7 - 3...it feels pretty good right now. I'm cautiously optimistic about our season and this game made me lean more towards "caution". What I saw today on the football field was a whole lot of mistakes and some vulnerability. The sky isn't falling for sure. Nevertheless, this team is mortal for sure. If our offense truly was clicking we would have scored 60 easy. A lot of points were left on the field. Our defense broke down late and even the demi-gods we have pass rushing tired and slowed. Caution I say...San Diego on paper has no business being in the game that late against us at our house. We are more talented in every phase of the game then than are. We have better coaching and management by far.
That being said, we do have a really talented team from the top to the bottom. I think in all seriousness we can sweep the rest of the season. If I had to give odds, I'd say 50/50.
A little luck and staying healthy definitely play a role in a team's season. That hasn't changed. I think we've made solid strides forward this year in the area of team health. The new strength and conditioning staff are doing something very right. Less strains and cramps on the field from what I've seen. TYJE.
- Let's get my witch hunt over with early and talk a little about Lance Ball. I'll say first off he did a decent job coming in off the bench when Willis McGahee went down.
- In typical Lance Ball fashion he had good runs when the blockers made lanes for him and did nothing special at all when he needed to make something happen to make a play.
- The 3rd and 1 early in the game I repeated to my family 3 times..."Do not give that ball to Lance Ball." Neither Mike McCoy nor Peyton Manning heard me. In predictable fashion Lance wasn't able to get one measly yard against a linebacker. "She juss cannae do it Captain! I'm givin her all that she's gah!" Seriously team...I'm far past amusement here. If Ball has to come in on a 3rd down, it should be a pass play 3000% of the time.
- I did note some very solid pass blocking from him picking up blitzers...2 times he lit up some guys licking their chops.
- I was thoroughly amused in the 3rd quarter. Lance Ball, in an amazing show of big guy agility whipped out a spin move as he broke into a gap against a defender.........and was promptly planted in the dirt. The run went for 3 yards. The spin move was after 2. Look out next week for a 2 yard run on a Gangnam style juke at the line by Lance.
- We were working the TE's on underneath routes a ton early. They missed a couple plays, but it was because of great defensive play. Most of the time, our TE's showed some great hands.
- I still hold by the opinion that unless our O-line is able to dominate and get hats on LBs, Ronnie Hillman isn't going to be successful running inside. He had a superb run outside for about 18 yards and most of the rest of the time, he was not effective running.
- You look at the numbers and Peyton Manning was great. Some might knock him for three potential plays we missed. He overthrew Deymariyus Thomas deep early, missed DT in the end zone, and missed Jacob Tamme on a big 3rd down and 4 late in the game. The first I put on Peyton. The other two I thought our guys didn't attack the ball. DT was slowing his route looking for the ball when he should have kept stride. Tamme was similar. He was moving his feet pretty fast, but it looked like he could have had more umph to me.
- That INT was all San Diego. Their guys made that play happen. All game long, they knew when we were going to throw the WR screen routes. I think we went 1 - 4 on them.
- My worst fears are staring us in the face on offense...McGahee went down. He was running like a total boss until the injury too. I thought he was going to have a very big day by the looks of it. Now we get to see what happens in the backfield if he misses time. I sure as hell hope to see Moreno get another shot honestly.
- The TD to Brandon Stokley was a play design of beauty. SD's defense bit on a WR dump off at the LOS which gave Stokes a couple steps on his guy.
- Eric Decker didn't put surprising numbers up, but it seems like we are trying to not focus on him on purpose. I think Manning doesn't want any defense to be able to key into any one guy to slow them down. His catch on 3rd and 4 he needs to play smarter - instead of hitting the defender he could have fell forward for the first down. Also, his TD from Manning was a great read and setup from Manning - we used a timeout and Manning was barking and audibling very hard at the line to get a good read on their defense...it paid off.
- Late in the game I was astounded by the 3rd and 14+ yard completion to Jacob Tamme down the seam for the first down. I can't imaging what the defense thought they could do by standing around like fence posts. I know it is zone defense over there, but if the guy is entering your zone about to get behind you, you may want to run with him a bit.
- Virgil Green got straight owned by Phillips on the Safety play. Green is typically a good blocker, but he looked like trash on that play.
- I'm astounded by what our defense did through almost 3 quarters of the game...we had San Diego clueless on offense. They turned things around late, but it was too late. At one point in the game there were 10 out of 11 San Diego drives that went 3 and out. That's dominant defense Broncos Country.
- Wesley Woodyard again was a man on a mission. I think an interesting storyline is the return of DJ Williams and how he fits in. I think Wesley continued to make a bold statement on the field: "There is no way you can afford to not play me at the Will. I make too many plays to be bench warming for DJ's sorry %@#." Let's take a tally from the "big" plays I noted: Superb late blitz to hurry Phillip Rivers, TFL on a 3rd and 1, Solid coverage on 2 plays (that I noticed), and an INT he had on lock from the snap of the ball.
- DJ Williams by the way represented himself well on the field. I didn't see him give any plays away and saw a very nice TFL from him. Welcome back to the field DJ. Keep showing us that you belong there please. I've read lots about what you've said about your love of football and the Denver Broncos. I listen to actions though. I liked what you brought this game for sure.
- I can't say enough about our run defense. San Diego until late in the game could do absolutely nothing...and it wasn't terribly successful late.
- San Diego's TD late in the 3rd was friggin highway robbery. The WR pushed off Tony Carter before the ball got there. That was a blatant PI call that went ignored.
- Champ Bailey has for the 2nd week looked very mortal to me. Last week I gave him a flier because he was defending a top 3 NFL WR. You get no such pass this week Champ. Your coverage was weak as hell and you honestly looked slow running the deeper routes. One play had you in the completely wrong position...behind the WR deep down the field against a larger and taller WR. You can't do that...use the sideline and run in his hip pocket. It is games like these, where I think, "Champ sure would make a great Free Safety." (Note: I still love Champ. I still think he's a superb player.)
- Jim Leonhard needs to go take out the front 7 for supper. Their pass rush gift wrapped a pick for Leonhard down the field. Classic Rivers "Oh #$%^...better throw it!...DOH!...Why weren't you there WR!?"
- Tony Carter other than again impressing me with his coverage (all but one play...similar to Champ he was covering a dude much bigger and taller than him from behind and the WR just shielded him from the catch), wrapped up a dude's legs in mid-air and dropped him down like a boss on his face. Plays like that send a message.
- Kudos to Elvis Dumervil for not only playing after an injury to his shoulder, but going beast mode to end the game.
- I'll close with this: Von Miller DPOY. That is all.
- Kudos to Nate Irving for a great punt block. Impact plays like this on Special Teams show coaches you belong. Keep on truckin brother!
- At the end of the half the referees robbed us of a FG by taking 8 seconds to spot the ball. If this would have been the playoffs, I would have been bent. As it is, there is no way this crew should be reffing the post-season.