As I mentioned last week, I will try to point out seven (mostly) pleasant surprises taken from each week's game. It's a lot easier for all of them to be pleasant surprises when we win, that is for sure. The surprises won't be the big major items, like Manning throwing for over 300 yards and 3 TD's or Von Miller unleashing beast mode on the Pats. They will instead be issues/items/plays that were surprising, to me, during the game. Feel free to chime in with your own surprises in the comment section!
Of course, there are seven items due to... well, as a Broncos fan, you should already know!
1 - Halftime adjustment for the D - How many years has it been since we've seen our Broncos' D make some serious halftime adjustments and come out playing much better in the second half? (Go ahead... I'll wait for you to try and think back that far) It looked like were going to get trounced along the variety of what we saw last year in the pair of games versus the Pats, but the D made some good adjustments and kept the team within shouting distance the rest of the way. It was nice to see Brady starting to feel the heat.
2 - TE's making solid contributions - The combination of catches, yards and the TD reception by our TE's was a pleasant surprise for another week (they made the list last week, as well). If the Broncos keep them involved to that extent, it will help Thomas and Decker have even better games the rest of the year and I won't have to list the TE's as surprises.
3 - Manning trains to be Olympic sprinter - Okay... he wasn't THAT fast, but how much fun was it to see Manning tuck the ball and jet his way to the sideline for a first down? It was a LOT of fun! (and wasn't that a TON of open real estate?!) Maybe the other team's D will start keeping a "spy" in the middle to stop his crazy-fast sprints! LOL!
4 - Lloyd and Gronk quiet as church mice? - Oh yeah! If you were to tell me we'd pretty much shut down BOTH Lloyd and Gronk for the game, I would write the "W" down in ink. Well, we did mostly shut them down, but I ran out of ink. My bad. However, it was a pleasant surprise to see Gronk NOT roam free over the middle and nice to see Champ put the clamp on our old pal Lloyd. Now, let's talk about how we shut down those Pats' RB's - uh... nevermind.
5 - Potential game changing turnover - No... I'm not talkin' 'bout Willis. I'm talking about how the D came up big with a turnover near the end of the game. That was a potential game changer and was nice to see the D step up and perform in a crucial situation. It just has... not... happened for so many years that it was a pleasant surprise to see what it looks like!
6 - DT forgot to wipe the grease from his hands... again - Okay... this was of the unpleasant variety, but it was surprising to see Thomas lose the football on yet another long gain to kill the potential for at least three points. I'll bet he'll be working on that issue going forward and we'll be happy to see all the big plays WITHOUT the fumblerooskies at the end. The guy is a beast! Did you see that one-handed grab along the sideline? Wow.
7 - Phyllis throwing tantrums on way to a Dolts loss - This doesn't have anything to do with the Broncos game, but it does have to do with the Broncos standings. How great was it to see Phyllis Cry-Me-A-Rivers yelling at Norv-Bit on the sideline (when Norv made a decision to punt the ball) and then see the same QB throw a pick on the all-important final drive to seal the Dolts' defeat? Let me answer that for you. It was PFM-Great and worth a spot on the Seven Surprises list for the week!
Those are my seven surprises for the week. What were yours? (Let's try to keep them as positive as we can - this is a Broncos FAN board, after all! Ha!)