I posted one of these articles after the first game against the Steelers, and thought I would try to do one every week, but life gets in the way, website layouts change, cats and dogs start living together, mass hysteria, etc., etc.
Any way... here are the Seven Surprises for Week 4. This doesn't cover the big major things everyone notices, like Manning having a good game or our Defense containing McFadden, but hopefully some of the more "under the radar" items/plays that were pleasant surprises for the week. There are 7 in honor of the Broncos best QB ever.
1 - Dreesen grabs a TD in heavy traffic - How nice was it not only to see one of our TE's catch a TD, but catch a TD in heavy traffic? It looked like the Raiders' entire secondary was surrounding Dreesen before crushing him after the catch, but he held on for the score. If we can get our TE's rolling, we WILL be dangerous every... single... week!
2 - Lance Ball makes an impact! - McGahee is an obvious pick for having a great game, but Lance Ball catching a TD? I know he was all alone on that play, but isn't that the point? If we can trot out guys that the other team's D neglects and then, as a result, those same guys make an impact... well, color me orange and call me surprised!!!!
3 - O-Line didn't miss a beat - When is the last time a team's STARTING center left the game with an injury and the team's offensive performance didn't miss a beat? Koppen was a great pickup a few weeks ago and a surprising "plug and play" fit on Sunday.
4 - Rahim Moore lost his dunce cap? - In a very pleasant surprise for the week, I didn't notice Rahim Moore's name come up for a bonehead penalty, late hit, blown assignment or anything else in the "what was he thinking?" category. Nice job, Moore!
5 - Hillman makes something out of nothing - We have a solid power running scheme with McGahee in the lead. How nice of a surprise was it to see Hillman not only getting extra touches, but turning that clogged run to the left into a long gain around the right? Very pleasant surprise to see Hillman make a contribution in a free-styling sort of way. What a nice change of pace RB he will make this year if that kind of effort continues.
6 - Raiders' TE position a no show - I know there were a lot of factors that played into the Raiders' offensive quagmire (I still involuntarily smile each time I think of the haul they gave up to acquire Palmer). But I, for one, was just plain pleasantly surprised to see our defense contain another team's talented TE for the afternoon! Make no mistake, Brandon Myers is as sticky-fingered as they come, so I was prepared to see our LB's struggle. Surprise!
7 - Prater to Beadles!!!! - I know, I know... it was a failed play and really, what the HECK was Fox/McCoy thinking? But it sure was a surprise to see a fake FG attempt from the ultra-conservative Broncos. Since they won the game going away, it is now a "pleasant" surprise.
Those are my pleasant surprises from the week. What were yours?