Aftermath: Denver Broncos vs Cincinnati Bengals - Thoughts from Inside Paul Brown Stadium

John Grieshop

As many of you know, I got the chance to watch the Broncos play the Bengals on Sunday in Cincinnati. The Broncos did not disappoint.

Who dey? We dey!

As many of you know, I got the chance to watch the Broncos play the Bengals on Sunday in Cincinnati. I am, after all, the one and only "kentuckybronco". For all intents and purposes, the Kentucky Broncos (Elvis Dumervil, Jacob Tamme, Wesley Woodyard, and Danny Trevathan) came to play. It was also a homecoming game for David Bruton. While we're at it, I'll even throw Derek Wolfe into the "Kentucky Bronco" group. Cincinnati is basically northern Kentucky.

Anyways, you asked for it and you're getting it... my game day experience in Cincinnati.

Things started off a bit hurried. My dad and I left church about 15 minutes later than expected, but were able to quickly find a parking spot two blocks north of the stadium in a hotel parking garage on Race Street. As we started walking to Paul Brown Stadium, we traveled behind two fans wearing an ironic pairing of jerseys.

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via Troy Hufford

We marveled at how many Broncos QBs threw left handed interceptions, despite being right handed. Sure, Tim Tebow threw more left handed interceptions than Jake Plummer and Jay Cutler, combined, but at least he is a southpaw, to begin with.

Upon entering the stadium, we traveled up the escalator to section 346, row 1.

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via Troy Hufford

Pretty good view for $60 a piece. Nobody could obstruct our view. The only problem was the railing was pretty low, so it was a bit unnerving whenever I had to stand up.

Things I noticed:

  • Champ Bailey was getting worked by AJ Green up until that interception. Green is extremely talented. He's a much better route runner than he was a year ago and it showed. Champ did a great job of covering him, but Green is so talented that he's bound to get his receptions every once in a while. You can't stop him, you just hope to contain him.
  • Anybody else frustrated that Tony Carter and Chris Harris couldn't finish the play when Andy Dalton threw it within reach? This is certainly a game of inches, but when the football hits your body, as a defender, you have to make that play. That's why defenses like Chicago score so many defensive touchdowns. They're opportunistic when the ball is in their reach.
  • Von Miller. That's all there is to say. The guy can flat out play football.
  • My dad missed the Trindon Holliday return touchdown because of long lines at the bathroom. So did half of section 346, apparently... I stood up and cheered, but as I turned around to celebrate with the Broncos fans that sat behind us, I noticed that I was one of like 4 people in the entire section... all of them were Bengals fans. I mile high saluted them and sat back down.
  • The ups and downs of special teams. As excited as I was for the return touchdown, I would have been happy with touchbacks the rest of the game. In fact, each time we settled for a touchback, I was relieved. When we mishandled a kickoff and started a drive at the 1, my worst fears were realized. I don't know what we can do to improve this area of our football team, because I am not an expert in special teams, but it is hard for me to believe that we can have at least one special teams blunder per week. I think we've met our quota, guys. Let's stop that.
  • Drunken fans. How could you not notice them? The only thing worse than a drunken fan is a drunken fan whose stupidity rubs off on his kid. Here's a comment I overheard from the father/son combo...

Father: "Go back to Denver, refs!"

Son: "They're just calling that because they don't want us [the Bengals] to win."

Actually, they're just calling that because your offensive line hooked Von Miller when he was about to sack Andy Dalton. It's not some big conspiracy. Anyways, back to the things I noticed. Pardon my ranting ways...

  • Rahim Moore looks like a guy that could play safety for the Broncos for years to come. I couldn't help but notice that Rahim Moore covers considerably more ground than Mike Adams during a given play. The guy can flat out run. I remember him tracking down a Bengal (I want to say Andrew Hawkins) after Chris Harris whiffed, limiting it to only a 4 yard gain. It reminded me a lot of Kam Chancellor from the Seattle Seahawks defense, the way he tracked down plays at the line of scrimmage from his deep safety position.
  • I sure hope Chris Kuper is okay. He put weight on his foot when walking off the field, but was doing so very gingerly. Once he got to the sidelines, he hopped around on his uninjured foot and sat on the bench. He was then carted away.
  • The PA announcer was pronouncing Ronnie Hillman "Ronnie Herman". Really, guy? Really?
  • Along the same lines, he pronounced Jacob Tamme "Jacob Tam". Understandable because of phonics, but if you watch any sort of football, I feel you should be able to figure out name pronunciations.
  • Surprisingly, Duke Ihenacho's name was pronounced perfectly. Go figure.
  • No MHR post would be complete without mentioning Peyton Manning. From my vantage point, it appeared like the first interception was just born out of greed. He tried forcing it in there on a slant to Decker, but the throw was a bit in front. The second one was a miscommunication or bad throw of some sort. I don't know. It was uncharacteristically bad, either way. I thought for sure that the redzone pick was going to hurt us down the stretch, but we were fortunate to escape Cincinnati with a win.

Notable jersey sightings:

  • A classic bright orange Steve Atwater jersey. Beautiful.
  • TJ Houshmandzadeh, but with letters in the middle removed, leaving "Hou deh" (Bengals fans are clever)
  • Philip Rivers jersey (seriously man... come on....)
  • Eric Berry, bright red Chiefs jersey (At least he came to watch a GOOD team play football)
  • LaMichael James Oregon Ducks jersey (the green really stands out in a sea of orange)
  • Tom Brady... No comment.
  • Peter Warrick (This was notable because the jersey looked so warn and ragged that I thought it was about to disintegrate off his body. It was much too cold for a clothing crisis of that magnitude.)
  • Tim Tebow jersey. (I saw only one, but it was notable. I expected more of them, but was hoping for less.)

Leaving was a pain. Cincinnati isn't ideal to drive around when there are a lot of cars in the area. The stadium is right next to the highway, but getting to the on ramp is an ordeal and a half. We sat in traffic for quite a while.

I'll tell you this, though. Sitting in traffic is a lot easier when you're celebrating a Broncos victory!!!

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