Congratulations to the Denver Broncos on securing the AFC West Division Crown. Our team guarantees itself a place in the post-season by beating a well-coached and talented Tampa Bay Buccaneers team. Yes, this is only a small step towards the true goal for the season, but this is a step a lot of teams don't even make. Out of 32 teams in the NFL, only 12 get to play in the post-season. For this accomplishment, we can certainly celebrate here in Broncos Country.
Here's some quick thoughts about our opponents: Offensively I think Tampa Bay were doing exactly what fits their strengths and works to their advantage in the first half. They ran the ball with authority which opened up some vertical passing for them. I for one was certainly concerned at the end of the first half. They looked like a team that could score in bunches if our Defense didn't tighten up on them. Freeman throws a very nice ball but like a lot of young QBs needs to work on his read / decision making skills. The trouble they got into was often due to him holding the ball too long. Their O-line was pretty darn good overall. They pass-blocked like monsters and their run blocking was very solid while the run was relevant.
Defensively I wasn't impressed with either Tampa Bay's run defense or pass defense. We were able to gain yards either way. Our struggles honestly looked more like us shooting ourselves in the foot than it was them enforcing their will on us. They did well when they had momentum early and later when we were milking the clock and being predictable.
Last thought on Tampa Bay: If you want to, I'd take Doug Martin off your hands. ***Sigh***
- Knowshon Moreno needs to check his cleats he slipped on first run and a couple other times on the field.
- Inside the red zone he ran with great vision and quickness
- To end the game, needed 1 yard and got 3. Is anyone else noticing how much stronger of a runner he looks like this year? Am I just making that up?
- Joel Dreessen - Sunlight was too strong for him to reel in a catch. If you have problem with light sensitivity (like I do), then you might want to get a visor for your helmet. This is the NFL son...the sun being in your eyes is your problem, not Manning's.
- Mitch Unrein TD FTW!!! So cool to see a big guy get a TD...you know the defense writes that guy off if they see him on the field.
- Why were we throwing screens early? CB is a weakness down the field. Throwing those plays into TB's strengths.
- Lance Ball - Can you please fire him yesterday Elway? He's slow, weak, and unusable as a RB. Not only did he get a good dump off behind the line with Manning and couldn't do anything, but then he got a handoff and yet AGAIN did nothing.
- Early on we were kinda wearing out Matthew Willis over the middle
- Jacob Tamme hands like glue today
- Deymaryius Thomas + Peyton Manning TD: Smooth route running, great timing, immaculate throw. Again later in the 3rd...bracketed coverage can't stop the big guy from reeling in the catch. He and Manning are really starting to put it together. It is scary to think about how much better they will be next year.
- Champ Bailey laying the wood to start off the game. He had a couple really nice hits this game. I still stand by my position that even if the other team's best guy moves to the slot, Champ should be matched up on him for what it is worth.
- Early in the game and again in the 2nd half the defense was swarming - great run D at times.
- We were destroyed by a screen play 2 times - our blitz call both times was our downfall. Either Tampa Bay knew a tell or they just made the right call at the right time.
- Chris Harris great tackle on 3rd and 11. Int wiped out by roughing passer. Fantastic coverage 3rd Q. For those of you Broncos fans that are newer in knowing the NFL football game trust me on this: Chris Harris was a spectacular signing by our front office. I can't say enough how amazed I am that he wasn't drafted...he's the same kind of find as a Rod Smith, Terrel Davis, etc.
- We are still doing a pretty poor job covering TEs. See the TD to Dallas Clark for evidence.
- Our Pass rush was mostly MIA through the game. We had spots where we were able to bring it...especially in the 2nd half, but it was a very abnormal game for our front-7 in that department.
- Von Miller gets a pick-6 thanks to Mitch Unrein's hurry. The team really should take the big guy out for a steak. He came to play this week.
- Danny Trevathan superb pass coverage and perfect tackling form on a pass to the flat.
- Defense 2nd half played phenomenally - completely got Tampa Bay out of their game. Great job on the adjustments Jack Del Rio. Good coaching shows up and I for one recognize it.
- Tony Carter has some serious ups. Jumped over receiver in 4th to bat down the ball. In the 2nd half, he was thrown at a bunch with little actual production by the Bucs.
- Trindon Holliday would have had a tougher job getting the first guy to miss, but better blocking to his left on the first return of the game. In the 3rd Quarter he would have had a TD if not for the kicker slowing his run down.
- Matt Prater still looked shaky kicking. I don't know what's in your head son, but please work on clearing it out.