Final Game Stats
Redemption says it all, don't you think?
Make a mistake? Make it up. Get down? Get back up. Giving in? Don't give up.
We have all week to talk about what went wrong: The defense missed tackles and didn't stop the run. The Broncos running threat is diminished. Marshall was out of it for nearly 50 minutes of football.
But 60 minutes of football is what counts, and this team showed up to play, all night.
If we were handing out game balls, it is hard to say where to begin. How about Hillis, stepping in and stepping up when EVERY Broncos RB went down this season. He is still learning pass-catching FB in a Mike Shanahan offense, and he was expected to learn TB in 5 minutes or less? He showed that there is a time for learning and a time for playing football. His diving lunge, with a tackler riding him, after being hit in the backfield, for a critical 4th down conversion in the final quarter of play hasn't been seen in a Denver Broncos tailback since Mike Anderson took the field.
Or how about Cutler? After lobbing a killer INT (not necessarily his fault), and then getting VERY lucky a few times on near picks, he settled in and was throwing perfect passes. Touch passes, long passes, ropes across the middle. With every pass I became more and more sure that he was going to put it right where it needed to be, and Iforgot about critical INTs at inconceivable times. Instead we get a perfect defensive read, and a heads up scramble for a first down deep in Cleveland territory, followed by a perfect read on Marshall's coverage in the endzone.
Speaking of Marshall, how about him? After looking like his head was you-know-where for the first 50 minutes of the game, being pushed around by smaller, lighter, slower players, after being made to look like a stonehanded statue, he made a perfect play in the endzone in a man coverage situation, and embarrased the defender in the process. Back to being the old Marshall. Almost too far back, however, and thank whatever stars shined on us tonight that Stokely, and the others were there to stop him from drawing a penalty that would have hurt us pretty badly on the ensuing kickoff. Still, I would like to know what he had planned. Think he'll talk?
Lastly, I want to tip the MHR hat to a defense that could have been the Denver Towels, or the Slightly Broncos. But 60 minutes meant something to them too tonight, and despite the missed tackles, the multiple injuries and the free pass they gave to Quinn, I am enjoying the flashes that I am seeing. Anybody notice the two deep safeties? It was hit and miss, but the corners looked a lot better this game. I hope DJ never comes back, if it means I don't get to see anymore Wesley Woodyard, I like the kid that much. A very good offensive line beat up on our d-line all game, but the four man rush at the end was not making Quinn's job easy, and Dumervil was a force.
Before I leave you guys to your thoughts, lets congratulate Brady Quinn on doing more than anyone expected, even Browns fans. They didn't want him to suck. He showed some things tonight that that franchise can definitely build on going forward.
So that is it, we have the equivalant of a bye week coming up and no matter what happens we are a first place team. Tell the world.
This isn't a team any Broncos' fan needs to be ashamed of.