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Offense Turns Up Tempo vs. Rams

Posted Aug 24, 2013

The Broncos' starters turned up the offensive tempo vs. the Rams on Saturday night, running 49 first half plays.


DENVER -- As the yards piled up and the number of first-half offensive snaps neared the half-century mark, the potential potency of the different offensive tempos displayed by the Broncos’ starters in the team’s 27-26 win over the Rams was on full display.

The Broncos offense ran swiftly on Saturday night, to say the least – both in getting the ball snapped and in racing through the St. Louis defense.    

In earning a 290-110 edge in total yardage in the first half, the Broncos’ starters ran 49 offensive plays to the Rams’ 24 and held a more-than-nine-minute edge in time of possession.

And, as the Broncos raced up and down the field using no huddle formations – but also shifting tempos at certain times – the offense showcased a versatile attack that was effective in moving the ball.

“Today, for us we showed some of the different paces we can go,” wide receiver Eric Decker said after the game. “We can huddle, we can go no huddle—fast—we caught them off subbing at one point, and that’s kind of the mentality that we have is we want to play that fast.”

And while the offense revved to full-throttle at times against the Rams, Head Coach John Fox said following the game that the team will continue throwing different paces at defenses when the regular season begins. 

“As we get the regular season going, I think it’s something that we have been working on,” Fox said. “You know, having different tempos – the fast-ball, change-up – all those different tempos can wear down a defense. It’s something that we will continue to work at.”

Rookie running back Montee Ball, who finished with 14 carries for 43 yards, said that the offense felt right at home with running the up-tempo pace. 

“It’s fast but we’re used to it. We do that every day in practice so it was second nature out there today,” Ball said. “Obviously out there on the game field you catch second wind because it’s live and you have a lot more adrenaline.”

And while the offense certainly had no reservations with playing quickly, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas believed that the speed of the offense was frustrating for the Rams’ defense. 

“I think so. We’re going fast, altitude, and you’ve got guys running open,” Thomas said. “You’ve got (Peyton Manning), the clinic. I’m sure it’s tough.”

Tight end Julius Thomas agreed that the pace of the offense at times left the Rams’ defense with its hands full.

"I want to say I feel bad for them, but not so much," he joked. "Hey, we're going to try to push the tempo. Teams are going to have to keep up or we'll just keep on trying to move it down the field."

And, according to Rams’ defensive end Chris Long – who remarked on how quickly Manning dispersed the ball to his receivers – the assessments of Thomas and Ball were accurate enough.  

“You know (Manning’s) going to get the ball out pretty quick so as a rusher it can be a little frustrating, so we just have to keep pounding away and that’s why he’s Peyton Manning,” Long said.