Denver Broncos vs. Buffalo Bills: 5 Halftime Adjustments Broncos Must Make

James ToljCorrespondent IIDecember 24, 2011

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 18:  Quarterback Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos is tackled by strong safety James Ihedigbo #44 of the New England Patriots at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 18, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos have undergone the biggest turnaround of any team in the NFL. With a 1-4 record to start the season, it looked like the Broncos' playoff hopes were nonexistent.

After reeling off seven wins in the last nine games, Denver finds itself atop the AFC West and in control of its playoff destiny.

Today, the Broncos face a struggling Buffalo Bills team that is looking for its first win after seven straight losses. The Bills have home-field advantage, but the Broncos have all the momentum.

Here are five halftime adjustments that can help propel the Broncos and Tim Tebow to their eighth win in 10 games.


1. Stop Steve Johnson

This is easier said than done, and you can believe that Champ Bailey knows how hard it is to shut Steve Johnson down. Johnson might have a nagging injury, but he has played well with injuries all season long. 

In Week 13, Johnson had 75 yards and a touchdown against a cornerback that many think is the best in the NFL, Darrelle Revis.

If the Broncos want to slow down the Bills game plan, they need to keep Bailey in tight coverage against Johnson and throw in safety help every once in awhile. As long as Johnson is in single coverage, Ryan Fitzpatrick will throw him the ball.

When Fitzpatrick sees Bailey getting safety help then he will have to avoid Johnson and throw to a depleted receiving core.

2. Keep an Eye on C.J. Spiller

C.J. Spiller had his best game of the season last week against the the Miami Dolphins, and he has started out playing well against the Broncos, too.

Spiller's speed makes him extremely dangerous running out of the backfield, but he is also a receiving threat.

The Denver linebackers need to keep close tabs on Spiller for the rest of the game. It takes just one play for Spiller to take it to the house.

3. Watch Scott Chandler in the Red Zone

So far, Scott Chandler hasn't been much of a concern.

He isn't much of a threat until the Bills enter the red zone and when the Bills got inside the 20-yard line, Chandler wasn't targeted.

Normally, Chandler has been Fitzpatrick's go-to guy in the red zone (along with Johnson), so when the Bills are nearing the end zone again, the Broncos should key in Chandler.

4.  Release the Beast

Von Miller has the ninth-most sacks in the NFL this season (tied with Connor Barwin). On the other hand, the Bills have allowed an NFL-low 20 sacks on the season (tied with the Tennessee Titans).

Miller has the ability to give Fitzpatrick fits, and so far, Fitzpatrick has had too much time in the pocket.

Dennis Allen should start sending Miller at Fitzpatrick after halftime.

5. Let Tim Tebow Run the Ball

The Broncos have given the Bills a mix of running plays, but Tim Tebow hasn't challenged the Bills defense enough (on the ground or through the air). Most of the carries have gone to Lance Ball and Willis McGahee.

When Tebow has thrown the ball, he has constantly been under pressure.

If the Broncos want to keep Tebow's option runs to a minimum, they should keep giving the rock to McGahee and Ball. But if Tebow keeps feeling pressure off the edge, he should take off running and punish the Bills.