When the Broncos begin the final nine-game stretch of their 2022 season, they'll look to capitalize off the momentum of a Week 9 win.
The win over Jacksonville was a sign of resilience — the team climbed out of a pair of deficits to snap a four-game skid — and it may have suggested future success for the Broncos' offense.
After entering the game with the league's least-efficient red-zone offense, the Broncos scored touchdowns on all three of their trips inside the 20-yard line.
If the Broncos hope to rebound from their 3-5 record to make a playoff surge, they'll need to continue to make strides in the red zone and also find a way to be better on third down. In the win, the Broncos were just 2-of-11 in third-down opportunities.
"Third down and red zone are things that we have to continually get better at," Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett said Tuesday. "That's been [two] of our Achilles heels up to this point."
The Broncos will also aim to limit their number of three-and-outs, which stall offensive momentum and put pressure on the defense. Hackett has spoken several times about the feast-or-famine nature of the Broncos' offense, and the three-and-outs speak to the lesser alternative in Denver's production.
When Denver has found a way to kick-start a drive, though, the team has found success. And that's led Hackett to create a simple goal for his offense on each series.
"It starts with getting in that rhythm and getting that first, first down," Hackett said. "For us, that's critical because once we get that first, first down, we've done some good stuff. That's kind of our goal moving forward. Let's just get that first, first down and see what happens from there."
When the Broncos are able to do that, then the offense looks as it was designed.
"Whenever you're moving the ball, you're getting some people open and [you're] getting some explosive plays, that's what you always want it to look like," Hackett said.
As the Broncos enter the second half of the 2022 season, they'll aim to see more of their ideal offense.
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Hackett and the Broncos' offense must continue to improve to reach their desired level, and they could be poised to do just that. Hackett said it's actually easier to make corrections after a win rather than a loss — which may run counter what most would expect.
"When you get up there, you want to point out the good because there was some good that allowed us to win the game," Hackett said. "Everybody feels great after a win, and I think that gives an opportunity for us to point out the details on how we could have done even better. We could have done so many other things. We left a lot of yards out there. We didn't convert on some of those third downs, like I talked about before. I think it just makes it so the guys are enjoying their corrections instead of being down a lot of the time because everybody hates to lose. We're in this to win. When you do win, you can be even more critical on some of those little details and make sure that you're correct in every single thing. We do that with the losses, too — just [in] a different format. You can always coach them a lot harder when it's a win because everybody's feeling good and it's acceptable to listen a little clearer."