Dear Denver Broncos Fans,
Our team has now lost two games in a row. Yet there is no need to panic. There are still 8 games left with at minimum of 4 games that are fairly winnable. That doesn't mean gimme-games but they can be won. The other four are a little tougher but some of them are winnable too after watching the last few weeks. The other thing to remember is as of right now we own the tie breakers. #1 Indianapolis we have not played yet and they are undefeated. Right after that however is Denver #2 because we beat the #1 in the AFC East (New England) and the AFC North (Cincinnati) and we are #1 in the AFC West. Currently Pittsburgh is the #5 and San Diego is #6. That in itself is a lot to be excited about when the majority of us (myself included) saw us maybe making a shot at the Wild Card. So what do we have to do? As a Team the Broncos have to win the winnable games, Kansas City twice one more at Oakland and Washington. We also have to be competitive and play in the last four games. Philadelphia, Indianapolis, San Diego and The New York Giants, all have flaws that can be exploited. As fans, we need to surround our team with support, sell out Mile High to a Blue and Orange Crowd ONLY, and re-commit ourselves to the Mile High Team. Follow me to explore how...
Kyle Orton now has a 2.25:1 touchdown to interception ratio. He is on pace for 3,676 yards 18 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. not bad stats. We know our strengths with Kyle are conservative passing and a run heavy attack. Kyle knows he has a lot of room to improve and remember it is still his first year n the offense. I will not make excuses, he played poorly last night, but think back in the past few years of how many times we have made excuses for poor performance- "Defense was bad"; "Running game couldn't get going"; "It was the receiver's fault". Kyle has said it was his fault and admits he had a lot to do with the loss last night and last week. Even if you don't think he is the long term answer at Quarterback, he is our starter so rally behind him for now! Brandon Marshall is learning to be smarter with the ball by not cutting back as much and getting what he can at the time. Eddie Royal is very effective when he is passed to, but he is also a threat enough to be game planned for by defenses which will limit his catches in a system that thrives on error free play. Brandon Stokely and Jabbar Gaffney need to be out there more and Daniel Graham and Tony Scheffler are contributing as much as they can.
I don't think I need to say that we stunk last night in this area. But the effectiveness of the running game is going to hurt or help your passing game. Right now, Denver has run the ball 202 times for 840 yards and a 4.16 average. If all you get is 4.16 (4.2) yards a play you are getting a first down every three plays. we are on pace for 1,680 yards right now which is not what Denver fans are used to. Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter have been fairly effective and Lamont Jordan and Peyton Hillis have helped here and there but from my point of view we are run first team and the run sets up the pass still. Averaging four yards per carry, we are putting our passing game in a good position to win, but we need to be more effective in the red zone. Our runners have contributed only 4 rushing TD's which is in no way effective in setting up the pass in the red zone. When you throw
We have a few issues here. First off we are currently geared in the middle to be a zone scheme. Ryan Harris and Ryan Clady can do well however they are asked to play. Chris Kuper needs a little more time for learning the gap system but, I think we are seeing the end for Ben Hamilton in Denver. Casey Weigmann is doing fine but not spectacular. The Depth Of Tyler Polumbus, Seth Olsen and Russ Hochstein is geared to that gap system as well. I think we need to play to our strengths and run a little more Zone Blocking but if we dont then the players really need to step it up and play as the coaches ask.
On offense in general, this is a new system and will take a little time to learn. Remember Josh McDaniels was the OC in New England for one year before Tom Brady and the offense exploded into the record books. I am not saying we are going to shatter record books but I do think we shoudl give Kyle Orton and our offense at least one more year before we doom them to failure.
For having "perennial back ups" as starters you could not ask for a better performance than we have seen from our front three. As Steve Nichols (hoosierteacher) says, "It starts in the trenches."These three guys may not get the notoriety (though Kenny Peterson caused the fumble last night) but they get the job done. The rotation here keeps them fresh and helps them play harder every down.
What can you say, Elvis Dumervil is having a great season tied for most sacks in the league, DJ Williams and Andra Davis are playing at top flight level and Mario Haggan has earned his starting job. Their back ups play well when needed Wesley Woodyard comes up big at times and Robert Ayers has shown up too. Spencer Larsen returned and played well on special teams so there isn't a whole lot to be desired here. However, the few things they need to fix are tackling a little harder, not selling out on their assignment and shedding blocks needs to improve.I think I would like to see a little more 3-3-5 package out there, especially when teams run a big package with 3 Wide Receivers.
last night Ty Law needed to play more. Josh Barret should not have been covering Hines Ward on that touchdown. These guys don't give up a lot of big plays, but when they do they can get burned by them. Last night was evidence. We really need to allow the safeties to be safeties in some situations. Since we run a 3-4/ 5-2 scheme we really shouldn't need too much help at the line like I saw last night.
To me having a team who is 3rd in points allowed, 3rd in total yards allowed (7th against the pass, 8th against the run) 11th in 3rd % allowed 3rd in sacks 4th in first downs allowed means that this year our defense is not killing us.
I am one of those guys who expected this year to be a rebuilding year. As we have seen it is. We can compete with the middle of the pack teams, we can blow out the lower teams, but this year I don't think we have competed with the BIG BOYS like we should if we are a BIG BOY ourselves. It took a miracle catch to beat Cincinnati, overtime to beat New England. We lost to Pittsburgh and Baltimore so we are 2-2 against the BIG BOYS. We have work to do, but that doesn't mean we can't support our team or even be proud of where we are today. Like John Bena(Guru) said, keep your expecations where the were before we were 6-0 and enjoy the season. I was a 9-7 guy with High hopes of 11-5. For the record here was my season prediction:
@ Cincinnati W 1-0
Cleveland W 2-0
@ Oakland W 3-0
Dallas W 4-0
New England L 4-1
@ San Diego L 4-2
@ Baltimore L 4-3
Pittsburgh L 4-4
@ Washington W 5-4
San Diego W 6-4
New York Giants L 6-5
@ Kansas City W 7-5
@ Indianapolis L 7-6
Oakland W 8-6
@ Philadelphia L 8-7
Kansas City W 9-7
So now I am pleasantly surprised and will watch what happens. if we play out like my prediction we are 11-5 which was my high expectation.