Broncos vs Chargers: The No Bull Review

Let's start off with saying that that was a tremendous game. Take a second and let it sink in...we made history tonight. No other team has gone on the road and comeback from a 24 point deficit...all in the 2nd half. The only comeback I rank higher was when Frank Reich had the epic comeback with the Bills against the Oilers back in '92 (2 reasons...1: It was in the playoffs and 2: it was a backup QB).

Now don't get me wrong...I am LOVING being a Bronco fan right now. The analytical side of me needs to point out that our team has a lot of work to do. We have GOT to stop spending the first half of games digging holes. This team is still in serious danger of missing the playoffs until we start minimizing the big play mistakes. Turnovers are rampant as well as plays full of dumb (see Eric Decker tackling himself). Let's dig in and see the highs and lows...there should be a lot for us to discuss in this game.


  • Our offense is completely predictable in the first half. This just needs to stop. Seriously John Fox. Stop trying to "establish the run". That is stupid. It is dumb to run on 1st down so consistently. Let Manning audible to a run if it looks good...but be aggressive in the playcalling early. I sincerely think this contributes a lot to our early game problems.
  • Also Mike McCoy...why in the world do you call a play that lets Shaun Phillips run unblocked at your RB? On a 3rd down early in the game Orlando Franklin by design just pulled left and let Phillips go free. Dumb...he is too fast for that to work.
  • While we are at it, the quick screen play on 3rd and 10 was just as dumb in my opinion. San Diego's strength in the pass game is their short area awareness and quickness. You play to their strength with that call.
  • 1st and 20...we run a draw. Why would you do that when you have PM at QB? There is so much more in the playbook with better potential gain at low risk.
  • I love me some Matthew Willis, but boy you just crapped the bed on that INT. That was obvious to me and the world that you were not on the same page with Manning. That can't happen are a good player, but your athletic upside doesn't outweigh mental flaps like that. The team will ditch you if you can't handle the mental aspects of the game...not to mention Peyton will just not throw to you. (Hopefully he gets some leeway...Willis has made some very good plays earlier in the season to his credit)
  • Did you notice what happened in the 2nd half? We worked the intermediate - long routs which backed up their defense. Then EVERYTHING was working. Let's be a little quicker on the adjustments guys...I expect Peyton to get a fair share of this blame as well. If something isn't working, don't just stick with it for a half...I know you can audible out.
  • The tight ends really impressed me again. I know they don't put up super fancy numbers like some of the premier TEs of the NFL, but Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen have soft hands, run great routes, and are reliable as hell. They are a big reason our offense works so well. The defenses we face HAVE to work hard to cover all the receiving options we send out. It hasn't been that way in the past couple of years. Us having two seriously solid tight ends is a big strength.
  • I was blown away when Peyton Manning threw Brandon Stokley that fade route. He just isn't the build of a WR that you usually see get thrown those...usually it is thrown to taller WRs. It was a perfect throw and catch though...both guys get serious props for that play.
    • Small side note on Stokley: On Eric Decker's TD he did a great job on his block, then helped shove Decker into the end zone. That's smart football people.
  • Nothing new here, but Willis McGahee just gets stronger and stronger the later the game goes. I love this guy's game.
  • I hope to see Eric Decker get rid of his derp problems...he slides unnecessarily a couple games back and then trips himself on an easy TD. At least he went complete Man-Mode for the TD. That sorta makes up for the gaffe...sorta. : |


  • Chris Harris. Let me say with a little jokey draft pick other than Von Miller in the past few years. This kid had a HUGE opportunity tonight to start at #2 CB on the biggest stage of the regular season and was cash money. He missed an INT early. Later in the game he got a great one by knowing the route they were running and being in perfect position to get the ball. Smart player and this game is definitely not too big for the kid from KU.
  • I thought our run defense did a very good job of setting the edge tonight. The Chargers went away from the edge runs because we did so well against it.
  • Woodyard and Brooking on the same play in the 1st Q ran some very nice coverage. Mays being on the field would have seen SD get a 1st down.
  • I still stand by my opinion that our safeties need to get better or we need to get better safeties. On a 3rd and 10 San Diego completed a pass that was predictable and should have been in the view of (correct me if I'm wrong) Leonhard. He wasn't watching the route tree develop and looked flat-footed.
  • Adams and the defensive coaches may have thought that he would be able to handle Gates solo. They were all HORRIBLY wrong. I didn't notice what they changed in the 2nd half to stop Gates...if any of you did, please clue me in. :)
  • There was a Danny Trevathan sighting a few times this game and I'm happy to say he looked pretty good on the field. I liked what I saw from him in the preseason a lot. I hope he gets to see the field more honestly.
  • Kevin Vickerson is playing the best ball of his career easily this season. I'm very proud of you dude. You took a lot of flak in the past from me and others (and rightly so), but you are really putting yourself together well on the field. Dude sniffed out at least two screen plays and helped defend them both. One was obvious (the announcers caught it and gave him props)...the other wasn't as noticeable. He also was winning some battles up front getting penetration with his guy a few times that I noticed.
  • Tony Carter looked superb for two plays. I was very surprised by this. He didn't impress me at all in the preseason. His fumble recovery for a TD was more of a "right place, right time" thing (even he said so in his post game locker room interview). His INT was just superb play on his part though. Keep it up man!
  • Bailey got beat on a 3rd down late in the game that was a bummer to me...he should have been on top of that route. Earlier in the game though he was a force in the run game and had a great pass defense.
  • Wolfe isn't making tons of noise in each game, but he keeps making at least one great play a game. This time he just went beast mode - shoving his blocker into Rivers' lap and secured us a big sack.

Special Teams:

  • I have been pushing for a better return man than Jim Leonhard. I still hold by that opinion even given the muff by Trindon Holliday. The guy in his face should have been flagged in my opinion (though if I'm wrong, please enlighten us to the rules). I still like this kid's speed. He got us some easy yards later in the game.
  • Omar Bolden's fumble was a good punch by the defender. I think Omar should have secured it better, but I don't fault him much. He had a handle on it from what I saw before the guy hit it.


  • I'm going to note again that I think we are getting out-coached early in the games. For two weeks in a row we haven't been attacking the weaknesses of our opponents while they actually have been attacking ours.
  • The refs were pretty poor this game. The PI on Decker was completely bogus. I don't understand for a second what the ref saw on that play. There were two other gaffes, but I didn't get them noted down. Let the Hochuli thing go and call the game straight-up please...kthxbyenow.
  • The whole team needs some fumble drills at the very least because most of the times the ball hit the ground, the guys were jumping at it at bad angles or trying to scoop and run when there were enemies close by.

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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