I know what you're thinking...this is another fan just ranting some nonsense after his/her team just experiences a loss...or in this case the team's first loss of the season. I think the Broncos do have quite a few areas to improve on. I just would like to see the Broncos offense match the intensity of their defense...once the two gel, 13-3 will soon become a legitimate reality.
The main reason I'm writing this is because I had the distinct pleasure of going to this past Sunday's game in Baltimore where my team the Broncos visited M&T Bank stadium. The weather was horrible...cold and rainy on the way up there and stopped before the first half was over. We sat in the 100s under the awning so the rain luckily wasn't a factor.
Okay, Denver lost 30-7 and the MSM is probably writing them off and claiming the previous 6 game winning streak was luck or whatever they're saying now. Honestly, I don't believe the score was indicative of how the game went and can be misleading for those who didn't watch the game...basically I think the game was won merely by field position and a lack of aggression in the part of Denver.
I will say two good things about the Ravens: Joe Flacco and Ray Rice. A young, mature, poised quarterback is exactly what Baltimore has needed all these years...definitely the real deal. Even though Rice is a not a big back, he has got to have one of the best pair of hands on a running back in the game...he looks a lot like MJD of the Jags.
I'm just going to go down a laundry list of things I noticed in the game that I personally didn't like too much...
I thought Kyle Orton was very gun shy and just afraid to pull the trigger on some deep throws. Don't get me wrong, he did attempt some but Baltimore's secondary was playing with a purpose so it's not entirely his fault. Orton's bailout is the screen pass but he needs to zip them in there and quit throwing them as floaters. The defense can see that coming a mile away. The constant 3 and outs prevented the offense from getting into a rhythm and trying anything unusual (maybe some Wildhorse plays) It was frustrating to watch as a fan. I just wish Orton would show a little more emotion and creativity in his delivery of the plays...you see a lot of ‘animation' if you want to call it that from quarterbacks like Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, and even Drew Brees. I still think Orton can ‘manage' the game well but I'd like to see more emotion from him and rally his team a little better. Also, I didn't see much looks to Royal or Stokley in the slot which I thought could have spread out the passing game a little better.
The first half was a defensive battle and I thought it really could go either way. Both offenses were very hesitant and in my opinion both teams were just feeling each other out a lot which probably explains the constant 3 and outs. Both teams put the pressure on the quarterback and was stuffing the run at the beginning.
I have to say this...Seeing Moreno on TV doesn't do him justice when you see how elusive and quick he really is in person. Sure, he wasn't that effective in this game but you definitely can see the potential this kid can and will have in the future. I would like to see more usage of Peyton Hillis as a blocking fullback to help better open holes for Moreno or Buckhalter...I remember seeing too much singleback formations when a running play was called.
Brandon Marshall... I've been very critical of him from his offseason antics to his lack of effort at times on the field. I have been pleased with the way he seemed to have turned it around and how he's been working and coming through the past few games. A few things I didn't like that he may have been doing for some time, but I noticed more being at the live game. One: Marshall didn't seem to have enough moves at the line of scrimmage to throw off the Ravens' defenders...this definitely kept him from getting much separation. Two: Dropped passes...he had a couple critical ones if I remember and it irritates the crap out of me. Three: The thing that made me nervous and I noticed a lot more of in this game is how Marshall does not secure the football under his arm after the catch. He's trying to juke and gain some extra yardage after the catch but the ball is out in the open waiting for a forced fumble to happen. Sure, he didn't fumble it and I know he's done it in the past...With that said, you just can't do that against defenses like Baltimore and next week's test against the Steelers.
Eddie Royal...he's not a factor as he was last year period. I liked the way he showcased his special teams abilities against the Chargers a couple weeks ago but he was stuffed at almost every punt return against the Ravens and what the hell was he thinking taking it out of the end zone when he was 2-3yds deep? Okay, I can understand doing it in the first half when the adrenaline is pumping and he's trying to make something happen...just not after that when you can see the Ravens defense and special teams are obviously on their ‘A' game.
Overall it was a good experience...I was surprised at the turnout of the Ravens fans. You could barely spot out the few Broncos fans...I was decked out in some of my Broncos gear but was getting claustrophobic with all the purple surrounding us.
Either way it was awesome to see the team in person...too bad we didn't get the win.