Broncos Film Review: Sutton find success deep and Surtain shuts door on Jags

Sep 19, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton (14) reacts after a catch during the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Two Broncos with quiet first weeks decided to put the NFL on notice. One for the first time, and the other once again.

Both Courtland Sutton and Patrick Surtain had minimal impact on the Broncos’ Week 1 shellacking of the New York Giants. Additionally, each player was stepping into the spotlight due to injury in Week 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Sutton put the passing game on his back with a phenomenal performance. His Week 2 showing lead to career highs in catches and yards. Displaying little to no rust many fans worried about, No. 14 was a force from the first play until the game was decided. On the other hand, Surtain overcome early miscues to nab his first interception.

In the end, each player provided a lift to their units and helped propel the Broncos to their first 2-0 start since the 2018 season.

Reviewing the game, the commitment from play-caller Pat Shurmur and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to push the ball downfield to Sutton lead to a monster completion. That play effectively changed how the Jaguars defended the Broncos. The successful shot play took the top of their defense for the rest of the game.

Surtain got picked on early. However, he learned on the fly and made adjustments throughout the contest, eventually creating a key turnover on a similar play he was beaten on earlier in the game.

Here is how each critical play occurred and what lead up to these game-changing moments.

Sutton re-establishes himself as premier deep-threat

Blast from the past, Sutton shows his 2019 form.

Against the Giants, Sutton had one grab on three targets for 14 yards. Questions about who would be the Broncos’ WR1 following Jerry Jeudy’s injury were all over the airwaves in Denver. Most of the dialogue did not include Sutton, who is just a year removed from a 2020 ACL injury.

All conversations should have stopped with the 2019 Pro Bowler, as he dominated the Jaguars early and often.

The Broncos game plan was to attack the Jags deep but started with minimal success. Early on Sunday, the development of rapport with Bridgewater began a bit slow Sunday.

Sutton tried former Seahawks cornerback Shaquill Griffin deep and almost resulted in Bridgewater’s first interception of the season. Down 7-3, Bridgewater looks for Sutton deep along the right side. With good protection, the Broncos attacked vertically. Griffin, who arrived to the ball early almost came down with the interception.

Shurmur and Bridgewater were unphased and continued working the ball to Sutton deep. Later in the second quarter, Bridgewater looks towards No. 14 again and this time they connect for a big gain.

Sutton gains ground on a similar route. This time coming from the offense’s left side of the formation. He gains leverage on the defender in man-to-man zero coverage and moves to the post. Bridgewater delivers the ball on time, hitting Sutton in stride which sets up another Broncos’ touchdown.

Earlier, the connection between QB and WR continued to develop organically. On 2nd and 10, Bridgewater manipulates the pocket. Sutton runs across the field and turns his route into a wheel up the sideline. Bridgewater shows a feel for Sutton’s route and knows where he will be. The two execute the play flawlessly for another big gain up the right side. To cap of the drive, the Broncos would take the lead on a touchdown pass from Bridgewater to Tim Patrick.

When it was all said and done, Sutton exploded for a total of nine catches for 159 yards and the NFL lead in air yards.

Sutton’s big play helped ignite the offense while establishing himself again as a bonafide WR1.

Broncos rookie Surtain burns fellow top pick, Lawrence, with first NFL interception

Like father, like son.

Surtain showed the same playmaking ilk as his father of the same name. The senior Surtain, a Pro-Bowl player himself with the Miami Dolphins, passed along elite ball skills down a generation.

The younger Surtain, who struggled against the Giants, also got off to a slow start against Jacksonville.

The rookie out of Alabama lined up primarily on the defense’s right side in place of an injured Ronald Darby. The Jaguar’s game plan involved attacking the youngster early and often.

Surtain got beat early, setting up the Jaguars in field goal range.

Receiver D.J. Chark released vertically, getting leverage on Surtain. The rookie is beaten by a step or two. Trailing Chark, Surtain is unable to locate the ball and runs into the Jaguars’ receiver and commits a 36-yard pass interference penalty.

The Jaguars’ sensed an opportunity and continued to attack Surtain.

However, he took note of how Lawerence attacked him and made the necessary adjustments.

The Jaguars were down 20-7 in the fourth quarter and went back to the well to get back into the game. Lawerence has an empty formation with trips to his left. Surtain is matched up one-on-one with the receiver. This time, Surtain uses his leverage to force the receiver to the boundary, using the sideline as an additional defender. The ball travels deep and Surtain contorts his body, remaining in bounds while coming down with the interception.

Surtain makes the play with no help from Simmons who flows to the opposite side and stops the Jaguars’ drive.

That interception shut the door on any comeback and helps the Broncos earn another precious victory.

With big plays from two players who needed to rebound from a rough first game, Sutton and Surtain ensured the Broncos came away with a win against the Jaguars on Sunday.