I came into this game pretty confident of us getting a victory. This was a case of David vs Goliath, except David is playing with a sling and Goliath has an M-16, full body armor, and a helmet with a visor. It is really good to have confidence in your team and see them execute the way you know they can to beat an inferior team. This is how championship teams play ball ladies and gentlemen.
Cleveland's defense actually looked a tad weaker than I thought it would. I think a lot of points were left on the board more due to Manning mis-throws than to the Cleveland defense playing well. I dunno...did I miss something here?
Our defense was a bit worrisome early, but I liked what I saw in that they adjusted a bit as the game went on. I really saw JDR calling some very vanilla stuff through about three quarters of the game. I liked what I saw in that most teams won't really be able to garner much "current" information from our defense based on this game. I predict you will see a very similarly called game next week...lots of zone coverage with four pass rushers for most of the game.
- Knowshon Moreno starts off with more great running. Still showing great patience and takes what is there instead of running out to bad angles like he used to.
- Demaryius Thomas runs a great route at the 28 yard line in the first drive and makes sure both feet get down before going out of bounds. He then finishes the drive off with a spectacular use of his size and positioning to get an easy touchdown. The CB on that route really REALLY should have been on the inside of DT...his poor coverage makes the pass way too easy.
- Also the O-line is still consistently opening holes for Knowshon.
- Eric Decker makes some clutch catches and shows back up in the end zone. His catch was very physical like DT's...shielded his defender with his body...great technique.
- Knowshon's screen up the middle was very impressive in design...it took Cleveland by surprise.
- Peyton Manning threw an INT that was fairly silly - another bad decision at fault here much like the majority of his INTs this season. Knowshon was double covered, and the CB got great position on him for the route. Manning should have been able to see it before he let the ball go. The sad thing about this game is I saw about 6 throws that Manning would want back because he clearly misfired. Overall though his game was great 300+ yards and 3 TDs. I'll take that every week...imagine what the numbers would have been if he'd been more accurate today...at least another TD and another 50+ yards. :)
- I've seen way too many silly mistakes...penalties, bad blocking, more penalties...Zane Beadles getting shoved into Manning like a girly-man. This is another game we may win easy, but there is plenty for the team to work on.
- Tackling isn't good early on Trent Richardson. We tackle him towards 1st downs for instance instead of standing him up and stopping him. As the game wore on this very clearly got cleaned up.
- Poor coverage early - it looks like we are playing a lot of zone coverage and leaving holes for them to exploit. Cleveland didn't do much to scare us early even given the big passing holes.
- Very superb red-zone defense. There were no holes that I could see from the limited TV angles.
- You can't have a screen pass go at Justin Bannan with only one guy blocking him. That is all.
- In the 3rd Quarter Von Miller's sack was almost beat by what looked like an as impressive bull rush by Elvis Dumervil on the other side. WOW...I want to see Dumervil's rush on the All-22 film to get a better angle.
- Omar Bolden totally pulled up on the 4th quarter TD by Cleveland...sorry but what else are you going to do in the end zone besides try to keep them out of it? Bronco the F up and defend that line son!
- Props to Wesley Woodyard...he still looks like a beast on the field and is uncannily always seems to be around the ball and making plays for us...this is what great LB play looks like.
- Unnecessary Roughness on Bailey was obviously a horrible call.
- Also not taking the holding penalty right after that to move Cleveland back 10 yards was a special teams play by our coaches. Fox just mystifies me sometimes with his strategery.
- Lance Ball did a great job falling on the muffed punt in the 4th quarter. He laid there curled into a fetal position just like I do when I see him in our backfield.