Look, I can't lie. I was fairly pessimistic going in, but was mildly impressed overall. I paid my $19.99 and have watched the game twice - all the way through wanting to do bodily harm to the annoying Cowboy's announcers - ugh.
Overall, our roster is WORLDS better. This gives me hope, not only in our chances to beat the 5.5 over/under Vegas has us set for, but it increases my confidence that EFX have some idea what they're doing. We've got some football players on this roster.
We're faster. We're younger and more athletic. I think we're actually going to run the ball effectively this year. That should open up the play action game for whoever our starting QB is on opening day. As I went through the game, here were some observations:
1. Jeremiah Johnson is a freaking beast. Knowshon and Whatchutalkinbout' McGahee looked solid, but Johnson looks like a potential superstar. He weighs 218 lbs, but he's lightning quick to the hole and gets up the field like no Denver running back I've ever seen. This is insanely hyperbolic, but he looks like a big nasty version of Chris Johnson or Jamal Charles. GREAT FIND.
2. The first team o-line is solid - really sold.
We were absolutely manhandling the Cowgirls upfront - I mean pushing them all over the field. Franklin missed a few blocks, but it looks like JD Walton and Zane Beadles are ready to roll. As good as the first team o-line was, the second team o-line was that bad. NOOOO depth. None. Zip. Zilch. Tebow was getting pressure before he had a chance to look down the field. Watch his long throw - it was a max-protect, cracking back into the center of the line with the RB staying in to protect and they still barely picked everyone up. Yikes.
3. We do NOT have a clear-cut #1 QB (as of yet).
Orton is Orton - he won't make the big mistake, but is also incapable of making a big play. Third down is a nighmare, because the defense knows exactly where Kyle is and where he's going to remain - the pocket. No scrambling, no improvisation, and he may well be the worst red zone quarterback I've ever seen. Tebow is Tebow. Worst practice player ever, but when the lights go on the man makes plays. He's exciting, dynamic, fun to watch . . . but regularly screws up routine throws. I would LOVE to see Tebow operate behind that first team o-line, with the first team running game. I think Tebow is closer than many, including myself before tonight, think. Brady is an oddity. One minute he looks like a fat kid on the track team. The next, he's making throws . . . I just wasn't that impressed. Sorry. I honestly feel Tebow is closer than Brady to Kyle right now.
4. I'm a leeetle worried about our first-team D, especially the front 7 in the run game.
The front 7 looked porous and I still don't trust the back end with Dawkins back there. Still, the fact that Nate Jones was nowhere near the first team was encouraging. Bunkley and Ayers were aweful and constantly out of position. Marcus Thomas got blown off the ball every other play. Still, we had a pass rush and some of our younger / second and third teamers looked like they might make a push. Ty Warren got awesome penetration on several plays. Jeremy Jarmon looked way better to me than either of our starting DT's. Jason Hunter was good at DE and Mike Mohammed looks like the instinctive, solid football player I thought he was. Worried, but somewhat mildly hopeful.
5. I was a bit disappointed with Doom and Quinton Carter.
6. I was blown away by Kyle McCarthy and disgusted by the fact that Nate Jones is on our roster.
7. Orlando Franklin. Hmmm. Never have I seen a guy be as impressive and as bad in one drive. He absolutely pancakes someone one play then moves aside like a bullfighter the next play. High-energy player. Massive human with an intense mean streak. I'm a little worried about his feet though.
That's all I got for now.