This was a pretty darn fun game to watch if for nothing else, than for the hype built up around it over the past few weeks. MHR vs AP, the MSM hyping up that vaunted chef defense, Oh noes! Manning is injured, etc. In the end the Broncos win the day and MHR wins the smart football predictions overall.
Overall I feel like the chef defense absolutely got exposed as nothing special at all when faced with real talent across from them and especially when the other team has a quality starting QB on the field. They sure as heck didn't hold us to 17 points. Their pass rush was an embarrassment in my opinion (as I predicted though I'm not crowing too loud...any intelligent football fan could see that kc's pass rush numbers were fool's gold). As expected their offense couldn't really muster much of anything...in today's game I don't count 17 points as anything but mediocre...though they really did outdo themselves...that's about 7 points off their offensive average per game the past few.
I absolutely didn't expect our O-Line to play as well as they did. They did the best job all year of keeping Manning's jersey clean. The run game wasn't anything special (but when is it ever? That isn't our bag at all baby!). And how about that defense? I have to say we looked just as solid as the past couple of weeks - good pressure, decent coverage, decent run defense. Get your bibs out gentlemen...we about to have us a nice slab of KC BBQ up in the No Bull Review tonight!
The Sheriff has a Hitch in his Giddy-up
All week long we've heard about Peyton Manning and his bad ankle. A little rest, a little anesthetic, and he just shakes it off and rubs some dirt on it. I think overall Manning had a "good" game tonight. It wasn't as great as you'd think by looking at his stat line.
- Manning had several bad throws this game...the early 3rd down (2nd drive), across the field in the 2nd half a yard or so short of his target, and a very bad overthrow. I still hold that his ankle isn't in great shape and it shows a bit on his accuracy.
- In the 2nd half he set up a very nice 33 yard pass to Decker by shifting to his left (which is rare for him) with some very nice mobility to buy time for the down-field strike.
Ground Game Thoughts
If I were a Bronco fan a decade ago, I'd say we played like trash. Our line didn't make holes, our RBs rarely broke tackles, and we weren't really a threat at all to do anything on the ground. Part of that is a credit to KC's defense. They played very well and did a great job sealing the escape angles off from our runners.
- Knowshon Moreno is the man, but dude's biggest run this game was 10 yards and he was non-existent in the passing game. What gives KM?
- Montee Ball's fumble was about as bad as it gets...I mean atrocious. How do you not handle the hand-off? This is remedial stuff Ball. We need someone to back up KM and you are the best bet. Get it together kid!
- It was good to see the coaches keep Ball out there though. If you can ignore that fumble (easier to do when our D takes the ball back on the next play), his game was very good. He looked like Mini-Knowshon if I'm being honest.
- I'd be curious to hear anything about CJ Anderson and why he didn't see the field. They kicked the tires on him a couple games ago, but we haven't seen much of him since. Common sense says he's just too green at the hard stuff (pass protection and pass catching) being a rookie.
- On Montee's TD run Zane Beadles pulled and sealed the edge like a boss to spring him loose...it was text-book and a thing of beauty.
How Did the Sheriff's Posse Look?
Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, Eric Decker, and Julius Thomas I think handled themselves very well this game. Here's another area many people got wrong...our WRs handled press coverage pretty darn well.
- Early in the game KC crowded the line in what appeared to be a disguised Cover-1 Man Under call. DT was left out one on one and took his guy to the cleaner's like any stud big WR like him should do.
- Both DT and Decker weren't folding when the chef defenders got in their grill...they played physical just like I'd expect from dudes their size and won enough battles to make it a non-issue.
- Welker on Brandon Flowers was pretty fun to watch too. After Flowers knocked Welker down when the play went another way and he saw the refs weren't looking, Welker shook it off and went on to catch 8 passes for 72 yards. Flowers can't handle Welker's routes, but then again, who can?
- Julius Thomas was looking to have a monster game until his knee got injured. It is good he walked off the field. At least we got to see Julius use his mad B-ball skills to box out the defender for his TD catch.
- Serious props to Eric Decker for that reach for the first down to keep our drive alive near the end of the game. That was some good football smarts at work right there.
Someone Forgot to Tell Them They Are Supposed to be Swiss Cheese
As long as your front seven can play disciplined ball, the chef offense shouldn't be a problem. Our guys did their homework and got the memo tonight. Also shout out to Jack Del Rio for a very creative game to keep the other team on their toes.
- Early on in the game JDR called a blitz, but with our end guys in a very wide 9 position and the line spread out very well to create lanes for our rushers. It worked to perfection and was leaned on throughout the game in obvious pass situations.
- Steven Johnson may have only had one tackle in the game, but it was a TD saving play. I'm excited to see him grow with us and hope he gets to see the field more next year.
- Shaun Phillips had a monster game. He swatted down two passes that I saw and was in on two sacks while also tossing in a bunch of tackles from what I saw. Dude can play. I hope he sticks around next year.
- I can live with Derek Wolfe getting one monster sack per game. It seems like that's been his M. O. since Von got back on the field.
- Speaking of Von Miller, have any of you seen him? I sure as heck didn't. He bit hard on a read option keeper by Smith that I saw. Other than that he did a lot of not being fast enough to get around the T and pressure the QB as well as not really being in on many plays. I'm starting to think his weight gain isn't working to his favor, but it is only one game...he was very disruptive the past couple of games before this one...
Secondarily, My Dear Watson
I have to say, I'm really curious to get a look at Bronco Mike's snap count post this week. In the secondary we threw everyone at the chefs that we had and the kitchen sink. They held up pretty darn well per usual when our front seven gets pressure.
- Danny Trevathan is a playa. It is scary to think he's so young and has a lot of growth to do in the game of NFL football. He even split out wide a few times covering a WR...and wasn't thrown at. His hit to cause the fumble early on was superb play.
- I know that we have to mix things up and run zone coverages at times, but man it disappoints me when we do so and KC gets easy 15-20 yard passes on it because someone finds a seam to sit in. Our secondary doesn't seem to me to have the play reading ability to do well running zone defenses and this game didn't change my opinion much.
- Mike Adams had to come in again, this time with Rahim Moore hurt. All Adams does this year is play solid coverage. I gotta eat crow on him...this off season I called for him to be let go. He has provided superb depth for our team and has looked better than Duke Ihenacho consistently in coverage.
- I thought it was pretty darn smart to keep Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie mostly on other guys besides Dwayne Bowe. DRC has trouble with the bigger guys for some reason. This takes nothing away from the guy...he had a superb game and was glued to his guy on several pass defenses. I think it is just playing to your strengths which more coaches should do.
- Big shout out to Quentin Jammer as well. This is the most I've seen him on the field so far from what I recall and he really made a nice impact on the game. He had two very nice pass defenses.
- Kayvon Webster continues to blip on my radar every game as well. He had one very text-book pass defense early, though later in the game it was good that Alex Smith threw a pass too high for Bowe, because Kayvon didn't do anything to defend the pass other than run behind the him.
Special Teams and Miscellaneous Thoughts
- Don't diss Matt Prater on that missed field goal...52 yards is far from a gimme.
- I really loved the play call at the end of the 1st half...we dropped about 5 guys WAAAAAAAY back in coverage, then blitzed with 5 or 6 guys to flush Smith out of the pocket. That's the kind of defense I would like to see more of in those hail mary situations.
- It is significant enough to note the following no calls (no we don't even get calls at home):
- Five blatant holds on our pass rushers
- One obvious face mask
- One obvious roughing the kicker
- Two obvious pass interferences down the field