BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 10: A member of the color guard walks onto the field before the game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos at M&T Bank Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland. Players wore pink in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Ravens defeated the Broncos 31-17. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
I know it seems highly unlikely that this will happen, but it simply comes down to energy. Orange Sunday is a special day in Broncoland and all of the non-starters getting a shot at more playing time should be just what the doctor ordered against the high flying Jets.
The Broncos backs are against a wall and whenever this team is faced with that kind of pressure, they typically play well. They don’t always win, but they play hard. The New York Giants game last year was a win and the Philadelphia Eagles game was a loss, but both times their backs were against the wall and this team brought their best. To lose this game will all but seal this teams fate.
Yes, it will seal their fate to eight and eight. To assume the Broncos hold their own destiny in their hands in the second half of the season by going 5-1 or better within the division is an absurd assumption to make. First, the last time the Broncos did that was in 2005 and they went 13-3 that year. The Raiders and Chiefs are better than they were last year, so it won’t be a walk in the park there and the Chargers always seem to play their best football late in the season.
So, a loss here will put the Broncos in too deep of a hole to recover from. They are just not consistent enough to overcome it. However, a win would put the Broncos in position to head into their Bye week at 5-3, which gives them a tiny breath of room to wiggle heading into the Division Rival home stretch.
Once again, the running game needs to continue to progress. Progress… Yes, I guess I can use that word to describe the situation. If you all understand the term is used rather loosely from its more strict meaning. The Broncos need to pound the rock at least once every new set of downs. The Jets secondary is highly touted, but I also think it is overrated. The Jets blitz well and get tons of pressure in the face of opposing quarterbacks, which in turn makes Revis Island look pristine.
If the Broncos offensive line can keep Kyle Orton’s jersey clean, he will undoubtedly shred the Jets secondary, but Orton will need help in the running game. I know I’ve said this three straight weeks, but it is still correct. Orton will not last through the season if he continues on his record setting pace.
One thing is certain, Orton needs to start producing some wins or no amount of stats will protect his backside from the three draft pick spent Tim Tebow in 2011.
The other certainty is, if Kyle Orton doesn't play out of his mind for the sixth straight game, the Broncos have no chance to win this game. I know it may seem to some that I am putting unfair expectations upon him, but if you look at any team in the NFL, winning games comes down to the execution and leadership of the quarterback. The truly elite ones win football games. Orton hasn't yet entered that exclusive club, though the season is still young!
Here's the thing about the Broncos defense. It's a team sport and this team has yet to play in sync except against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2. If you look back on the last three games, you will find the Broncos defense played extremely well for long periods of each game. The problem was, the offense consistently failed to get anything going during those long stretches of good defensive play. Then once the defense began to falter, the offense would suddenly get things going again. Teams are supposed to feed off each other at the same time, but the Broncos appear to feed off each others failures. The offense fails, the defense steps it up...the defense fails, the offense steps it up. How about you guys both step it up and put your collective boot heels on Rex Ryan's throat, eh?
Against the Indianapolis Colts, the defense held the line at 13-10 late into the third quarter, but failure after failure by the offense to execute and the Broncos defense finally got burned on two drives by Peyton Manning. Broncos lose.
Against the Tennessee Titans, the defense struggled in the second and third quarters, but the offense was on a roll. The defense stepped it up in the fourth and the offense finally kept things going. The Broncos come back to win.
Against the Baltimore Ravens, the defense struggled early and dug themselves in a hole, but stepped it up late in the second and through the third quarter, while the offense fails to capitalize and both units get dominated late. Broncos lose.
In the last three games, the only time both units seems to succeed at the same time was in the fourth quarter of the Titans game. When this team is out of sync, they lose. The Jets and LaDainian Tomlinson will prove to be a challenge for this injury-depleted defense, but the infusion of young players might just be they need to overcome a superior foe.
The goal in this game is to stop the run and force Mark Sanchez to beat you. However, he will if the Don "Wink" Martindale-led defense doesn't figure out a way to generate some serious pressure on the young quarterback. I can see the Broncos coming out with a victory in this game, but its going to take a team effort and synchronous play from all three phases. It's time they start feeding off each others successes, rather than each others failures.
From the Archives...
Here we go again. I have two really fun posts for you Broncomaniacs today. The first one went down in the comments with me somehow embarrassing myself. To this day I am not sure where I went wrong with my words, but those guys in there brought that conversation up for MONTHS afterward just to poke fun.
Meanwhile, the second was written by me. The term La La Land came into existence over two years ago and after a few months, in complete homer fashion, Mike Clark and I teamed up to get a Constitution of sorts created. All in good fun of course. I share this because many around here seem to think I'm some pessimistic angry fan. I am not. However, Jay Cutler ruined me and consequently I am far more cautious with my homerism. Trust me when I say, when the Broncos start winning lots of games the term "13-3 baby" will be coming from me everywhere and all the time! Until then, I need some convincing before I start going Homer Simpson in my posts.
*Note: Yes, the post is a great one...but the comment section was rather rowdy and worth a look-see.
Hope you enjoyed this, Go Broncos!