Peyton Manning: Improvements Broncos Offense Must Make to Be Elite

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IOctober 7, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 7:   Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos gestures before a game with the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on October 7, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos offense is improving by the week, and it can still get better. 

The Broncos carry the seventh-highest scoring offense in the league at 28.5 points per game into their Sunday showdown against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. 

Obviously this is a solid number and a drastic improvement on the 19.3 points per game that had them ranked 25th last season, but it still has them on the cusp of being elite. 

Here is what Denver needs to do to breakdown that barrier.

More No-Huddle Offense

One of the reasons Peyton Manning has become a true legend of the game is because of his proficiency in the no huddle. This keeps the defense off balance, and it allows Manning to scout the defense at the line and put his offense in a position to exploit its holes. 

Now, to execute an effective no huddle, the offense really has to be on the same page. So, understandably, this has been a work in progress for the Broncos, but when they have used it, they have found their most success. 

They used it to launch comebacks that came up just short against the Falcons and Texans in Weeks 2 and 3, and they used it throughout the whole game in last week's trouncing over the Raiders. 

They need to continue making this the central point of their offense. 

Find a Back-up Running Back

The Broncos have the league's 14th-ranked rushing attack, having gained 436 yards on the ground this season. Of those 436 yards, all but 111 of them have been gained by Willis McGahee. 

No other Broncos running back has gained more than 44 rushing yards this season, and McGahee's 4.7 yards per carry are 1.5 yards better than any other running back. 

The Broncos need someone to step up and fill this role to not only help spell McGahee during games but also to fill in if McGahee should miss any time—he is 30, after all. 

Develop the Two-Tight End Sets

The Broncos have two competent tight ends, and both are displaying decent chemistry with Manning.

Tight ends Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen are fourth and fifth, respectively, for the Broncos in both catches and targets. Combined, they have 22 catches for 200 yards and three touchdowns.

The Broncos shouldn't hesitate to increase their roles. The two-tight end look will serve them well in the end zone and will give them a nice look on the rest of the field.