When one encounters an elite unit in football, the opposing coach usually refers to the proverbial chess game. This roughly translates into that if all things were equal that the team with the better talent would triumph. However, strategy has a high regard in this league. Game planning can allow the other team to not only deflect potential weaknesses but play on the strengths of the other team. The end result is an often unforeseen outcome. This is what the Denver offense will have to do when it lines up with the Panther defense on the 7th of February.
Back in Super Bowl 48, their coaching staff probably held illusions about the prowess that Peyton still had back. After all, his offenses were still racking up record points for Denver. Only with the talent and planning of a Seattle defense was the blueprint formed on how to cope with Manning. Now in the long road back, the organization really had hoped that Brock could have taken the baton and finished the race. However, a bad showing in San Diego fueled with the monster comeback led by Manning put him back in the saddle again. Through two years of self analysis, they are a known quantity as in regards to arm strength. So how do they forge the plans of a great escape to not only elude the Panthers pass rush but control the ball down the field.
The static and dynamic is what the Panthers defense is facing. Make no mistake, Carolina has been suffering under second half comebacks. Part of it was the monster lead against Seattle that people have in mind. However, this is not a one time deal as the regular season saw the vaunted Panther defense run out of gas. So here is the task that the Broncos have to troubleshoot.
- Carolina can not be allowed to jump out to a massive lead. Look for ball control drives that balance short passing with the Bronco’s rushing attack.
- How to take shots downfield and yet not throw interceptions? Develop routes that can be arc dependent that are away from Josh Norman?
- Use Manning’s mental acumen to break down the game at the line and rely on his experience to thwart the bright lights of the less experienced Carolina team
This is by no means an impossible task. -5 1/2 to -6 is by no means a game that is out of hand. Denver has the experience to do this. It is up to the handicapper to determine whether the value of the chess game and if it can trump the youth and talent of the Carolina Panthers. Good fortune and we will see you later today here at HRWager.