Run Defense Can’t Stop Broncos

From Arrowhead Stadium

Tyson Jackson pondered the question for a moment.

“Tyson, you guys knew they were going to run the ball, but 244 yards worth. You couldn’t have expected that. What happened?”

“It’s not your typical offense that you see every week in the NFL,” Jackson said of the Denver Broncos and their read option run game they used so effectively in a 17-10 victory over the Chiefs. “It’s our job to go out there and stop it, and we didn’t get that done.

“We did it in spurts, but we didn’t do it enough to keep their offense off the field.”

They certainly didn’t – the Broncos ran 55 times in the game with six different runners. They lost their two top running backs in the first quarter to injury, but that hardly slowed Denver down. They went out and won it with Lance Ball doing the dirty work, running 30 times for 96 yards.

The Chiefs were seemingly helpless to stop the Broncos run game. They knew what was coming, they had prepared for all aspects of the Denver offense. None of it mattered in the end.

“We knew that was going to be a great challenge,” head coach Todd Haley said. “We had a Plan A, B and C on how we were going to try to stop the run because it’s a numbers issue. No plans ended up working quite the way we needed them to.”

When things weren’t working well, changes were made on the defense. OLB Andy Studebaker was benched in favor of the quicker and faster rookie OLB Justin Houston. Starting SS Jon McGraw was benched, replaced by Reshard Langford.

As the game went on, the Chiefs did a better job as the game went on. Here’s how it broke down, quarter-by-quarter:
























Lg-24, 22, 19, 12, 11, 10

They got 43 yards rushing from their quarterback. They got 19 yards on 3 carries from WR Eddie Royal. FB Spencer Larsen gained 17 yards on 5 carries. Injured RBs Willis McGahee and Knowshon Moreno had 69 yards in the first quarter before leaving.

And Ball led them all with 30 carries for 96 yards. His career totals before this game were 79 carries for 372 yards.

Running was what the Broncos were going to do. On a 3rd-and-9 play, Denver ran the ball. Twice the Broncos faced 3rd-and-7 situations. Both times, they called running plays. They didn’t get either one. They ran on a 3rd-and-6 and 3rd-and-5.

“There’s only one thing you can do in that situation and that’s stop them from running,” ILB Derrick Johnson said. “We didn’t do that. We slowed them down a little bit, but we couldn’t stop them.

“In the second half we stepped up better against the run, but we didn’t get it done in the first half.”

The credit goes to the Broncos offensive line, where the starting group of LT Ryan Clady, LG Zane Beadles, C J.D. Walton, RG Chris Kuper and rookie RT Orlando Franklin kept pushing and pushing. Denver ran about 20 plays with another OT Chris Clark in the game as a tight end.

It’s not like the Broncos didn’t have any tight ends – there were four active on the game-day roster. But Clark’s size and blocking ability was what Denver was seeking.

“Give credit to those guys, they kept their feet pushing and pushing and they were more physical than we were,” Johnson said. “We knew everything that they were doing. They ran the ball and they didn’t turn it over. That’s them, that’s what they do.”

After nine games now, the Chiefs defense is allowing 134 rushing yards per game. Coming up on the schedule are games against teams like Pittsburgh, the New York Jets and Chicago that have had great success running the ball. If they stick with their plans like the Broncos did on Sunday, they will probably be quite successful.

“Give them credit,” said Johnson. “They had a plan and they stuck with it. They didn’t deviate from it. They were going to run the ball and they kept hammering away. They stayed true to it.”

And it was the Chiefs defense that got hammered.

3 Responses to “Run Defense Can’t Stop Broncos”

  • November 14, 2011  - ED J says:

    Jackson played much better after Broncos went up 10 pts. Especially once Houston came in the game. Dorsey and Gregg on the other hand got competely steamed rolled most of the game. Dorsey seems to be regressing while Jackson continues to be consistent. IF Gregg going to just get pushed around like that I’d rather see Gordon or Powe out there at least they could be getting valuable experience. And he Romeo how about not starting Studebaker ever again he lost outside containment so many times today and last week along with missing tackles. Leave Houston in there sub him out for Sheffield rest of the season.

    McGraw was embarrassing as always missing tackles. Even though Langford blew that play in coverage he did help against the run. So I’d rather have him in there instead slow McGraw who blows coverages because lack of speed and along with missing tackles.

  • November 14, 2011  - johnfromfairfax says:

    I agree with you Ed, Studebaker can’t contain and shouldn’t be on the field. Dorsey seemed to be in a fog, Gregg is past his shelf life and our safeties are a mess. Oh and by the way, Keep posting. You have a right to your opinions even if others don’t agree with them and your insights are often spot on and as valuable as anybody else. We’re all frustrated but the season is going to get longer in the next several weeks.

  • November 14, 2011  - Tim says:

    Our interior “trio” (NT & both ILBs) had their asses handed to them all day. THere’s no reason not to get Powe on the field, if Gregg isn’t going to play better. Belcher & DJ wouldn’t step up & take on blocks all day. They sat there 3-4 yds deep & let the block come to them. Looked like inexperienced pee wee players. Of course the obligatory McGraw whiff on tackles is in order as well. Romeo, oh Romeo…where fore art thou? NOWHERE TO BE FOUND!

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