A bunch of random thoughts and observations I've had over the past week or so that I thought I would throw together instead of replying piecemeal in other diaries. Overall, I am obviously happy that we are 2-0 but would like to see a game putaway before the final seconds.
Fantastic finishes: How can I not start with this. I wish I had a heart rate monitor on for each of the last two games. That thing would have been spiking like a seismograph during an 8.0 earthquake. My biggest complaint is with the TV coverage of the games. I live in the NYC area so I don't get to see the local Denver TV broadcasts, but the national highlights for both games were pretty pathetic. I never saw an overhead shot of the "Toro" FG against Buffalo that would have shown the guys running on and off the field. And I never saw a good shot of Shanahan's timeout showing that it was clearly before the snap. This last one really galls me given all the crap that Raider fans and others are talking (see TSG's diary on the front page). Given that Raiders players heard the whistle before the snap I don't see why there is any controversy.
Offensive inconsistency: This is probably the biggest issue for the Broncos as they have racked up a ton of yards but not too many TD's. I am hopeful that these problems are caused by all the new faces in the starting lineup (only Walker, Lepsis and Nalen started last season for Denver). As the season goes on, these guys should gel better and all the little things that are stalling drives will go away. Throw in Cutler maturing throughout the season and Shanahan/Heimerdinger gaining trust in Cutler in the red zone and hopefully FG's will turn into TD's. Unfortunately, this seems to have been a problem for the past couple years so I am not sure that time is all that is needed to fix things.
Offensive Line: I am a bit worried about the depth, but not too worried about the quality of play. Lepsis is coming off of pretty major knee surgery and should get better as the season progresses. Hopefully Hamilton will come back, but if not, the other guys have shown they can play in the league. They just need some time and experience together (I am pretty sure the O-Line was being juggled all preseason due to injuries).
Roster shuffling: I have heard that Stephen Alexander expects to be resigned this week. I am assuming Mustard or Winborn will be cut. Having 10 D-Lineman seems to be hamstringing them and I wonder if Burton or McKinley (or even Engelberger) might get cut down the road when Rice is in shape, Crowder is fully healthy and the rookies have shown they can be consistent. The most interesting thing to me is that they have not put Ryan Harris on the IR to open up the roster spot. That indicates that they think he can make a significant contribution this year, which is pretty rare for Denver rookies in general and O-lineman in particular.
Dre Bly: I am beginning to worry about him. I didn't mind him getting beat once for a TD by Porter. He takes chances to make plays and we all knew that going into the season. But it doesn't look like he is recognizing that he doesn't always have to make the big play. He was beaten by Porter again on those last two passes in regulation (including his INT which was underthrown after McCown overthrew a wide open Porter the play before). He is kinda like Plummer in that he needs to learn that he doesn't always have to force things now that he has a solid supporting cast.
San Diego: Glad to see them lose to New England, but I am still a bit worried as their strength on offense is our weakness on defense. Bailey and Bly are not much help against a team like SD without any real threats at WR. I am fearful that they will be able to run the ball down our throats in Week 5. But then again, the Broncos are still learning the Jim Bates system and maybe two more weeks of work will get them better prepared to stop LDT.
Jacksonville: Another team with a good running attack that might cause problems for us. Terrell Davis is being inducted into the Ring of Fame at halftime which is why I am flying in for this game. Anybody here gonna be tailgating at Mile High beforehand? If it is another close game and you hear about a 32 year old fan being taken to the hospital with chest pains, that will be me:)
Lastly, the NFL Network is showing the Broncos-Raiders game tonight as the second game on NFL Replay. I think it broadcasts at 10:30 pm on the East Coast.