Uuuuuuuggghhhh. That was heartbreaking. Reminded me a little of that OT Packers game in '08. I was excited, then suddely, sick to my stomach.
Everything felt right for a minute there. Then that flag hit the turf. It was a good call though, after all.
Denver got their bounces, then New York did. Denver got more bounces but New York got the biggest one. Of course, Denver could have picked off Sanchez 6 or 7 times, so they left a lot of points on the field.
2-4 is a bad record. Over any 6 game stretch. Especially to start a season. But 4-12 over the last 16 games is terrible. If that's what the Broncos' record is at the end of the season - then many jobs will be lost. But see, the Broncos looked pretty good. But does that even matter now? What matters is getting to the playoffs, and the chances that Denver, currently at 2-4, will get to the playoffs are not good.
Here's what I hated and loved today...
One more note: If they play this game 10 times on a neutral field, the Jets win more than half the games. I don't think there's much argument on this right? My opinion would be more like 6 to 7 wins. In New York, maybe 8 out of 10 for the Jets, in Denver - I think Denver wins 5-6 out of 10.
That said, if Denver plays with the same intensity and open playbook they did today for the rest of the year, things will get better for us fans, and fast.
Things I hated today:
1) Third & 5 with about 4:00 to play. If someone can find this play on video - let me know.
Game's tied at 17. It's the 4th quarter. Denver's moving the ball with success and a first down keeps the clock moving and we're at the Jets 30 yard line. The Jets show jailbreak blitz. Orton's in shotgun. He gets the snap, he sets his feet, and he chucks it 15 yards downfield but 10 yards over Demaryius Thomas' head. Instead of this typical play, I was hoping one of 2 things to happen instead: (1) a hot read and high percentage option (2) my QB to make a frickin' play instead of chucking it out of bounds, but I guess that's too much to ask for. More on this later.
2) The results from the first 3 drives of the game for both the O and D, from a macro perspective.
Drive 1 for each team: Sanchez looks typically awful, Denver almost picks him off twice. Punt leads to a great return by Royal setting Denver up with great field position fairly deep into Jets territory. 2 plays later, Moreno fumbles INSIDE THE JETS 20 yardline. Result - ZERO POINTS
Drive 2 for each team: After 2 stuffed runs, Sanchez gets sacked - another great effort by the D - 3 & out and punt. Denver has a 3 and out after a horribly overthrown and low percentage pass to Lloyd, a short run by Buck, and another incomplete pass to Lloyd. Result - ZERO POINTS
Drive 3 for each team: After a punt, Hunter intercepts another embarassing Sanchez pass. After Denver breaks out Tebow (finally!) - their running game looks good and nets a 1st down. On 3rd and 1 at the Jets 7, Tebow is out for some reason and Denver runs up the middle in a one back set and gets absolutely stuffed. Terrible, predictable, low percentage call. On the next play, Lonnie Paxon flubs the snap. No points. Jets ball at the Jets 23. Result - ZERO POINTS
3) Waaay too many low percentage passes on third & 5 or more. At what point does Denver change their 3rd down strategy? We know a blitz is coming. Orton knows. Josh knows. But we tend to throw a timing route. Why? So Orton doesn't get nailed? Because the Oline can't hold for more than 2 seconds? I guess I don't get it. I want the Broncos to give their WRs enough time to get open. I want the Broncos' QB to be able to make a decision about who he wants to throw to based upon what player he feels is the most open or will be the most open. I think that Orton has predetermined that he'll recieve the snap, get set, and throw it to an already decided upon WR and to a place where the ball should be usually uncatchable by the defense. I hate this about our offense. I can blame McD, but obviously some of this is caused by McD's lack of faith in either his Oline, his QB, or both. I 'm starting to feel like I felt when Griese was here. Very good QB statistically, but when it comes down to the crux of the game, the coach is trying to win from the sideline rather than the players winning it on the field. So sue me if I feel like the robotic/timing approach to 3rd & long versus the blitz is a symptom of bigger problems.
Things I loved:
1) Jason Hunter. Breakout game. Arguably our best LB. Denver needs a MLB in the draft next year and we're SET at LB.
2) McDaniels' reversal of stance on Tebow. Gawd he'd been an arrogant prick about it - but he sure came through today. I would have liked to see more Tebow. I'm still waiting to see if he'll let Tim throw though. That set isn't gonna do us so good if everybody knows that #15 isn't throwing. More Tebow. I want to see him in on 3rd downs with less tha 5 to go - not all of them - just some.
3) The attitude. Not sure if it was McD's challenge, Orange Sunday, or the Jets that caused Denver to play as if their careers were on the line - but I loved it. I haven't seen that kind of piss & vinegar attitude since...well...
4) Squid the kid! What a play - the announcers (as my buddy's sister said "Is that Bryant Gumbel? Wow - he really let himself go!) didn't do justice to his split second decision making. He literally was covering his guy, who almost turned him all the way around - caught a glance of Sanchez - and jumped in front of another guy's route. He did this in the span of about .05 seconds. I was impresed with Squid's play and he's obviously a level of physicality and speed we don't normally have on the field. I wanna see more of him.
5) The Orange jerseys, the orange fans, and the shaking stadium. Where are all the people that were asking about where the Mile High Magic was? Well, it was at Invesco for about 3 or so hours. But the Broncos ran out of luck and don't have Elway anymore, so they lose these games sometimes now. But that doesn't mean the Magic wasn't there. Go take a look at what LT said postgame about not wanting to come back here.