Coming into this game, I was thinking this is one of two big tests we have left in the regular season. No disrespect to the rest of the opponents on the schedule, but overall they all look pretty weak. I know our offense is getting into gear and didn't expect it to have trouble putting 30 on the board. What I was unsure of was the defense...how would they look against one of the best QBs in the league right now?
Well the defense arguably looked better than the offense in this game. Surprisingly we didn't have a lot of production from Von Doom sack-wise, but that isn't unheard of with a QB like Brees. He is very good at reading defenses quickly, going through his progressions quickly, and (as shown during the broadcast) his release is very very fast.
So here we are with a defense starting to really click, and offense doing the same, and some special teams plays where you see guys giving their full effort. There are starting to be murmurs in the MSM and elsewhere about our Broncos being dangerous. That's no lie. Our schedule is a cake walk and I can very easily without any orange and blue colored glasses see us sweeping the rest of our games. The realist in me sees us having a couple loses, but not much more than that. How nice would it be to have home-field advantage in the playoffs Broncos Country? While it is too early to get very wound up about it...it could happen.
Let me wrap up the intro by saying wow...I think I just saw our team play solid football for 60 minutes. Yes there were mistakes made, but none were colossal failures that set us back for a quarter or more. Look out Bengals...you're walking into a meat-grinder next week!
- Our 98 yard scoring drive was a lesson in basic offensive strategy that was used all game long. Run when there are 7 in the box, pass when there are 8. This is basic math that every play caller should know as well as the QB. Yeah there are wrinkles to this method (overloads on a side can make a pass concept look very good even with only 7 in the box for instance), but it is just sound football. If you haven't ever paid much attention to it, try it sometime...count the number of players in the box (from slot to slot going about 8 yards back from the LOS). Watch for safeties sliding up before the play snap, etc and see its affect on a play.
- Willis McGahee, my man. I'm kinda sick of seeing you put the ball on the ground. That fumble was nonsense...clutch the ball brotha! He was otherwise in beast mode all game though...5 yards, 5 yards, 10 yards. When our running game works this well we will score big numbers.
- Two plays during this game were the best playaction from PM I've seen ever. The first was a completeion to Stokely for a first down (14yd pass IIRC). Way later in the game he made a great one with a completion to DT down the field. Peyton Manning is just scary as hell to go against anyway...then you get your run game going and he gets to do some play-action!? Your defense is just screwed.
- Here's a couple complaints about our 3rd down play calling: First off, on 3rd and 2 and you toss to Ronnie Hillman? McGahee needs to be in there or the play needs to go elsewhere. Hillman is just not the kind of back that can grind out 2 yards when the defense is playing close to the LOS. Also, on 3rd and 13 give to Lance Ball. So tired of seeing him on the field...especially on 3rd with the ball in his hands. If that play went to Hillman he would have had a chance at making it.
- Deymarius Thomas had a big play down the field because Roman Harper just got lost on a great play fake by Manning. Did you guys notice that on the 1 yd TD Thomas signaled Manning for it? If you aren't excited by the better route-running we're seeing from DT, this should really get you pumped. Thomas has a lot of growing left to do, but he read the defense and was on the same page with Manning. Smarts + Size + Speed = Unstoppable.
- I about fell out of my chair on the Eric Decker TD. The dude shook Jabari Greer out of his ankles. As I predicted after we got Peyton, Eric's game has been elevated. Once we are in the end zone, he's every bit as likely to get thrown to as DT. Decker just knows how to go after the ball. He's the best at it in a Bronco uniform since Brandon Lloyd and before him Rod Smith.
- Ronnie Hillman had big 30+ yard run, but that was the 2nd time in the game the ball came loose (1st time caused by the ground earlier in the game which is no big deal). McGahee has enough loose hands for the team. Do NOT emulate him Hillman. Clutch that ball like it is the breath of life son!
- Virgil Green showed some great balance on his pass to the outside early. Late in the 4th he leapfrogs a guy and keeps going. Both plays were very impressive feats of athleticism.
- Elvis Dumerville should have gotten that fumble early in the game. Dude needs to run some drills cause that was pathetic.
- Champ is still the best CB on the field every Sunday. I still take him over Darrelle Revis pre-injury. All Day.
- I know we didn't see any big sack stats, but Drew Brees was not getting much time to make a play at all. The pocket consistently collapsed very quickly on him. It stayed that way throughout the game until the defense let up on the last drive a bit.
- Darren Sproles' TD was poor coverage. Danny Trevathan doesn't cover him properly, then Mays moved like a turtle getting over to try and contain him...plus he didn't diagnose the route fast enough.
- Chris Harris got a great stop on 3rd and 2 after a successful challenge. This guy is so cool. Throughout the game he was precisely where he needed to be in coverage and was putting hits on guys as the ball got there. I honestly don't even think we need to look at CB next draft. I can't believe I just said that.
- Wesley Woodyard was on another level during this game. His INT was a great athletic play, but you could argue that the smart play would have been to knock it down. I call it a wash though as those types of plays help a ton with momentum and morale.
- Rahim Moore in run support was looking really good. He's obviously starting to see plays develop. Hopefully that translates to him doing the same in the passing game soon. My eyes are telling me that he's decent vs pass and great vs run at this stage in his career.
- Kevin Vickerson was just getting after it on a 3-man rush. He broke a double team and rushed Brees' throw. Later in the game he gets the big paw up on the ball on a 3rd down for a knockdown. We aren't seeing tons of sacks, but I'm seeing plenty of big plays from our front four inside and out.
- Tony carter late in the game on 3rd and 1 was just impressive as hell in coverage. Love seeing a guy get aggressive in coverage like that. It was very similar to how Harris made his play on the 3rd and 2.
- News Flash: Mike Adams in single coverage on a big TE is ALWAYS bad. TD Jimmy Graham in garbage time.