Here's how Broncos' Screen Game is Hurting the Offense

Erick Trickel

Why have Denver Broncos OC Rich Scangarello stuck with plays that fail? First, it was the five- and seven-step drops on 3rd-&-short, then it was handoffs to TE Noah Fant and now, it's the hapless screens.

Believe it or not, on the season, the Broncos have produced just one successful screen play. Maybe because that one successful screen was a 25-yard touchdown romp by Fant in the first quarter of the season, Scangarello keeps sticking with it.

But seeing Denver's screens get blown up for loss every time isn’t a path to success, and it really hurts this offense, which does rely on the screen game to open up other aspects of the field.

We are seeing the stubbornness of the offensive coordinator with his refusal to go away from them. To a degree, it is understandable because of their importance to the scheme, but for whatever reason they're not working, and it's simply putting the Broncos behind schedule.

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There are a few issues with the Broncos' poor screen game. To wit, execution from the players, coaching failures, lack of talent and a disrespect of the Broncos' deep passing game. Denver has to clean those issues up, and until then, just stop calling screens.

It isn’t ideal to give up on such a big part of the offense, but the Broncos have no other choice at this point in time. Denver is the worst team in the NFL when it comes to executing screen plays and calling them does more harm than good.

The change doesn’t need to be permanent, obviously, but it needs to stop until the Broncos are able to fix some of these issues. The loss in Buffalo showed why screens are important.

There were strong winds and QB Brandon Allen couldn’t go deep/vertical because of his lack of arm strength to cut through the air with velocity. Those screens open up the short throws to try and pick up good chunks of yards.

It is an issue that the Broncos have to fix because it is just hurting the offense. When a play does more harm than good, like the screens have been, you have stop calling them. It's pretty basic. 

Check out the video above for the full analysis on this issue. 

Follow Erick on Twitter @ErickTrickel and @MileHighHuddle. 

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Comments (4)
No. 1-2

I’ve been saying this all year. The problem with the screens is they’re too complex. It’s always fake this way, fake that way, then dump it off. He needs to go back to simple screen plays. Drop back then dump it that’s it


He also needs to be more wary of who is he calling screens for. We get it, Fant has 4.5 speed... but screens are typically designed for players with 4.4 or 4.3 speed or exceptional juking ability. Fant is a big man who moves fast in space and is a mismatch nightmare for LBs, use him as such. He is not a WR. Blocking has also been terrible on screen plays so regardless of who gets the ball they are already at a disadvantage.