Let me start off by being pretty frank. I'm getting sick and tired of the way we lose games. Each of our losses have been the same story - our team makes woeful mistakes and digs themselves a hole. Our coaching shows signs of being a problem along the way. We then make adjustments at the half and get things squared away. Finally, we crawl back into the game only to fall short at the end.
Don't get me wrong...I love being in a game and not being completely blown out. I really dig being able to see some good things about our team to brighten up my reviews. I just think this team is shooting itself in the foot too much and are capable of performing much better than they have.
Let me also say before anyone else brings it up, I'm fully aware of how stout the competition was in our 3 losses. Those 3 teams are all top 5 NFL teams right now. That doesn't excuse our losses. We lost this game because our guys made too many mistakes...in every facet of the game. This was the antithesis of the win last week snuggled in a warm blanket of a few guys that looked really good. Let's dig in and I'll show you what I mean.
- Damarius Thomas shows up promptly with the loose hands again...that kid has got to clean this facet of his game up. Peyton Manning came right back to DT next drive which really surprised me. I know the guy is young and needs work, but at some point you stop getting thrown to if you fumble consistently. There were some really good things by him though...he made a spectacular one-hand catch. He also had a fantastic catch later in the game that went for 45 yards. It is good that he's so talented.
- O-Line looked poor in both aspects early. We really are missing Chris Kuper. I about cried when Franklin went out for a couple of plays. We have some very solid talent at O-Line...they just need to stay healthy because our depths is atrocious. Manny Ramirez continues to look like a back up this week for instance.
- I felt pretty pleased with myself...I called the play-action TD to Joel Dreessen before the snap. He's really living up to reputation as great red zone weapon and it is good to see our guys make the right play at the right time. The NE defense was sold out for the run and even I could tell that pre-snap.
Willis McGahee running like a beast as the game wears on. We really REALLY miss him when he's not on the field. This is probably the biggest area we need help at next off season other than MLB.
- McGahee - 4th down drop...how do you take your eyes off the ball before you catch it!? I can see a young guy making this mistake, but a vet like McGahee doing it is really disappointing to me.
- Also this guy needs to be in the same boat with DT. He's putting the ball on the ground too easily from where I sit. Strengthen your hands and arms more and for heaven's sake get 2 hands around it in traffic.
- 3rd and 4 and you had off to Lance Ball!? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is that? He is not the answer for 4 yards EVER...especially on a 3rd down. That was a pretty pathetic decision by the OC, and I would expect PM to audible out of it next time they call that in. Lance Ball is an emergency RB option to me at this point. He should be our 4th string guy behind Knowshon Moreno (which isn't saying much really).
- Orlando Franklin cost us fumble deep in our territory - you just can't let the guy get away behind QB like that. Hopefully he sees the tape on it and works out what his move is when a guy gets by him that fast. He needed a different angle to protect his QB and didn't know what to do.
- Eric Decker TD catch - great throw and superb catch. Decker is really starting to warm up. I expected it earlier in the season, but I'm seeing PM have a lot of trust in him at this point...which is why we are seeing less Stokely IMO.
- Rahim Moore - had a great tackle early for loss in the run game. As the game wore on I actually noticed him making solid tackles a few different times. That's good to see him do his job well, but if your safety is making a lot of plays that usually a sign of a problem...maybe like your MLB blows chunks.
That's a great lead in for my biggest complaint of the game. Why is Joe Mays on the field? Seriously. I can't say it enough: Fire this kid yesterday. Fail player is fail. Can anyone give me a clue as to why this $%#clown is still starting on my team? I know Brooking had a concussion, but put Trevathan out there so at least if he does poorly he may learn from it.
- Mays gave them some very key 1st down gains...he's just a horrible LB for today's game. If we were playing ball back in the 80's this guy would be money.
- For being a run thumper I counted at least 3 times where he completely picked the wrong gap and I was clueless as to why...there was no misdirection at all by NE. They just ran off tackle and Mays would be in the wrong place without an angle to attack.
- Joe Mays pass interference later too...can you do anything right? This guy is seriously starting to rival Nate Webster for the title of "Worst Linebacker to Ever Play for Denver".
- Also Rob Gronkowski made another 2 big plays that I noticed in the pass game matched up on Mays. When will these coaches learn!? Gronk beats him all day every day like a red-headed step-child. There was one play that we thankfully got back because of Holding on NE where Mays had blown it again.
- 2nd NE drive was the most pathetic defense I've seen this year and it rivaled some of the past three years' defenses in sheer sucktitude.
- Front 7 did not winning anything in the first half. They looked like complete strangers to me early in the game. No push anywhere and consistently getting beat. One of the drives NE ran for 5 yards, 5 yards, 8 yards. That's losing defensive football ladies and gentlemen.
- Kevin Vickerson man mode all over his guyVon Miller manhandles the left side for TFL. 2nd half - circles the whole O-line for the sack.
Chris Harris had a rough day with Wes Welker. He obviously doesn't have the chops to match up man-to-man on Welker. That's not a huge knock on Harris though. Welker is seriously one of the best 3 route runners in the NFL IMO.
- Harris made an incredible play on a screen. There were six guys all around and one of them in his grill and he still got the screen guy down. That just shows great fight to make a play like that.
- Wolfe again makes a great play in a tackle for a loss. This kid is going to be good. I'm excited to see what he does later in the year not to mention next year after another training camp!
- I'm going to make a simple statement to close us out on a good note: Von Miller's play kept us in the game. Go watch the highlights if you don't know what I'm saying. The guy was amazing.
- I'm really questioning the coaching decisions defensively. Personnel and play calling both were pretty poor. It took us a whole half to switch to a zone scheme in order to handle their pass game. They also were completely unprepared for NE's no-huddle pace.
- Bolden brought out a pathetic return about 10 yards that was very poorly blocked. It is a good thing our kickers are both studs or I would be railing weekly on our poor Special Teams play. Our return game is very weak.
- I really liked the onside kick attempt. We need more gutsy play calls like that each week.
- Punting at their 39 was an awful call though. You have Peyton Manning against a weak NE defense. Let him get you that first down. Even if you don't make it you really aren't that worse off.
- Next week is a must-win game. We lost to two AFC opponents. This really means we need head-to-head tie breakers against the AFC West.
- Our guys are either trying too hard or aren't trying hard enough. I can't figure out which, but there have been too many mistakes early in the year.
- I didn't like this game at all, but I will hold to what I said in the off season...if we come out of our first 6 games at 3-3 we are in great shape. Our competition down the stretch isn't scaring me at all.