I keep hearing this is an ugly win. We scored 35 freaking points against an NFL team! Look at all of the other scores through Sunday evening (prior to Sunday night and Monday night football). Only one team scored more points than we did this weekend, and they only scored 38 (St. Louis against Houston). In fact, St. Louis had 2 defensive touchdowns, only scoring 24 offensive points. Only one other team matched our point total - the Panthers (all offensive points). The next highest point total after that was 32 points.
If an ugly win is a game in which we score the most offensive points for all NFL games (pending the last 2 games) in a given weekend, I will take it. Winless teams historically become harder to beat as the year goes on because the team is full of proud professionals who have a lot more to play for than simply another victory, The Pats in 2007 barely beat a winless team mid-season - even tied 21-21 in the 4th. We had 3 turnovers, at least one of which was pretty much a guaranteed touchdown with the way our redzone offense works. So we actually should have had 42 points minimum. Who knows what would have happened on the other two drives (likely points of some kind). Let's not forget that we faced the 10th ranked passing defense in the league - so strength against strength.
We punted a total of 3 times today compared to 7 times against Baltimore. We were 7 for 13 on third downs, or 54%. The #2 offense in the league in terms of 3rd down efficiency averages 50% and would be very happy with 54% conversion rate.
With most teams, "ugly win" status is normally given to 13-10 games or 17-7 games, not games in which we score 35 and hold the opponent's offense to 12 points. The fact that our team was booed going into halftime absolutely floors me. Weren't we actually losing against the Ravens at halftime in game one and beating the Giants by 1 point in game two?
We even lost our starting right tackle and had to move a guard over to tackle and insert a guy finally rehabbing from injury in at guard...and still had zero sacks! The football bounces funnily sometimes, and that certainly happened today with the two bad snap exchanges that led to turnovers. But take away those two plays and I think the characterization of this game is vastly different - especially since we would probably have over 40 points. Two plays changed the perspective of an entire game as I see it.
Were we as sharp as usual? No. Perhaps the Broncos are a victim of their own success. We play offense at higher level than any other team this weekend, but below our own standards, and people call it an ugly win. I just feel blessed our team is so exceptionally dominant. I pray to God that injuries and cold weather do not derail this team come playoff time. I'll take an "ugly win" of 5 touchdowns on offense and a 16 point victory any day!