Why They Lost: Green Bay Gets Demolished In Denver

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Nov 1, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos tight end

Virgil Green

(85) runs with the ball after making a catch with Green Bay Packers strong safety

Micah Hyde

(33) in pursuit during the second half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 29-10. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Big Targets Mean Big Problems

Let’s back off the offense for a minute and talk about issues with the supposedly fixed defense.

Here’s a big one: they could not stop big targets.

This has seemed to be one of those under-discussed issues with the defense in the past, something that gets lost in the shuffle with everyone focusing on the more visible problems (like run defense).

But it cannot be overlooked how sizeable receivers tend to give the defense trouble.

It’s one thing to let a top-quality player like Demaryius Thomas go off; he’s an athletic marvel that can blow open a game given the chance.

It’s another to let tight ends Virgil Green and Owen Daniels do the same. Granted, these two do have talent; the thing is they don’t often get to showcase it. Part of that could be age, another part injury,  another game-planning, and another just plain happenstance.

In any case, they were clearly part of the plan this week. Though Denver has been one of the least-TE-utilizing teams so far this season, they got some decent work behind Thomas.

The reason they may have seen more targets here likely relates to their size; both have a distinct height advantage (Green is 6’5″; Daniels 6’3″) over many of the coverage options Green Bay could throw out (Sam Shields, Casey Hayward, Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins, and Demetri Goodson are all only 5’11”). Add Thomas (6’3″) to the mix, and it’s obvious this was something the Broncos saw and planned on taking advantage of.

Fortunately, this shouldn’t exactly be an area many teams can hone in on so powerfully — few teams have that array of talented tall pass-catchers — but it is a built-in disadvantage against taller offensive teams.

Next: Losing Air Pressure