Attacking the edge of the box with a "pin-loop" pressure
I detail how the Broncos attacked the Chiefs from the perimeter of the box (Rodgers/Packers).
When the Broncos played the Chiefs in Week 14, they did something you might not expect; they blitzed Patrick Mahomes. According to PFF, the Broncos’ Passing Down Blitz Rate (PBR) for the year finished at around 38%. That means for every 10 passing snaps, Denver sends a blitzer on four of them. Heading into Week 15, that would have put them at 5th in blitz volume.
According to Next Gen Stats, in Week 1, the Cardinals (3rd in PBR) blitzed the Chiefs QB on more than 50% of his dropbacks. The number was the first time a team had attempted blitzes on more than half of its passing snaps in Mahomes’ career. The result? Mahomes went 30/39 for 360 yards and five TDs. Four of the Chiefs’ five passing TDs came against the blitz, tied for the most since Next Gen began in ‘16.
It is well-documented how well Mahomes does against the blitz. He shreds it. Most teams in the NFL move away from pressure when facing the future Hall of Famer. Below, Next Gen illustrates that since ‘18, no QB has faced less pressure than Mahomes. Entering their game against the Broncos, no one had even attempted to blitz on more than 30% of their passing snaps.
Indianapolis, Tennessee, and Jacksonville all opted to play “base” for much of their games against the Chiefs. All three had less than a 7% PBR. The Titans would hold KC to 20 points behind a four-sack performance. The Chiefs’ only losses heading into the Broncos game were to Cincinnati (~16% PBR), Buffalo (~19% PBR), and Indianapolis (~7% PBR). All in the lower part of PBR against the Chiefs. In theory, you would think the Broncos would do the same, opting to play with a coverage-first mentality.
Rookie Broncos’ DC Elijah Evero (via the Rams) has done a fantastic job on his side of the ball. Though most pundits want to focus on the offensive ineptitude in Denver, the defense quietly put together a solid year. All of this is behind the loss of EDGE Randy Gregory to injury in early October (and again later in the year) and the trading of Bradley Chubb to the Dolphins following Week 8.