Anyone start to get nervous? This game had an eery feeling like a continuation of the Colts game. We came out with a methodic opening drive that lead to an easy Welker TD. With Knowshon, Demaryius, Julius and Welker all making significant plays on the drive. From there on, it was sloppy play and failed 3rd down conversions. Going 4 of 12 on the money down. Then the penalties started to rear it's ugly head with even Kevin Vickerson being involved in yet another roughing the passer penalty. Blatant stupidity and hard headedness. Get it through your thick skull that you CAN'T touch the QB after he lets the ball go. Just leave it be. That little bump made had zero affect on RGIII's play. Then the 12th man penalty that extended the closing drive and instead of going into halftime with a 7-3 lead, the Redskins prolonged the drive enough to tie it up. After a good start, the offense sputtered into halftime. Then Peyton fumbles backwards for the second game in a row and then the pick 6. In a flash, the Broncos were down 21-7 early in the third....
Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post
Wake the Sleeping Giant
A 14 point deficit quickly turned into a 38-0 scoring spree. And just like that, the offense snapped out of their own slumber and the points came pouring in. Fox strayed from his comfort zone and converted two 4th down conversions to jumpstart the momentum. After getting behind 14 in a blink of an eye, it was imperative to respond to avoid a snowball effect. They did just that and the offense got clicking. Scoring 31 points in the 4th quarter alone. I believe seeing somewhere that the Broncos were the most efficient screen team in the league and this game just added to that. Both Moreno and DT finding paydirt on 35 yard screen plays. Broncos go into the bye week on pace to being the highest scoring team in NFL history after their 5th game scoring over 40 points. This offense has it's mojo back.
The Redskins had 21 points but that was just a fabrication of how this defense played today. The first 7 came after a boneheaded penalty erased a FG and prolonged the Redskins drive right before halftime. Then the second TD came after the offense turned it over at their own 19 yard line. Other than that, this defense was as dominant as last year. It is obvious the difference having Von Miller back makes. The unit was responsible for just 14 points today. This aggressive defense came up with 13 QB hits, 10 passes broken up, with 6 tackles for loss and 3 sacks. Von Miller came up with his first strip sack of the season then they ended the game with 4 straight drive ending interceptions. That is productivity. RGIII took a beating ALL day today and couldn't finish the game. I can't recall the last time the Broncos defense beat up on an opposing QB this badly in a game. This is the first time I got the same feel as last years top 5 defense. Welcome back defense, we've missed you.
Fits Like A Glove
Knowshon comes up big yet again for this offense. He is head and shoulders above the rest of the RB stable. The other RBs flashed some positive plays today with even the rookie second round pick finding paydirt for the first time in his career. Montee showed great leg drive in pushing the pile 5 yards into the endzone. Even with the flash Montee and CJ showed today, Knowshon is clearly the man in this backfield. Moreno lead the team in both rushing and receiving today and made a beautiful run into the endzone on a perfectly called screen play. He didn't have a great average today but he looked strong and gained some tough yards along with a big 5 yards on a 4th and 2. This offense is a perfect match for Knowshon's skillset. Terrific receiver out of the backfield and great in pass protect. Now he's developed his vision and decision making. He's never run with such decisiveness and power. It took a while for him to come into his own, but right now is no better time. It's a match made in heaven. Stay healthy!
They Come In Bunches
It was just last week I was calling for more turnovers. No better time than right before our bye. We needed a win to keep up with KC. It would have been bad news to go crawling into the break with a 2 game losing streak and constant news from the media of what went wrong with a team for the history books. We lost last week because we turned the ball over 4 times. It may have been overlooked, but we turned it over 4 times yet AGAIN for the second week in a row. If this defense doesn't force 5 turnovers, this game is a different story. The Colts were able to pull off the upset last week because they were able to protect the ball for the most part. Redskins take better care of the ball and we could be singing a different tune right now. It was good to see the defense win the turnover battle, but this juggernaut offense is giving it away at an alarming rate. For the 4th game in a row, Peyton has thrown an interception. Somehow, he "quietly" threw 3 today. The offense was good enough today to keep on scoring despite these plays, but this is not playoff worthy football. Can't keep turning the ball over like we have and expect to go deep into the post season. All 4 turnovers today came from the league's best player.
So in the middle of the week, we get news that Peyton was missing practice. Apparently from a slight sprained ankle. Then right before the game, we find out he has injured both ankles resulting from a low hit in the Jaguars game. Many speculated that this had happened as Peyton seemed a bit off in the Colts game. And it all made sense. Peyton was gutting it out through the pain and it showed. He hasn't been as pinpoint as he was earlier in the season and that's expected. It's a long season and the QB position takes a ton of hits. He's still producing record numbers through the air, but his mistakes have been more frequent. I'm sure that's due to the aches and pains multiplied by the fact that he's missing his All Pro left tackle coupled with the other injuries to his front line. Definitely didn't help seeing him jump in the pile for his own fumble. Visions of Drew Brees emerging from the pile with his arm held out like it was broken. This bye is coming at the perfect time.
I don't know what's going on with John Fox lately. His challenges have been horrendous. First he makes a clueless challenge against Justin Blackmon that would have made zero impact on the end result. Today, he challenges a reception that clearly crossed the first down marker ending in a wasted timeout and yet another failed challenge. What really confused me and didn't get mentioned by the announcers was his decision to decline a holding penalty deep in Redskins territory. Instead of making it 1st and 20, we settled for 2nd and 10. I've never seen a hold declined in this situation before. You take the yards there and force the Redskins into a mistake. Luckily, Derek Wolfe came up with a big sack on second down, but the decision to decline just didn't compute in my football acumen.
Little Quick Notes:
- Trindon Holliday makes an appearance on offense and almost loses his head. Originally, I was all for getting Trindon some touches on offense, but that tackle made me think twice.
- Disappointing to see Sly inactive again. Not exactly what you want from your first round pick. I'll be patient because everyone knows DTs don't usually make an instant impact. Dontari Poe is a prime example. He wasn't much of anything last year. Even mentions of bust, but now he's dominating.
- Von played like a wild man today. He was all over RGIII. If he wasn't hitting the QB, he was spying him and then hitting him. He didn't rack up the stats, but he was a force today.
- Montee Ball showed great wiggle to make defenders whiff on him in open field, but you could still see the "rookie" in his eyes.
- Chris Harris better be "selected" to the Pro Bowl this year. This cat is playing elite football and came up with another interception today.
- C.J. Anderson gets his first few carries today. He showed the ability to make a defender miss and a quick burst of acceleration to get an 11 yard first down. Making it tough for Hillman to get back into the lineup.
All in all, it was a great output by our Denver Broncos. We had a little lull there where we faced a deficit, but Manning continued to steer the ship towards an eventual blowout. Welcome back to our defense which harassed RGIII all day long. They only gave up a total of 266 yards and for the first time all year held a team under 300 yards. Lost in all this is that the Redskins are one of the top offenses in the league. This was the defense's best showing by far. Now it's the bye week and hopefully our guys heal up and come back strong for the stretch run. We've needed this bye for some time now, but it's a lot better when it comes after a win. We suffered some injuries again today, but hopefully they're not serious and everyone comes back full strength for the second half of the season. Next up are the Chargers. They're playing better than I expected but we should still pull away with the win as long as we limit our turnovers. Which we haven't shown capable of doing as of late. There's still time to clean things up before the real show begins. After being on a torrid pace after the record books in the first half of the season, the team still has plenty of room to improve. Scary. Go Broncos.