The No Huddle Offense is a Must for the Denver Broncos Versus the 49ers


Aug 17, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; General view of the line of scrimmage as Denver Broncos long snapper Aaron Brewer (46) snaps the ball against the San Francisco 49ers in the inaugural football game at Levi

The Denver Broncos face a very good defense when the welcome the San Francisco 49ers to town on Sunday night. Despite a rash of injuries on that side of the ball, the 49ers are one of the best defenses in the league again.

For whatever reason, the belief has been that the way to beat a good defense is to play it close to the vest and try not to make any mistakes. It never works and the offense is playing right into the strength of a defense that doesn’t need any help.

The best way to beat a great defense is to spread them out and go fast, and that’s what the Broncos must do on Sunday night. The 1985 Chicago Bears were considered by many as the best defense of all-time. In their only loss that season, the Miami Dolphins and Dan Marino spread the Bears out and threw the ball all over the field. That’s how you beat a dominant defense.

If the Broncos bring the game plan that they tried in the first half versus the Seattle Seahawks, then it’s going to be a long night. Defenses like the 49ers and Seahawks want opposing offenses to be conservative and predictable because they are easy to defend.

The Broncos are at their best when they are in their three wide receiver look, and let Peyton Manning find the best matchups down the field. They need to start in the no huddle offense and stay in it all night. This approach gives the Broncos two distinct advantages versus the 49ers defense.

The first advantage is the idea that the no huddle makes it extremely difficult for the 49ers to substitute on defense. They will have to stay with the personnel they have on the field and that’s an advantage for Manning. The more looks he gets at the same personnel, the more likely he is to pick it apart.

If the 49ers are unable to substitute like they normally do, fatigue is going to eventually become a factor especially at altitude. It may not be a factor in the first or second quarter but it could be a big factor in the third and fourth quarters. In a game that is expected to be tight all the way through, that fatigue to the 49ers defense could be the difference.

It’s important to note that despite playing so well on the defensive side of the ball, the 49ers have multiple injuries and could be without linebacker Patrick Willis on Sunday night. Willis is the leader and heartbeat of that defense and his absence would be huge.

If the Broncos are in the no huddle, Willis would be responsible for getting the 49ers into the right defense on the fly. If they do not have him on the field, then it’s going to be even tougher for the 49ers to keep up with a fast paced offense.

The second advantage to staying in the no huddle is it neutralizes the pass rush. The 49ers are a great defense at all three levels but it starts with getting after the quarterback. If their defensive lineman are having to rush the passer without getting a break, then eventually it is going to become ineffective and that’s when the big plays will happen.

The 49ers are going to make their fair share of plays on Sunday night, but the Broncos have the perfect offense to combat what they do. They can spread them out and create mismatches in the secondary. The running game will be there in the second half when the front seven for the defense is gasping for air.

We’ve talked for a couple of weeks now that the Broncos are at their best when they are true to their personality on offense. That’s what they must do on Sunday night if they want to walk away at 5-1.