Listen to Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning bark signals at the line of scrimmage, and the two favorite words in his vocabulary quickly become apparent: "Hurry! Hurry!" Manning is constantly in a hurry. He rushes off to the next meeting at the team's Dove Valley headquarters. He wants to drive his team into the end zone ASAP. At age 37, Manning has no time to pump the brakes on the road back to the Super Bowl. "We can play faster," Manning told me, as we stood in a cramped video transmission room at the team's practice facility. Faster? Could Manning get specific? Of course he could. Because you know Manning, an ardent student of the game, has done the math. "I think we averaged something like 68 plays per game last season," said Manning, feigning not to know the exact number, in the same way the smartest kid in class plays a little dumb for the benefit of C+ students like me in the room. So I looked it up: During the 2012 NFL regular season, the Broncos averaged 68.13 plays per game. "And I think New England was No. 1 in the league with 75 plays per game," Manning said. He was crunching numbers so intensely, I swear the temperature of the tiny room began to rise. During his first season in Denver, Manning and the Broncos ranked No. 2 in league scoring. The goal is to be No. 1. And the team has a plan to get there. "For whatever reason, our offense plays better the faster we go. I think that was clear cut last season. The receivers liked it; they got into a rhythm," Manning said. "Anything we can do as an offense to build off that, anything we can do to make us more efficient as an offense, that's what we're looking to do." The NFL needs a new metric for measuring offensive efficiency. With all the rules in the league tilted toward the quarterback, an offensive drive that doesn't produce points is an opportunity wasted. Denver had 190 offensive possessions during the 2012 regular season. The Broncos scored 481 points. Do the math. Each time Manning and his offensive mates got their mitts on the football, they averaged 2.53 points.
Peyton Manning plans to speed up Broncos' offense
Denver Post | Apr 17