In the OTA period, the Denver Broncos made it a point of emphasis to practice and improve in certain situations that the team struggled with during the 2016 season. Looking back at what the Broncos didn’t do well a season ago, we can see where they should fare better this upcoming season under offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.

One of the more intriguing offensive minds in the game today, McCoy measures the capabilities of his offensive players and tailors a game-plan based on what they do well. While not known as an offensive powerhouse, the Chargers were the in the top third in the league in terms of passing yards and points the past two seasons under McCoy. With the start of training camp just weeks away, here are the two situational areas the Denver offense can improve most.

Staying out of obvious passing downs

With improvements made through the draft and free agency, Denver is looking at putting their offensive line woes of a year ago behind them. Allowing 42 sacks for the season, along with numerous pressures, Trevor Siemian was under fire for most of the year. In any offense and with any signal-caller, when an offensive line can’t keep the opposing defense at bay, it doesn’t typically produce positive results. Just ask Tom Brady about his experience in the 2015 AFC Championship Game; a good pass rush can wreck any game plan.

Where the team can make a big jump in McCoy’s scheme is keeping the offense out of the third-and-longs of a season ago. Asking his quarterbacks to get the ball out quicker will go a long way in nullifying a defense from pinning their ears back and getting a quality pass rush. While the difference in sacks allowed by both teams wasn’t by a huge amount (the Chargers allowed 35 in comparison) keeping either Paxton Lynch or Siemian upright will be helpful for whichever of the Broncos young quarterbacks ends up being the starter.


Being better in the red zone

Plain and simple, the Broncos struggled putting the ball in the end zone, running or passing the ball. With the season on the line in Tennessee, the Denver offense did everything in its power to put six on the board and not having much of an answer despite being inside the Titans’ 10-yard line. Just one more touchdown on that day was the difference between winning and losing while also keeping the Broncos playoff hopes alive going down the stretch.

For 2016, the Broncos put up 30 touchdowns compared to the 43 of the Chargers. With the type of defense that Denver still possesses, swapping out one field goal with a touchdown can put the pressure on opposing offenses to pass the ball with more frequency. That, in turn, gives the defense more opportunities to rush the passer as well as look for interceptions in the secondary. For this season, expect to see Brandon McManus busier in kicking extra points rather field goals with McCoy at the helm.