On Sunday, the Green Bay Packers face the Denver Broncos, an uncommon opponent with a familiar head coach. Joe Rowles of Mile High Report kindly volunteered to answer our questions about the Broncos and provide some insight into their strengths and weaknesses.
APC: This offseason, the Broncos hired longtime defensive coordinator Vic Fangio as their next head coach. What has changed most strikingly in a positive and negative way for the team under Fangio?
It’s been a pretty dramatic change overall on both sides of the ball, so it too early to call anything positive or negative. Right now the Broncos are in the middle of a phase where players are getting acclimated to the new schemes while the personnel department has churned the roster to find fits.
One of the biggest changes has come in how the Broncos coverage shell works on defense. Under Vance Joseph the Broncos played defense like a majority of the NFL: a heavy emphasis on MOFC coverage and eight defenders near the line of scrimmage to help against the run and short passes. With Fangio the Broncos have moved to more MOFO shells with two safeties back and there’s a greater emphasis on match zone. Mile High Report’s Jeff Essary touched on it here, here, and here.
The short of it is, the Broncos want their pass defense to limit big plays, rally to the ball after the catch, and be multiple.
On offense the Denver will look a bit like the Packers under Matt LaFleuer. Rich Scangarello came up under Kyle Shanahan and as I’ve studied the tape of both teams leading up to this weekend, the systems look like distant cousins. What’s most interesting about Denver on the offensive side of the ball so far is how Joe Flacco and the passing game have been the one reliable producer through two weeks.
We’d like to thank Joe for his time. Be sure to check out the rest of our Q&A session with Mile High Report over the course of the week as well as our Q&A session over there. As always, keep your internet machines tuned to Acme Packing Company this Sunday for our comprehensive game-day coverage of Broncos versus Packers.