The Broncos lost 31 to 17. An expected loss to some a surprise to others? I for one thought that Denver had a realistic chance to win this game. I though that Orton would pick apart the Raven's defense and in turn this would lead us to a win. I was half right, Orton threw for two long TD's and 314 yards. But, we lost. What went wrong?
(1) Pass protection
(2) Establish the run
(3) Stop Ray Rice
(4) Cover the # 2 and 3 receiver
(5) Pass rush
(6) Special Teams
Though I didn't watch all of the game, I had yard work and things to do I
(1) Pass protection-Orton was sacked once and hit three times. For the better part of the game Orton had time to throw and throw he did. The TD throws to Lloyd were beautiful. Again, to those who yelled and screamed that Orton has a noodle arm-SHUT UP AND PLEASE APOLOGIZE TO ORTON.
(2) Establish the run. We ran for 39 yards on 13 carries. OMG, how can a line pass protect as well as it does and suck at the rushing game. Not only does our line suck but our RB's sure look like crap. There were too many plays where the Ravens were in the backfield almost as soon as the RB received the ball or the RB ran into a solid wall of defenders. I don't know where the problem lies but if this continues the lack of a running game and lack of a pass rush will doom us for the season. McD please figure this one out ASAP.
(3) Stop Ray Rice. I said in with my last post "I hope that Rice doesn't have a breakout game on us," well he did. We initially stopped the Raven including a goal line stand but in the end Rice finished with 133 yards and two TD's. Overall the Ravens had 233 yards and 4 rushing TD's. With that stat line and the resulting time of possession any team will beat the Broncos. Enough said on this subject.
(4) Take away their receivers-I think were did OK in regards to their passing game. The Ravens passed for less than 200 yards. Take away the pass that Dawkins looked lost on and the stat would read close to 140 yards. Champ took away Boldin. Pay the man he is worth it. Mason made some plays and I think that Cox was covering him not Goodman (injury). Again Cox didn't step up but I think a first year player going against a good veteran like Mason and Mason will win most of the time. Housh was not a factor. Our secondary still looks good. Hopefully Goodman can play next week because the Jets (Edwards, Holmes and Keller) are coming to town!
Pass rush-One sack and two QB hits will not get it done. Granted when the Broncos stopped the Ravens cold with the QB on fourth and goal that was beautiful but short lived. I rewound several plays (I love this feature) and yes it looked like the Ravens were holding on some plays but still our rush sucks. As with our running game McD please figure this one out. Buy, beg or steal someone who can rush the passer. Someone had an earlier post yesterday or today about a mock draft and us drafting a DE with our first pick. Though I think it takes more than one year for a rookie to make an impact I can't agree more that Denver needs to spend maybe their first two picks here. I hope that when Doom comes back he still has it!
Special teams- I think Thomas lost a fumble on a kickoff when he got his bell rung. If so than special teams didn't help in the cause. I though that McD should have allowed Prater to kick the 50 yard + field goal in the first half but oh well. Denver averaged 40 yards per punt (7X), allowed 20 yards per kickoff and allowed 10 yards per punt while picking up 27 yards per kick-off and 0 yards in punt returns.
Denver is now 2-3. The high-powered Jets come into town next week. Is this a must win game? Kansas City lost today but they played Indy tough. The Chargers are beating up on the Raiders so what do you think? I am interested in what other readers of MHR think about this week and next week so have at it. Thanks and GO BRONCOS!