What a luxury it is to score 35 points and win by double digits while complaining about how poorly the offense played. Sure it didn't look pretty, but placed into perspective, only 1 other team scored more points than our Broncos. We play poorly and still outscore 95% of the league. Don't let the score fool you, the defense played well. They only gave up 13 points. Sure there were a lot of yards given up, mainly to Blackmon(190 yards), but yards don't win games. Would I have liked to see a more dominating win, certainly. Sticking to the the perspective theme, 35 points is STILL higher than last year's highest scoring average. We're starting to get spoiled here in Denver when we're disappointed in 35 points against a Jaguar team. That's nuts if you really think about it.
John Leyba/The Denver Post
With my weekly write up, I try to bring out a few topics that aren't obvious to the masses. As I was taking notes watching the game, Malik Jackson kept flashing on screen as he's been doing the past few weeks. Then I jot down, "Why isn't Malik Jackson starting". The very next series for Jacksonville, Malik dominates an entire possession to the tune of a 7 yard sack, tackle for loss and then another 5 yard sack respectively. He single handedly forced a 3 and out. Well, now everyone's going to be talking about him. He's arguably been our most disruptive player along the Dline. Yet another young player outplaying his draft slot. This kid has so much potential and is in line to be mentioned as a diamond in the rough after being drafted in the 5th round. His final stat line for week 6 is 7 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 tackles for a loss, 1 pass defensed and 2 QB hits. That's what you call disruptive. To reiterate, he's been doing these kind of things for the past few weeks. He's had his hands on plenty of QBs only to slip off and miss the sack. I can't stress enough how excited I am for our young players as they continue to develop.
We got off to a poor start with a couple of off target passes from Manning in the opening drive. Facing a 3rd and 20, Knowshon rumbled down the field after hauling in a BEAUTIFULLY designed screen pass. You may only see that he rushed for 42 yards on 15 carries, but he actually eclipsed the 100 total yardage point for the 3rd time this season with his receiving contributions. All the while doing that in a running back by committee, that's not too shabby. He's clearly come out in front as the bell cow and has been the spark the last 2 weeks scoring 4 TDs and now leads the entire NFL with 7 through the ground. 2 more than the next closest RB. Eat that McCoy. He's on a roll right now. He looks like a quicker, more well rounded version of Willis McGahee as he pounds through defenders for extra yards. He's also been a reliable short yardage RB which he was always questioned for in the past. Hopefully he finally beats the injury stigma he's been stuck with and helps this team reach new heights.
Surprised I don't see more praise for Adam Gase. Sure he has Peyton for his QB, but I think too little credit goes to this first time Offensive Coordinator. He's been aggressive behind the mic and has this offense clicking and putting up record breaking numbers. Sure he has a stacked lineup to work with, but if you look deeper, he's really doing some good things with this offense. The 3rd and 20 screen to Moreno is a clear example. Instead of the typical screen where the OL let's their man go free to the QB and head up the field to block, Gase's design featured the WRs as the main blockers. This enabled the offense to disguise the screen long enough for the WRs to criss cross the field and set up a seem down the middle of the field for Knowshon to run to daylight. It was like the parting of the red sea on the way to a 28 yard scamper. And last week where he used Julius Thomas for a shovel pass on the way to the endzone. You didn't see these plays with McCoy calling the plays. We actually upgraded when he left for SD. Gase is doing an outstanding job and we may have a rising star calling the plays. Unfortunately, the rest of the NFL sees this too...teams like TB, NYG, Pitt and Minn.
"Whatchu Talkin Bout Willis?"
I don't really pay much attention to the announcers, but Ian Eagle really got under my skin. How is he going to talk about the Broncos with so much conviction and not even know what he's talking about? A few things really stood out to me. "long time center Manny Ramirez". Huh? Does 5 games really count for being a long time? More like it's been a long time since Manny played center. Then he goes and says Dan Koppen was our center for "many many" years? Does 1 year count as "many many"? Then my favorite of the day. "What were the odds of the Jags leading at halftime? I just want to know that. I wish I had that bet". Wait what? Denver was leading at halftime by 2 points and you wish you made that bet? Does he even think about what he's saying or is his mouth leading the way? This is the type of person Las Vegas was built on. Don't stick to your day job.
When you have a team steam rolling through the 2013 season, there is going to be a lot of stand out play from individuals. It's great for the present, but detrimental to the future. A lot of players are currently pricing themselves on out of Denver. A sad reality is we obviously won't be able to keep all of these players. Especially when Manning is making 1/6 of the allowable payroll, and deservingly so. You can't argue he's worth every penny. The problem is, you only have so much for the rest of the stars on the team. With the likes of Knowshon, Julius, Ayers, Philips, DRC, Decker, Franklin, _____, having outstanding seasons their asking price keeps rising with their production. It's just the nature of the game. Hopefully there's a couple that would take a hometown discount, but it's not really expected. They've earned it. This is why it's so important to hit on your draft picks and continue to develop them. Enjoy the season folks, it won't be the same next year. I'm just hoping these guys keep producing but not to the point that they are contending for league leading stats.
Wake The Sleeping Giant
Derek Wolfe was one of the players I was most excited to see this season. He was a beast as a rookie playing almost every snap of the 2012 campaign. He was just a fraction of a second from getting more sacks thanks to the VonDoom race and he still recorded 6. This year has been a totally different story. He's only been able to account for a single sack 6 games in. On the surface, it appears that he's having a sophomore slump. Definitely didn't help that Von was mentioning Wolfe and Watt in the same sentence. Then you realize he's the player that is constantly being double teamed. My main question is, what are OCs seeing, that they game plan to double Wolfe majority of the time? Is he garnering that much respect? It's hard to notice what they're seeing because Wolfe is pretty much non existent on the stat sheet. There's already been 2 games where he didn't even register a tackle. I know he's been doing all the dirty work in the trenches fighting off consistent double teams, but when you're compared to the DPOY, you're expected to beat those. I'm realizing it's unfair of me to put that much expectation on a 2nd year player. I know he's a keeper, just wished he was further along than he is. That's just me being greedy.
Little Quick Notes:
- Does Manny Ramirez get replaced when J.D. Walton is healthy? I doubt it as Manny has surprisingly been one of the better centers in the NFL.
- Why were we fed the whole "David Bruton is first in the depth chart" business? He never really showed the hips and change of direction to crack the starting lineup and has barely seen the field this year. Things that make you go hmm...
- What's the record for most consecutive games to start the season on a new team? Welker is a TD machine and I don't see that stopping. With so many options, it's literally impossible to stop this offense.
- Good to see Sly Williams with his most significant contribution of the year recording a man stuffing tackle for loss.
- How much of Colquitt's contract is guaranteed? It doesn't make much sense to me to have one of the highest paid punters on a team that rarely punts. Add to the fact that half of his games are in Denver. That money could definitely be used for one of the options in my poll.
- Is there anyone as at ease as me about any down and 20 yards to go? I don't have the means to back this up, but are we around 100% conversion whenever we need to go at least 20 yards on a set of downs? I'm not really all that worried when we have to gain 20+ yards at any time. This isn't Kyle Orton's offense.
- Love our humble WRs. No show boats, just results. They're not out there yapping their mouths. Just business like. They act like they've been there before. Especially DT.
- Wish we'd see more Mile High salutes like the kid getting the kicking T. Haven't seen our players doing it. Sad a little bit.
- Champ had an up and down day. He gave up a bunch but he also got his plays in. Seemed a little rusty. Glad he got a game in before Indy.
- Kayvon Webster is rapidly shooting up my favorite Broncos list. He's making plays weekly and is a stud with tackling.
6-0 and away we go. Now we have a real test with the Indianapolis Colts. Hoping it won't be another shootout. Colts have some good weapons over there and Luck is the real deal. No question marks about that kid. We need to get in his face and force turnovers. I don't see them keeping up with our offense. That's pretty obvious. I don't see any defense that does. Only way we don't score is with self inflicted wounds like fumbles in the red zone. Then again, we still score higher than the league average. The most important thing is, It's Miller Time!