"Movin on up"....to the West side! Denver wins yet again in surprisingly easy fashion. Honestly wasn't very worried about this game. A lot was tilting in our favor. First off, the injury report couldn't of been more night and day. Credit to this training staff because I can't remember the last time our team has been this healthy this late in the season. It also doesn't hurt to have QUALITY depth across the board(except maybe for O-line). I'll bring up that Rant a little further down. Gotta talk about the Rewards first as this team is now 11-3 and in sole possession of the 2nd seed. HUGE!
Move B*, Get Out the Way!
If you've followed my writing, you'd know I've always been a believer in Knowshon Moreno. I thought I was blinded in my fandom, but he seemed like he had the "potential" to be an every down back in the NFL. Sauced was bashed for quite a while around the Bronco community. I just felt that all the circumstances were against him early in his career. He was pretty productive to start, scoring TDs and total yardage, but it wasn't enough for a lot of fans. Rightfully so when you're drafted 12th overall, we want Doug Martin production. Then the injuries started hitting. He was a forgotten man. Banished to the scout team. Then his opportunity came. He hasn't looked back since. He's been showing patience to let the blocking develop and the power to hit the hole. Things he lacked earlier in his career. He's more decisive and no longer dancing around. When he sees a hole, he hits it full force. He's playing with a lot more confidence and less show boating after runs. He gained an additional 4 yards pushing BACKWARDS with extra effort to move a whole pile yesterday. He even got a pancake block on 272 lb Courtney Upshaw in pass protection(ehem Hillman). Now what do we do when McGahee comes back? Knowshon is HOT right now and he's the more versatile back. Do we let him cool off on the bench when a repaired knee comes back from IR? I think we've seen enough from Knowshon to warrant another year in Mile High.....hopefully more. Game Ball.
Blood In Water
Defense came out in a frenzy. Forcing 5 straight 3 and outs to start the game. Hard to win a game when your offense is so inept to set the tone. I was expecting more sacks in the game but Flacco was very uncomfortable in that pocket leading to an inaccurate day. Von was invisible....stat wise, but he was definitely in Joe's head. Flacco rushed a lot of passes because he convinced himself that Von was a split second away from making contact. Great to see Robert Ayers and Derek Wolfe both showing up in the pass rush. Both could have had multiple sacks if Joe wasn't so concerned with getting the ball out so fast. Even if it was way off target. In the beginning of the season, a lot of fans were clamoring for more turnovers. We are currently tied for 1st with interceptions and 7th in total takeaways. The defense was still learning, to start the season(where we lost our only 3 games). Don't worry, they clearly got it now.
If there was ever an opportunity for a Nickel Probowl selection, Chris Harris would be a run away candidate. His second TD of the season and at same time setting the franchise record for a pick 6(Champ shoulda looked back for Watson). His play was the game breaker. instead of going into halftime up just 10-7 and Baltimore to start the second half, the Broncos go up 17-0 and any hopes for the Ravens bled away with Flacco's lip. He's a sure tackler and is as sticky as Carter on the receivers. He has mastered playing against the slot. He really excels in that spot and that's why they bring him inside and let Carter play corner in Nickel packages. I don't have any worry of him being a distraction asking for more "compensation" next year, but I do believe he's earned the right to start negotiating. I say lock him up. He's shown me enough. I'm sold. I want him on this team going forward. He has made Tracey Porter irrelevant. And Porter's pretty good! Game Ball.
Man, I was so bummed to see Chris Kuper inactive yesterday. Though the Ravens were ravished with injuries, they were still 9-4 for a reason. It's official. Offensive line is our thinnest group in terms of depth. What really got me fuming was the first sack on Peyton Manning. ManRam was engaged with his man. Then for no apparent reason whatsoever, he decides to let his man go and looks to help out Orlando Franklin against Paul Kruger. It's mind boggling to me! Did he think his man just disappeared into thin air after initial contact? WTF was he thinking letting his man go? He's going to get Manning hurt if he keeps making boneheaded decisions like that. As boring as it sounds, we need to start drafting O-line depth. I just hope it's not too early in the draft. I was happy with a 3rd rounder for Franklin's production.
Do You Read Me?
Our offense had a lot of miscommunication today. Some looked like they could have ended up as pick 6's if the defender wasn't as confused by the play. Looked like it was early season type of miscommunication. It hurts even more when it happens on 3rd and manageable plays. We're running out of time to get in tune because the playoffs are right on the horizon. 2 more weeks to get things right. Then again, this season has already way past my expectations in the Peyton project. What a difference a year makes. Still love Tebow and what he did for us, but last year, poor QB play lead to 2 completions in a WHOLE game. This year, subpar QB play still leads to 30+ points. John Elway has built a monster and IT'S ALIVE!!!
Pump the Brakes Or Pedal to the Medal?
I'm torn over this issue. A lot of fans are starting to get irritated by how Foxy slows down the pace when the Broncos have the lead. At times, it has given the opposition an opportunity to claw their way back into the game and make it respectable. Many want Fox to score 50 points every game just like the Patriots. Well, we've won 9 straight games. I think the plan is working. In the Patriots hunt for scoring supremacy, they lost their STAR TE Rob Gronkowski with a broken forearm on one of the final plays of the game while blowing out their opponent. Sure it's fun to be a Patriots fan, but I'm happy with where the Broncos are. And that's on the field playing in games.
Little Quick Notes:
- You just have to take the good with the bad when it comes to Trindon Holliday. Luckily it hasn't cost us.
- The offensive line was huge in the run game today. The holes opened up like the Red Sea. The big uglies get as much credit for how well Knowshon played today.
- Matt Willis got an earful from Peyton on a late 4th quarter run by Hillman. It was a 3rd down and potentially cost us the conversion. Not sure how Matt has managed to find the field this year as a lot of blown plays has him as the common denominator.
- Great game by Eric Decker yesterday. Sure handed and constantly getting separation. Way to step up in DT's absence.
- Very ugly TD given up at the end of the game. 61 yards to Dennis Pitta? He ran like his nickname was All Day! Very lackadaisical to end the game. I somewhat understand though.
- Lance Ball did not get any offensive snaps! Why he still on the roster? We have a better version of Ball and Gronkowski in one Jacob Hester. Let's bring in more depth somewhere else.
- No turnovers!!!!
Well, there you have it folks. Another W added to the win streak. Hopefully we get Trindon the bragging rights to say he belongs with the likes of the 1972 Dolphins. See what I did there? Next up are the Cleveland Browns. Eh, not a piss poor team, but not a team that should knock us off the 2nd seed of the big dance. Let's finish out strong and keep getting better. Stay healthy fellas. You're going to want to be around for the next few weeks. Go Broncos!