I posted before the Monday Night Football, our season opener game for 2012, the offensive and defensive key match-ups for us to beat the Raiders. Now, it's time to verify how good or bad it went...
Disastrous. We got hammered the whole night. Ryan Clady is an elite LT, but he can't hold the opposite OL alone. As I predicted, the right side of their offensive line is the stronger one... and they abused over Zane and JD. On the other side, Kuper and Franklin made several holdings. I couldn't imagine how bad it could be. But the worse part on it was Kyle's decision every time the pocket collapsed: step up! Oh c'mon... the pocket collapses just in front of your eyes and you step up in the direction of the defensive line that is coming drooling to get you!? We all know he is not the avoiding-sacks type of QB, but it's too much for me to accept it when we look to a scrambler guy sitting the bench. Sorry for the outflow, I know it wasn't the initial thought here.
Back to the key match-up. Ok, if our guys struggled and were awful protecting the passer, at least we could use Franklin's strengh in our benefit, right? He is a beast who can open some big holes for our new "more sophisticated running game of the league". Wrong. Besides one or two really good carries of Knowshon, our rushing game looked pitiful just like the last season. We couldn't establish an effective one, and the best plays of our HBs were the short and quick passes for them.
Conclusion: We were completely dominated on this match-up 85% of the time. It's impossible to succeed with the ball without a good OL. Zane and JD looked very nice at preseason, but yesterday night they were hammered almost every single down.
I predicted a lot of difficult here. I wasn't fearing the screen passes, but I was fearing a lot their 1-2 punch offense. However, I had a big hope that things could be different this time. A new defensive coach who is a very good one (Dennis Allen)... a new head coach with defense mentality who made a great job in Carolina (John Fox)... a VP who really loves this team, as much as we do, and understands this game like few (John Elway)... a new defensivee scheme, back to a 4-3 with better play callings than those made by Martindale... an upgrade on almost every corp of this side of the ball... etc etc. But all this wasn't enough. We sucked. If not a carreer game for DMF, he had at least an awesome game, running without any kind of worry. The Raiders just gave him the ball, and he ran like Forrest Gump.
If Champ Bailey (yes, the CORNERBACK) and Brian Dawkins weren't on the field, the score would have been much more higher. I had put Bunkley's name on the match-up and explained why before, but this is a colective job... and they all sucked. What good is having an elite pass rushing on VonDoom (who didn't reach Jason Campbell any time) and Hunter (the only Bronco who had a sack) if the other team can run the ball as they want. Any route, any play, any formation... they were able to run how they wanted.
Conclusion: We lost this matchup vastly. It's now even more clear for me that we need more help and talent at defensive tackle and at linebacker positions. We missed a lot of tackles and got very few great stops. I know the Raiders are a fast team, but we looke very slow every time.
GAME FINAL CONCLUSION: We were dominated on almost every single item we could. Turnovers forced and given, field goals missed and scored, red zone %, rushing yds, QB sacks hits and hurries, interceptions made and given, etc etc.. We also had a punt blocked. That really pissed me a lot. I was predicting a .500 season, but if we play this way the entire schedule, we'll repeat our 4-12 record.
GAME COMMENTS: What a return by Eric Decker! And he also played great as WR. Daniel Fells deserves a comment too because he made great catches and was able to run his routes with competence. Brian Dawkins and Champ Bailey have a spot on the roster until they are 40 for sure... they really played the game very well.
I'm a Tebow guy, but after the TC and preseason I agreed Kyle Orton gived us the best chance to win for this year. But what I saw tonight proved the contrary. Maybe I should have written this review in a couple days, less pissed, and trying to watch it with different points of view... but for now, I fear for the season. The unforced fumble was the last drop of water to overflow the glass. Fells was wide open to make a touchdown that was going to give us the lead by 4. And 3 plays after this awful play, they scored a touchdown with a ~50yds run by DMF followed by a QB sneak.
We just get disappointed when our expectation is too high. Mine was really high and I'm very bored about that MNF performance...
I just hope things to change, but I'm kinda skepctical for now. Anyway,