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Mile High Morning: Why a fast tempo may be key for the Broncos' offense


The Lead

After an inconsistent start to the season, the Broncos' offense seemed to find an answer in the second half of Denver's Week 8 matchup with the Jaguars. 

The first two quarters moved at a slow pace, but after halftime, Denver dramatically increased the tempo — and it paid off. On multiple drives, the offense moved the ball quickly down the field and kept Jacksonville's defense on its toes. 

"I felt like during the London game, when the tempo went up, they couldn't stop our offense," wide receiver Jerry Jeudy said Wednesday. "We were just driving down the field consistently and scoring, so I feel like that should be a big part of this weekend." 

Wide receiver KJ Hamler, who set up the Broncos' game-winning drive against the Jaguars with a 47-yard reception deep downfield, noted that the fast tempo was what allowed the offense to start clicking. 

"I think just that fast tempo [was key]," Hamler said. "I think we're going to try to keep that stuff up. But the fast tempo was really what was getting them, and I think we moved efficiently with that." 

In Tennessee's game against Kansas City in Week 9, the Titans' defense was on the field for over 40 minutes. They are likely recuperating after a grueling overtime battle, while the Broncos are well-rested from the bye week. Wide receiver Courtland Sutton emphasized the importance of using this to their advantage in Week 10 and maintaining a quick tempo on offense.

"I think the [Titans'] defense played 101 snaps or something like that, which is crazy," Sutton said. "So I know that they're going to be focusing on recovering those guys, especially the big guys up front, so it's going to be on us to go into the game — we have that information, attacking that — go into the game with a mindset of, 'We've got to lean on these guys,' we've got to make them play to our tempo, make them stick with us and not drop down to their tempo." 

Jeudy added that the offense plans to find ways to pick up the pace in hopes of tiring Tennessee's defense.

"[We have] schemes we can do to keep them on their toes, keep them tired, and us, we're going to keep on rolling," Jeudy said. "I don't want to give too much detail about the game plan, but we're going to do little things to keep that going."

Below the Fold

In addition to maintaining a fast tempo, the Broncos' offense is looking to improve on third down. Its 29.2 conversion percentage on third down is the second worst in the NFL, and quarterback Russell Wilson said Wednesday that improving on third down starts with being better on first and second down.

"I think first and second down have to be great," Wilson said. "It allows you to be — in those situations, more times than not, it allows you to get into that rhythm as an offense. That's something we're really focused on — just making sure that every down is the most important down of the day. Every time you step into the huddle, we have to believe and understand that this play is the one that matters. As we saw in that game in London, KJ made a big play. [Tight end Greg] Dulcich making a play here, Courtland making a play and Jerry making a play. All those key third downs, and all of those moments on first and second down as well. You never know when the play is going to be the one. That's why I always talk about those game-altering plays. You want to be able to capitalize on those."

The Unclassifieds

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