2 weeks in a row the Bronc have won now, and what seemed like a lost season could now turn into a salvaged one for the Broncos. There's still some problems that need some work but the problems feel a lot smaller than they did before.
First Down: Cutler That was the best game Cutler has played as a professional QB. As Jaws did a great job pointing out on the broadcast, Cutler was squaring his shoulders, stepping into throws and throwing off the correct foot when he rolled out.
With Cutler I have always tried to say "He's making these mistakes, but he's young. Hopefully his coaches are yelling at him and hounding him about these mechanics". Well has he turned a corner? I think he has. Next week is his last start of his "rookie" season as it's his 16th start in the NFL. It appears he's maturing into a really good QB.
Second down: Special teams Unlike Hossierteacher, I don't think they are completely fixed but they are obviously a LOT better. And the improvement is noteworthy. Andre Hall has solved the kick returner problem, and the blocking has shored itself up a lot nicer. Martinez showed a mixture of explosiveness and youth by returning a kick for a TD, and then not signaling a fair catch and fumbling. The Denver Special teams also forced a fumble that was somehow recovered by TEN (with a quick signal by the referee and cutaway from ESPN).
I think the most important stat is that Denver is starting their drives in much better position the last two weeks than they were in the first games of the season. Tony Kornheiser kept harping on the Denver total offense vs points scored last night, but missed that Denver continuously had some of the worst starting field position in the league. Now that they are shoring up their special teams the Denver offense has been scoring more points. Drives that were stalling at the opponents 40 are now stalling at the opponents 25... which results in 3 points.
Third Down: strategy I said it last week, but I'll say it again. The best thing the Broncos can do is get out to an early lead. This forces opponents to play to Denver's strength (pass defense) and away from their weakness (run defense). Sure VY had a pretty good night throwing, but most of his damage was done before a linebacker was spying him (why there wasn't one spying from snap #1 I have no idea). He only had a few passes that went down field.
The defensive line showed they are still vulnerable to the run (as evidenced by TEN's drive late in the game where they basically ran it down Denver's throat) but they also showed that they are improving in that area, and they are getting pretty good at rushing the passer. The young kids on that D-line are all right.
Fourth Down: Looking ahead The Broncs have an interesting schedule coming up, with no games against any particularly good teams, but 4 of 6 on the road. They are in first place with a record on 5-5. I think 9-7 will win the AFC west, and the Broncos are in prime position to go 4-2 down the stretch.
AT Chi - totally winnable. That defense is a shell of what it was last year, and Cedric Benson is not a good running back (I know he's on my fantasy team). Let's make Grossman throw at the Killer B's and see how that works out for him. I think the most important advice for this game will be Sauerbraun, kick the ball out of bounds
AT Oakland, in a game I may personally attend, it is completely winnable. the Raiders are terrible, which means all is right with the world.
KC- If we can beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead, we should beat them at Mile High.
The Broncs could go 3-0 in their next three and that would set them up nicely for the AFC West crown.