The NFL is full of students of the game. These philosophers are all trying to out think, and out strategize, their opponents. With most teams subscribing to the old ways of stopping the run and running the ball, the Denver Broncos system is creating a new one: Pass the Ball and Stop the Pass.
Shanahan demonstrated his confidence in the Bronco offense--going for two and a win-- against the Charger defense in week two of the '08 season.
The strength of this Pass the Ball and Stop the Pass philosophy must be the passing game and Denver has proven to have one of the best, leading the NFL in many offensive categories through week 2. Jay Cutler is developing into the passer Shanahan has said he can be.
For some, this may be reminiscent of the Denver offense of the late 80's. Under head coach Dan Reeves the Broncos made three Super Bowl appearances. Many criticized Reeves for investing too much in the passing game and not enough in the run. His system was enough to get him to the big game, but proved insufficient to win the Lombardi Trophy, as the Broncos lost all three Super Bowls they appeared in that decade.
This is a passing game that put up 39 points against the Chargers, a romantic Super Bowl pick for many.
This is the kind of passing game it takes to win games with a Pass the Ball, Stop the Pass philosophy. Stopping the run and running the ball can take a back seat as long as the offense can consistently create big plays.
Last year the Broncos kept their opponents on the ground, and gave up the fourth-lowest number of completions in the league. A popular thought on this is that Denver simply can't stop the run.
You can't stop everything.
With a tandem of top tier corners in Bly and Bailey, and plenty of speed coming from the line backing core, it's obvious which aspect of the game Denver is focused on stopping.
Under weight pass rushers like Elvis Dumervil and Jarvis Moss make the Denver defensive ends a very light weight group; they have an average weight of under 270, making them fleet pass rushers who can put pressure on a quarterback quickly, keeping the big play from developing.
Shanahan has shown he is willing to give up the run in order to stop the pass. The Broncos have produced the most offense in the NFL through week two. This team can put big points on the board, so stopping their opponent's ability to create big plays should take priority over stopping the run.
So let the fans talk about the run defense Shanahan; stick to your guns and prove that Pass the Ball, Stop the Pass is a philosophy to be recognized.