It's pre-season, so there are things to fix. Nothing in the pre-season is perfect, it's meant to be a time for evaluation and testing the water.
SOME BAD (AN IRRELEVANT REFERENCE TO SOMETHING I'VE GOT ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE ABOUT):
I'm not sure why we saw so many penalties, but maybe it's a lack of discipline, and this needs to be fixed pronto, or perhaps it's just, you know, HeruRoid's (got a better name, yet, Joe?) fault. Seeing that many penalties, though, is odd. Hopefully seeing this usually dominant O-line act with such indiscipline is a pre-season anomaly. We should, and do, hold them to higher standards than that.
Injuries. Oh, my. I remember I used to worry every time I saw a running back get up last year, fearing that he'd start limping. I don't want those nightmares anymore, please. I've no idea how Orton cut his finger, but his reaction seemed to be primarily because of the blood; how much does a plaster (band-aid) affect the throwing index finger? Kuper, I don't know... anyone got the scoop? The other limps... well, please don't give me some bad news tomorrow, NYC.
The back-up D was quite disappointing. The Offense seemed to be constantly poised for a comeback (not that it matters, but another long ball by Brandstater would have been fun), but the D couldn't get off the field. It is pre-season, of course, with plenty of time for improvement, but I would have liked to see some fire (as we saw with the O). This is their chance to find a spot on the Denver Broncos of the NFL! Come on, man!
SOME GOOD (A REFERENCE TO DEATH, R.I.P. CHUCK):
The QB play was very good. Barring a few bad plays, Orton has showed continued improvement. Brandstater, too, is showing improvement. These much-valued reps may well do him wonders in the future, they're helping him find his NFL feet.
The running game is intriguing. Someone commented that McD may be simply trying to get the team to wrap its head around the passing system, and he may be right. When they wanted to run the ball, they were doing so seemingly at will. Orton with a proper running game has to be something worth watching. Buckhalter makes me dizzy when he goes on those long runs, because he isn't the starter, but can play like one and pull those off against a good run defense. With Knowshon back and Hillis bulldozing the linebackers out of the way, CBuck may only have the defensive backfield to worry about as he gets his carries and hops past the wheezing front-7. Walker, too, was very impressive.
I'm digging the first team D. This is all I can really say. I love to see some defense, and when the Broncos are playing defense, it's a good day for me. They need to take a few more laps at practice, however, and get their stamina up. Stop the long late-half drives, please. I firmly believe we haven't seen the best this defense can yet. Obviously it's pre-season, so that counts for nought, but I feel they're like smoke finding its way into a bottle... indefinable and all over the place at first, but slowly finding its form before eventually taking on a solid shape. They're beginning to find their form.
OTHER RANDOM FACTOIDS THAT MAY ONLY INTEREST ME BECAUSE A FACTOID MAY LOOK LIKE A FACT BUT ISN'T IN FACT A FACT BUT SOMETHING RESEMBLING A FACT WHILE NOT NECESSARILY CONTAINING A KERNEL (AS IN A SINGLE GRAIN NOT THE CENTRAL COMPONENT OF A COMPUTER OPERATING SYSTEM, AND THIS IS A FACT, YO) OF TRUTH, OR: OTHER RANDOM STUFF I NOTICED AND YES, I'VE GOT NO IDEA WHAT THIS SO-CALLED "FULL STOP" IS SUPPOSED TO BE (I THINK IT'S A POSITION IN BASEBALL, BUT I PREFER CRICKET, SO I WOULDN'T KNOW) *
1. Tom Brandstater avoided a sack on the long pass he threw to Kenny McKinley. He skimmed forward to avoid the tackle. Stuff like this makes me think the game is already beginning to slow a bit for him, after he studied his play from last week and finally got into his groove in the 4th quarter. My knowledge of football is as meagre as my knowledge of Ancient Greek history (yes, I think that's a fair comparison), but it looked to me like this little kid found some pocket presence.
2. Does TB need to put on some weight? That delayed hit looked nasty.
3. Another thing that gave me nightmares last year: missed sacks. I'd lose the enamel of my teeth as the quarterback would slide an inch to avoid the sack that would have prevented another 3rd down conversion. Cutler got hit a couple times, but I couldn't bare all the times I saw the defender get so close, only to miss at the last moment. Infuriating.
4. I love Phonzo, but he got beat good on that long play. After the bump, he had no chance. A few plays later, on a running play, I had to dip my head in embarrassment; he was ran over, and then in a futile attempt to make up for it, he dived and seemed to swipe at thin air. Of all the 2009 draft picks, Alphonso is my favourite, but we need a little better from you, friend.
5. Is it just me or did Orton get happy feet every now and then?
6. After stopping the player cold, DJ lay on the ground for a moment and giddily clapped in celebration. Don't now why, but I loved seeing this. In the Seattle game, after a sack, he got up and ran across the field like it was his first sack ever, and I just had to laugh. Again, I don't know why, but I love seeing DJ happy... well, perhaps it's how I've seen his career go, constantly on the cusp of greatness but undone by yet another change, I can't help but root for this guy to succeed. So, seeing DJ enjoying his time on the field, makes me enjoy watching him play. I hope to see many more giddy clapping from him.
7. OMG, like, retired for teh great John Elway. He's like, teh most Awesomest quarterback evar!
8. Dawkins looked like he struggled to hold back the TE on one play, but he lost his grip when a defender came in for a misjudged hit.
9. Has Darius Walker made the team yet?
10. After Cutler (my friend loves cats, and thinks Jay is cute) flopped and Elvis was (justifiably) called for a late hit, Doom had an intensely frustrated look on his face. Maybe he really wanted a sack, maybe something unresolved exists between them two.
11. Ryan Clady was called for a horrible holding penalty. The call was right, but this particular play was awful judgment by Clady, the only he seemed to hold was out of panic-stricken horror. (Caveat: I blame my crappy feed if I'm wrong on this one, because I'm not 100% sure I saw what I saw. This caveat applies to everything I say in this post and/or anything I say in the same sentence as "reality". Batteries not included. This broadcast was brought to you by the National Broadcasting Association of Broadcasting Associations.)
12. Ben Hamilton's hair = Awesome. 'Nuff said, besides the sentence following this one. "Nuff said" is such a stupid phrase.
13. Much of the first-half passing game appeared to feature screen-type plays involving short lobs with receivers blocking for each other or the running back. Initially, the defense was caught unawares, but they eventually started adjusting and got closer and closer to the play. I could be wrong here, but this appeared to be today's MO, receiver blocking and yards after the catch, while the TE's got more action as well.
THIS IS THE END. RIGHT THIS VERY INSTANT!
Well, that's it! I'm going to go right ahead and apologise for every grammatical mistake you see (although, I am not apologising for spelling my "ize" words "ise". "I speak English," said the smug rat.), it's past 6:15 in the morning over here, so... yeah. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it, even if it doesn't make as much sense as, "I'm tired."
Now, I need to lie down for a bit because the pain coursing up my back is excruciating, and I want to eat some food and head off to bed. I promised myself I'd write a bit before sleeping, but these plans have gone awry. And, yeah, I'm going to go right ahead and blame MHR for this. It's totally not my laziness that did it, it was you. Yeah, you with the big nose. Tschüss!
* I'm not going to watch the game a second time (can't, so, by the way, thanks to those of you that do and provide such in-depth analysis), so these may indeed be factoids and not facts stemming from my imperfect memory.