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Shutdown Corner

Broncos set offensive football back 100 years in zero-completion first half

Doug Farrar
Shutdown Corner

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It looked to be something out of a rough-and-tumble contest between the 1920 Canton Bulldogs and the Dayton Triangles — a 10-0 game at the half, with the winning team completing a grand total of zero passes on four attempts, and leading by rushing for 169 yards. But this is no outtake from a "leatherheads" script — this was the first half of the Week 10 game between the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs in the year 2011.

One week after stunning the Oakland Raiders with their Tim Tebow-led offensive attack, the Broncos came out at Arrowhead Stadium and put on a … well, we guess you could call it a "display" of offense the likes of which you'd have to go to Nebraska to replicate.

The Broncos didn't throw a single pass in the first quarter and still traversed the field for a touchdown (Tebow in the red zone, where he's actually pretty dangerous). Tebow threw an incomplete pass to Eric Decker to start the second half, and was apparently put off the idea until Denver's last drive of the first half, when he tried and failed on three passes.

The Chiefs have been singularly and spectacularly unable to take advantage of Denver's lopsided offense — their own efforts may have been even more pathetic. Matt Cassel (who, in most part of the NFL, is considered by many to be a real, actual throwing-type quarterback) completed four passes in nine attempts for 29 yards. The Chiefs could only manage 54 rushing yards against Denver's usually porous run defense, and that's why they had a big, fat goose egg against the Broncos' prehistoric approach.

Think Denver switched it up in the second half? You would be wrong, Wing-T breath! On their first six offensive plays of the third quarter, the Broncos kept it on the ground and eventually had to punt.

The fans that actually had to schlep themselves and their families to the stadium to watch this mess  should petition the NFL to get their money back, unless they're specifically into a restoration of the version of professional football one saw before the Great Depression.

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