It has become almost a religion for some, this game of football. I admit it without reservation. I am a bronco fan, and my soul is orange and blue.
There are few things i defend more readily than my football team, no quicker bond than seeing a complete stranger in an orange and blue hat, or a Miller jersey. Ive been known to steer with my knee holding a bronco flag visible to the car in the next lane because they had a bronco sticker on their SUV. Friends travel to denver and are instructed to bring back all things broncos for me.
I have two broncos chapsticks and a pen from Elways a friend smuggled into California for me during a recent visit to the Homeland....
And it is with such reverence that i defend the team with such fanposts.
This is a biased review from a religious zealot.
Again, from the rooftops, i applaud the play of the Denver Defense. I applaud the play of the Denver Offensive line. In this recent game vs the Chargers, both aspects played at top notch level.
Heres how i see it.
The Denver Defense faced one of the top three passing attacks in the NFL yesterday. McCoy has tried to copy the Denver offensive tactics of bunch formations and quick throws to picked receivers, but with lesser talent. Denvers defense, lead by Von Miller, had a difficult task of shutting down this offense. Rivers has been red hot, with the Chargers being ranked FOURTH in the NFL in passing, and a quarterback rating of 105, enough to put Rivers fifth in the league.
Rivers and the Charger offense averaged 300 yards passing and 105 yards per game rushing.
The Chargers offensive line is one of the best in the NFL, having given up only 12 sacks for the entire season before the Broncos entered their stadium. Best in the league.
In other words, this is a damn good team.
Enter the Broncos defense, playing on the road, after a wonderfully timed bye week with Miller and Woodyard returning to the fray.
And they hammered the Chargers.
Chargers gave up four sacks in this game, four. Averaging 1.5 sacks per game, denvers defense got THREE TIMES the average sacks in this meeting. Held Rivers to 200 yards passing, and the running game to 130 yards on a predominantly rushing attack that McCoy tried to push the time of possession theory to beat Manning and co.
Thats 33 percent less passing yardage right off the top.
But the most impressive part of the game was the time of possession. Chargers held the ball 38 minutes, where the Broncos had the ball 21 minutes of the game. That is a HUGE amount of time for the broncos defense to be on the field.
And when Manning and Orange Julius score in 3 plays, 57 seconds, asking the defense to return to the field, it is just that much more amazing that the denver defense held the Chargers to only six point in the first half.
Jack Del Rio himself said in the post game conference how impressed he was with the stout denver defense, and how they kept the Chargers to field goals for three red zone possessions. (two made field goals, and that wonderful missed field goal).
A HUGE half by the denver defense, only to have Manning fumble on the ten yard line at the beginning of the second half.
Which brings this sermon to the offensive line of denver, who only gave up two sacks. One was, forgive me horse gods...
The strip sack that Williams got early in the second half was all mannings fault. Heres the clip.... (its via NFL network, so you have to paste it to see it... )
As you can see by the replay, C. Clark protected the pocket properly by engaging Williams and pushing him outside of the pocket, just as Manning decided to scramble right. Had Manning stayed in the pocket, there would be no sack. I mean really, how often does Manning scramble? This was just bad luck, as is likely to happen in every game. Broncos defensive numbers suffered from this play, regrettably.
However, i am thrilled to see what i saw in this game. Again, Chargers are a top five offense, and if you look at the true metrics here...
the denver defense played its collective tails off.
Again, i stand at the rooftops yelling to all who will hear....
WELL DONE BRONCOS.