And the winning streak continues. The players get it. They're on the same page. Everything is clicking and it couldn't be more exciting for the fans of the Denver Broncos. The team is playing so well and are so consistent I was considering not even doing a post for this week. I felt like I was just saying the same thing over again. So I'll give it a shot anyway.
I guess the "jump" is gone now. Move along. Nothing to see here. Move it, move it.
Nice belly shirt Von!
It's exciting to see so many players, young and old, step up to the plate and really deliver this year. Demaryius is really making it hard on opposing defenses. Peyton Manning is playing at an elite level and is the top rated QB in the league. Only problem is, both of these positions are so deep. Right now, I think Von Miller is our best shot at an All-Pro this year. In my opinion, he is the best LB in the game right now. He's second in sacks to just J.J. Watt. He's tied with two other players with 9 sacks. But he trails just Watt in Tackles for Loss with 17. He just completed another solid game with 6 tackles, 3 for loss, 3 sacks and 4 hits on the QB. He is what you call disruptive! He's also constantly getting double teamed and chipped. The league knows what he brings to table, but they just can't do anything to stop it. If you think someone else has a better chance, then that's even better to hear as a fan. The more All-Pros the better!
I mentioned Woodyard last week and he was all over the field again against the Bengals. He is now 4th in the league in tackles. Sorry D.J., you are no longer a WLB for this team. He had 14 total tackles, but only 4 solo hits. You are valid in saying "big deal, he only had 4 solos". Well here's the other stat. 81 total with just 43 solo tackles against the Bengals. Keep in mind 26 plays were passes down the field. If you still don't get it, this team is playing as a team! We have multiple players hustling to get in position to stop the play. I'd have to give credit to the coaching staff for how well our defense is playing. These guys are really getting after the ball.
No Arm Strength They Say?
Peyton Manning has thrown with precision when he goes long. It's always on the money. That pass to DT before he got hurt was absolutely perfectly in stride. Peyton is playing at such an elevated level that I can't recall him playing this well pre-injury. I'm not a Colts fan, why would I be on this site, but it's just unfair how he's carving up these defenses. It definitely helps that his offensive line is giving him all the time in the world. He did have back to back INTs but never lost his focus and lead his team to 2 more TDs. What a treat it has been to know that you will more likely than not, convert that 3rd down. And he says he's still not 100%?!?!!! Nevermind what I said earlier, Von has company on the All-Pro team.
Play With Confidence
Can anyone tell me the last time the Broncos have played with so much confidence? They are playing with a swagger that they are the best team in the NFL. Confidence is a key immeasurable factor when playing football. We started this game on defense just overly outmatching the Bengals. Even reserves were breaking up passes all over the field. I can't explain it, but it seems like individuals are playing better than they ever have. Our run defense is outstanding and no one has passed for over 300 yards against us. Offense has already been heavily dissected so this is the last mention of them. I may be drinking too much of the Orange and Blue Kool-Aid but I'm really trying not to be biased with this statement. Even if I was, who doesn't like the taste of Kool-Aid?
At this point, it's safe to say that we won't have an answer against the TE position this year. Either we draft the next great LB for the Broncos or some youngins really take drastic improvements. TEs have been killing the Broncos all year. Gresham went over the 100 yard mark and was the leading receiver on a team with an AJ Green on the outside. Luckily, the Patriots are the only team in the league that can beat you with just their TEs.
Receiving the Praise
We've heard it plenty of times that Peyton raises all boats. Decker shined with his best game of the season. Stokley keeps making me eat crow week after week. Actually, at this point, I don't want anyone else in that 3rd receiver spot especially on the 3rd down. And he should be 1st on the play progression for that down. DT is a mismatch every week. Though he did seem to disappear after hurting himself. Hopefully he can recover quickly. The TEs have been so reliable that you don't know which one to start on your fantasy team. They did start to show their ugly friend this week, Dropsies. Worst part about the drops was that it seemed to happen on 3rd downs where they would have converted. Peyton is consistently putting his player in position but he can't catch it for them. Other than that, this receiving core is really getting deadly. Peyton is putting the ball where only his receiver is going to touch it. Once we get rid of these drops, who's going to stop this offense?
Don't Hit the Snooze Button, Wake Up!
The defense came out with all the confidence in the world and just smothered the Bengals. Then we hit a lull. Actually, the whole team did. We saw our lead disappear before we woke up and scored 2 more TDs. The Bengals clawed their way back into the lead and then everyone stepped up again. In years past, this game would have been a loss. Not this team. This is a team built to go deep in the playoffs. They just have some kinks they're still working out. Consistency is their biggest hurdle at this point. After that, what's left to improve on because I don't see anything else you need. Elite passing game, inconsistently good running game, top 10 defense and one of the better special teams in the league.
Call It a Wash
AJ Green came into this game as arguably THE best receiver in the game today. He definitely gave Champ his worst game of the season. Champ was beaten more in this game than he has the entire year combined. The veteran did counter that with his first interception of the year. Correct me if I'm wrong but Champ gave up 68 yards and a TD with an interception while covering the young budding receiver. Can't say he won or lost this weekend, but I'm not worried about it at all. AJ is a top receiver for being just that, a top receiver. I may not watch enough of the league, but is there another corner playing better than Champ this year? If there is, I don't know about it. He may not have a lot of interceptions, but when it comes down to playing the top receiver every week, he's won. His peers know what he's doing out there while the average fan doesn't think much of him since he only has a 1 in the INT column.
Trindon did it. Said last week that it was only a matter of time. Well, that time didn't last very long. This kid is blazing fast and I'm so excited he's on our team. Who was our last great return man? Darrien Gordon? Hopefully the defense gets more 3 and outs so this kid can have more opportunities to turn the field. Love the return game nowadays. And I actually like how this team is coached up. Some may have thought Trindon was in the dog house when they saw Leonhard out to return a punt. Actually, he was only in there when the punt would have landed in our own redzone where it most likely would have been a fair catch. Don't take it personal, it's smart. Clearly Leonhard is the more sure handed punt returner so take advantage of his ability. You're not going to get a return on those punts anyway. Kudos coaches. Best man plays.
Little Quick Notes:
- As good as Von Miller is playing, he's not perfect..yet. Fatigue seems to get the better of him from time to time. Play 8 and 9 is not as dominant as play 2 and 3. Consistency. If only he could improve on his conditioning, he has the ability to be one of the best ever.
- Kuper hurt again. I was worried it was his broken leg. Hopefully he gets healthy right away. I was pissed they didn't show a replay of what happened. I hear it's a significant sprain.
- Does Tracey Porter start when he comes back? Harris and Carter are playing at an elevated level that they could both be the 2 two starting corners on other teams! It's a great problem to have.
- Yea, it's been weeks and this new blog format still sucks.....
In closing, this was another great win. Wasn't dominant, but still at the level we want to play. We're still not at our peak and I'm glad to be able to say that week after week with a division leading 5-3 record. Now comes Carolina. I don't see how we lose this game. Peyton has his team playing with a new swagger that it won't get sucked into a trap game. Cam needs to keep slumping, at least for another week. Go Broncos!