I thought this post was worthy of promotion to the front page. If you click on the Entry Link at the bottom of the post you can answer the poll that Matt included. Thanks for the post, Matt!!! -- TSG
I know that sounds hard to believe, but if you go back and look at the game (or play by play) the Broncos defense stepped it up in the second half. A quick review of the second half drives:
Jags get the ball at the Broncos 16 after Hixon fumbles the opening kickoff. No first downs. Result is a FG
Jags get the ball at there own 20 after a Broncos 3 and out. They move the ball a bit to midfield but Dumervil gets the sack and fumble.
Jags get the pall at there own 3 after the Cutler sneak on 4th and a long one fails. They get to the 24 and are forced to punt.
Jags get the ball at their own 17 after Denver scores to make it 20-14. Jags go on a long, 6+ minute drive and get first and goal at the one before fumbling.
Jags get the ball at the Broncos 4 after Graham dropped the 4th down pass. They gain 3 yards and kick a FG (which essentially ends the game).
The one long drive was very reminiscent of the first half, but at least they made a play in the end when it counted. Otherwise they played good D the rest of the half to keep the team in the game. That being said, there were still some things that have me worried. It seemed like the only way they could stop the run was to load up the box and that left the play action passes to the TE wide open. It was good to see Coach Bates adjusting the defense to stop the run in the second half, but we are in a lot of trouble if the only way we can stop the run is to bring that 8th man up. It also would have been nice to have seen the defense adjust to Gerrard's mobility. I think that watching a QB scramble for positive yards is somehow more deflating to a defense and a crowd than either a handoff or a complete pass.
I will post another diary today or tomorrow with my thoughts from my trip to the game this past weekend, but I wanted to post this about the defense because I think they are taking may too much of the heat. They are struggling, but neither the offense nor the special teams have been great either. (None of which is all that surprising given the changes, youth, etc. across the entire team. I actually expected a 2-3 start before the bye and was hopeful that the team would gel for a stretch run to end up with 10 wins and a wild card birth. But I really saw this year as a transition year - 8 new starters including Cutler on O, a new scheme and a bunch of personnel changes in the front 7 on D) I am more worried about the fact that the offense is 6th in total yards but 23rd in points than I am about our defense which is 29th in rushing yards allowed and 13th in points allowed (which does not account for points allowed by the offense)
On a semi-related note, is it just me or does the Broncos secondary always seem to get banged up right before we play the Colts.
So, am I seeing things or did the defense look like it was making some strides in the second half?