty much all the pressure is on the offense like that.

Its the same thing the Chiefs went through 2002-2005.
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:48 PM   #4
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Do you guys think that defense is really that bad ... a legitimate #30, I mean?

After Sunday, I was kind of hoping they were underrated.

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Old 09-30-2008, 08:56 PM   #5
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I can see his point. His defense held the Chiefs to two FGs in the first quarter and still couldn't get on the board. One of LJ's TD's came after Flowers returned it to the 2. They had 450+ yards of offense but turned it over 4 times.

Even though they were playing one of the worst offenses in the league, the defense played well enough if the offense showed up and didn't get loosey-gooesy with the ball.
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FAX View Post
Do you guys think that defense is really that bad ... a legitimate #30, I mean?

After Sunday, I was kind of hoping they were underrated.

FAX
I think their DC got a little too cute. Johnson's first run was when they employed the 3-4 defense. Not sure why they are toying with that. I bet he hunkers down and they improve over the next few games.
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donkhater View Post
I can see his point. His defense held the Chiefs to two FGs in the first quarter and still couldn't get on the board. One of LJ's TD's came after Flowers returned it to the 2. They had 450+ yards of offense but turned it over 4 times.

Even though they were playing one of the worst offenses in the league, the defense played well enough if the offense showed up and didn't get loosey-gooesy with the ball.
Hmmm. I don't disagree, but it may well be that those first two field goals were more a result of our ultra-conservative playcalling than anything the goats did or didn't do, Mr. donkhater.

You're right about their overall offensive production, though. They were hitting the 8, 9, and 10 yard completions all day long and with apparent ease. One has to wonder if our defensive game plan was to allow it (the bend-don't-break concept). I hope that's what happened, anyway.

Clearly, we have to continue to look for ways to bring pressure on the enemy QB. Otherwise ... ???

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Old 09-30-2008, 09:27 PM   #8
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Actually, I agree with the Rat. In fact, I was pretty worried the Chiefs were gonna drop the game and look really, really stupid for losing a game in which they won the turnover battle +4.
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donkhater View Post
I can see his point. His defense held the Chiefs to two FGs in the first quarter and still couldn't get on the board. One of LJ's TD's came after Flowers returned it to the 2. They had 450+ yards of offense but turned it over 4 times.

Even though they were playing one of the worst offenses in the league, the defense played well enough if the offense showed up and didn't get loosey-gooesy with the ball.
That's the point I was trying to make in a thread on gameday. The D actually kept them in the game. The offense faltered...it's as simple as that.

The defense does suck though.
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:34 PM   #10
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Actually, I agree with the Rat. In fact, I was pretty worried the Chiefs were gonna drop the game and look really, really stupid for losing a game in which they won the turnover battle +4.
Wasn't it ONLY +3. Champ did knock LJ ass over tea kettle resulting in a fumble.
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:43 PM   #11
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I think people are forgetting that the Chiefs only scored ten points off turnovers. So, that's 23 points to a team that averages ten a game.

Also, remember, it could have easily been more; noodle arm missed Bowe along the sidelines twice. One was a TD, and the other would've set up the Chiefs in the red zone.
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:44 PM   #12
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Shanny's explanation makes some sense. The only way the Broncos are going to win this year is to outscore the opponent, no matter what they do or what they score. Four turnovers are going to kill that possibility every time.
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pendejo View Post
Wasn't it ONLY +3. Champ did knock LJ ass over tea kettle resulting in a fumble.
Yeah. I'm not much of a detail guy lately.
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:24 PM   #14
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Shanny's explanation makes some sense. The only way the Broncos are going to win this year is to outscore the opponent, no matter what they do or what they score. Four turnovers are going to kill that possibility every time.
Before long Shanny is gonna be crying and you're Vermiel Chiefsification will be complete. Strange times.....
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:30 PM   #15
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Before long Shanny is gonna be crying and you're Vermiel Chiefsification will be complete. Strange times.....
All coaches outlive their welcomes eventually. I don't think Coach Shanahan is approaching that time, unless he decides that's he's simply too wealthy and too tired.

I doubt that Shanny will be crying much. Die hard Broncos fans inevitably will be, and some already are.
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