Field position could help level the matchup

Posted by Chris Brown on December 7, 2014 – 11:20 am

In the opinion of most outside observers the Broncos have a decided advantage in today’s game with the visiting Bills. Some have even gone so far as to predict an unprecedented result. Where there appears to be a decided advantage on paper is with Buffalo’s special teams.

Denver has invested heavily in their offense and defense, but special teams has fallen a bit by the wayside in terms of the talent they chose to acquire and the production they’ve gotten from that unit.

Buffalo’s punt (7th) and kick coverage (4th) are both ranked in the top 10 this season and have helped to provide some of the best field position in the league to the Bills offense. Knowing Denver’s return units are in the bottom third of the NFL (23rd & 27th), Buffalo’s specialty units should be able to provide a field position edge. And by Doug Marrone’s account it sounds like they’ve got a sizable special teams game plan.

“It’s big. We’ve talked to our players about it,” said Marrone in his weekly ‘Coffee with the Coach’ segment presented by Tim Horton’s on Buffalobills.com. “That’s an area where we need to win that battle. Obviously we have to make some things happen and make some plays in that area. We have a lot of things in in that area and hopefully we’ll be able to take advantage of some of the opportunities that present themselves.”

Of course the Broncos did take a step to address their field position disadvantage on Saturday as they promoted K Brandon McManus to the active roster from the practice squad. He was their full time kicker, but was replaced on field goal attempts by Connor Barth, but Barth is not strong on kickoffs. So McManus will handle those duties.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Broncos add kickoff specialist to roster

Posted by Chris Brown on December 6, 2014 – 1:49 pm

The Bills no longer have the only kickoff specialist in the NFL. The team they’re facing Sunday now has one as well.

The Broncos promoted K Brandon McManus to their 53-man roster from their practice squad Saturday. He’s expected to handle kickoffs while K Connor Barth handles their field goal attempts.

Barth was signed recently to replace McManus, who was struggling on FG attempts. McManus was signed to their practice squad thereafter.

With Barth 0-8 on kickoffs for touchbacks since joining the Broncos, Denver will employ McManus as their kickoff specialist.

The Broncos are trying to mitigate what on poet looks like a decided advantage for Buffalo’s special teams in this matchup.

What’s interesting is the Broncos cut their primary punt returner Isaiah Burse to make room for McManus. The Broncos have WR Emmanuel Sanders listed as their backup punt returner and Wes Welker has returned punts as well.


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Posted in Inside the Bills