It's mind boggling to even consider that we have a defense that can "carry" a Peyton Manning led offense. Another sloppy game by the offense and we come away with technically a 4 game lead in the division. It's pretty much locked at this point. The score doesn't even do justice to how dominant the Broncos were. Now it's all about postseason positioning. Not all that impressed with the top 2 in the AFC, Houston and Baltimore. New England ran roughshod on the number 1 pick and the pretender Colts. Really could have used a Steeler win last night but home or away, this Bronco team can beat all of them if they play to their ability. Playoffs here we come!
Rivers glad Peyton in the AFC West? Face palm, d'oh!
Your Turn to Lead
Defense is still improving which is AWESOME! How good can this defense get? Top 3? Though they did lose their momentum in the second half. But for 26 straight 3rd downs, they won! That's a crazy stat. Is that a record? I've never even heard of such a stat. That's because no one does that! Awesome performance by our defense that spanned 3 games which is nothing short of amazing. Things have taken a drastic change. We used to be terrible on 3rd down defense. Now we're one of the elites. Love this defense. At this point, I'm more excited to see our defense on the field than the PFM offense. That's nuts!
Is Rivers Still Happy Peyton Is In the Division?
When we first signed PFM, Rivers was excited to have him in the AFC West. Well, maybe we should ask him again. First, Peyton lead his team to a 35 point outburst in the first meeting after trailing by 24 in the first half. Then comes yesterday's game and the Chargers are all but eliminated. Their 2012 campaign is over after 10 weeks. How happy is he again? D'oh!
Step On Their Throats
This defense was just suffocating in the first half. You could just feel the intensity that they were bringing in the first half. You could just tell that they took great pride in continuing their string of 3rd down success. It was embarrassing for the Chargers in the first half, and that's exactly how I wanted it. Basically 3 and outs the whole first half. It wasn't until they finally gave up a 3rd down conversion that this defense started to let up. It's like the wind was taken out of their sails. Then they looked human again. Second half was somewhat of a let down compared to how they've been playing. Hopefully we see that same intensity back when the playoffs roll around.
It feels great to win and all, but are we peaking too early? Or are we still improving. I'm a little concerned that we shot our load a few weeks too early. Hope that's not the case. The offense still has plenty to work on so hopefully we are just still improving. Which would be outstanding. We still fumble as much as the Chiefs. That's really keeping us from reaching our full potential. We are still dropping too many passes. Missed TDs and drive killers. Plenty still to work on, but the bright side is we're playing at an elite level despite all the hiccups.
Emergence of the LB
We've heard all about Von Miller and rightfully so. He is just amazing. He's unstoppable, but do we have another pro-bowl LB on the same team? Wesley Woodyard has elevated his play to the point that you can't ignore what he's doing. He's finally getting some recognition. One of the leaders in pro-bowl votes at this point. I don't see a let down as he's been as consistent as his sophmore phenom. We appreciate all the hard work and intensity Wesley brings every week. He had an interception AND a fumble recovery. He's everywhere!
I hate that I have to keep bringing this up. WHY is he still on the active roster?!?! I can understand keeping him as depth, but not active over other players. He fumbles and still gets carries? What is that? Teacher's pet? Every time he messes up, he redeems himself like the key block for Decker's TD. He even had a couple decent runs but not enough to warrant a spot in my eyes. Hopefully McGahee recovers quickly. I thought it was going to be real bad, but seeing him being stretched on the table was actually a positive. It told me he was working on getting back out on the field. Better than having a brace on the knee in street clothes. Well, Moreno may finally have his second/third/fourth chance. Ball's in his court, no pun intended.
The Danario Alexander TD was BS! Football move my ass. He didn't complete the catch. The ball clearly moved when it hit the ground. Same thing Calvin Johnson did but his looked more like a completed catch. The refs say Danario was reaching into the endzone as a football move. YEA RIGHT. He fell into the endzone and lost control of the ball. Really have to disagree with this call and wished all refs played it the same. Ridiculous. Where are the replacements? Oh, over there. Good, keep them over there. They would have scored the TD for the Seahawks instead.
Change of Philosophy?
I overstand the mindset of running out the clock at the end of the game. Sure, run the ball to keep the clock running. Passing and the ball falling incomplete is too risky, but did we even try to get a first down on our last possession? It's like Hillman was told to just run and secure the ball. Priority number 1, hold onto the ball and don't worry about making a play. It's the smart way to play, but why not take advantage of Hillman's speed and at least stretch the run. It would have eaten up an extra second or two. Not a fan at how we ended the game, on offense that is. Defense ended it just perfectly with another strip sack! Goooo Dooooom!
Little Quick Notes:
- Demaryius can be the number 1 receiver in the league next year with Peyton under center. He's adding more every week to his game with steady improvement. His toe tapping on the edge is outstanding. He's done this several times already. So big with so much grace.
- Nate Irving may not be starting on defense, but his presence is felt. Blocked punt and several special teams plays. Kid is contributing!
- Chris Kuper can't come back soon enough. Painful to watch Manny Ramirez in there. Glad to know he's just there for depth and not as a regular starter.
- Champ had a poor game. Gave up a lot of passes that he normally doesn't. After a solid performance against Steve Smith last week, he stepped back against a weaker Charger lineup. Hopefully it's just a mishap than a sign of things to come
- Derek Wolfe got hurt twice in this game and kept coming back. Tough kid. Can't wait til he reaches his prime.
- Eric Weddle is a very undervalued safety. He makes plays all the time. He really doesn't get the recognition he deserves.
- Eric Berry is playing really bad for the Chiefs. He's being targeted this year and it's working. Sad(or great) that his injury has dropped him so far behind.
- DJ Williams with his debut and makes a stand out play. Shows he still has playmaking ability. We're going to need his depth.
Well, here we go. Stretch run. I'm really excited to see where this defense is going. They've given me the most hope that we can make a serious Super Bowl run THIS year. Peyton gave me hope for the playoffs and growing pains when we get there, but this defense has come along and passed my expectations. I never could have imagined they would play at this high of a level. Thank you John Elway. Next up are the Chiefs. Safe to say it's going to be another shark frenzy with our own Brady Quinn behind center. Let's let him know what he walked away from. Go Broncos!