Football is at once one of the most complicated sports in the world, and at the same time, it’s really one of the simplest, too.

A team must move 10 yards every four downs, or give possession of the football over to their opponents. That’s as simple as it gets.

However, it was as thought the Denver Broncos’ last two offensive coordinators didn’t understand this fact. Both Rich Scangarello and Pat Shurmur (the last two years) were cursed by fans from the stands at Mile High Stadium as well as from couches across Broncos Country as they both were too safe on all-important third downs.

Of course, the two offensive coordinators were too safe on the other downs, too, often setting up 3rd-and-longs which set Broncos quarterbacks Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater up for failure.

And as a fan of football, where a team can go for the jugular and go deep on any down, the Broncos constantly threw the ball short of the sticks on third downs. It’s enough to drive Broncos Country crazy.

Well, there’s good news on that front, fans. Not only is Shurmur — one of the safest coordinators — gone and replaced with the innovative Nathaniel Hackett, Russell Wilson loves to throw beyond the sticks, too.

According to this graph, Wilson threw beyond the sticks more than 60% of the time, which is a lot more than Bridgewater did last year (under 40%):

Look to the right, and there’s Wilson, tied for second-most throws beyond the line to gain in 2021. And it goes hand-in-hand that the Seahawks gained a first down about 5% more of the time last year than did Bridgewater and the Broncos.

Look just up from Wilson’s picture and find Aaron Rodgers’, who also threw beyond the sticks 60% of the time last year. That’s important because it sheds some light onto what Hackett — the play-called for the Packers in 2021 — will do with the Broncos this season.

On top of that, Rodgers’ Packers were able to gain a first down more often than Wilson’s Seahawks, likely because Green Bay had better weapons at receiver. Similarly, the Broncos’ receiving corps — Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler — are a step up from the Seahawks’ crew.

So, not only will the Broncos throw the ball past the sticks more, but they’re likely going to convert more on those crucial third downs.

To wit, the Broncos converted 38.5% of third downs last year, which was 21st in the league. The Seahawks converted 37.3% (receivers need to catch the ball once it’s thrown past the sticks), while the Packers converted 43.6% on the money down, which was 9th-best in the NFL.

Beyond just on third downs, Wilson loves to uncork the long ball.

According to Pro Football Focus, Wilson’s 60 deep touchdowns since 2017 are best in the NFL by a long shot.

That ability and willingness to go deep will keep opposing defenses honest, which will result in a lighter box, and Javonte Williams will be able to find more running space and break off more runs big runs, too.

While all of us were watching the Broncos squander one of the best defenses in the NFL the last few years, hoping for more aggressive offense, Denver will deliver when they have the ball this season. However, we still don’t know how well the defense will play now that Vic Fangio and some of the crucial playmakers (Alexander Johnson, Shelby Harris, Von Miller) are gone.

Still, things are certainly pointing up for the Broncos offensive attack, which is great news considering this is an offensive-dominated NFL.