Now onto the game!
I wrote in the staff chat room that "I already have reactions written. Broncos 10, KC 52"... I then went on to give a whole bunch of players and coaches a bunch of F bombs for their performance and play calling. Oh how 20 minutes of high flying Broncos football can change my mood.
21-7. That was the Broncos' deficit. At this point, a whole slew of things went through my mind. "How was I going to be able to live with the Chief trolls" and "are the Broncos fools gold?" were a few. And then our defense started warming up.
First Quarter play calling was atrocious. I've seen more creative things drawn up from a kindergartener than I did from Adam Gase! Did he know that although we were talking about the Chiefs, they were still a professional team? Run, Run, Pass seemed to once again be the strategy. Then Knowshon found a screen pass. After that, Montee Ball started taking over. Before you knew it, play action passing was working and Manning found guys wide open.
Decker, Decker, Decker. Man, where would we be without Eric Decker tonight? 174 yards and 4 TDs later, and the Broncos escaped Arrowhead with a victory. I've jokingly said for a while now that maybe Decker's marriage has doomed his on-field performance because as we all know, "Women weaken legs!" , so after he caught his first TD, I figured that maybe he stayed away from Jesse this week in order to find his groove again. 4 TDs later, and I think that question warrants asking!
Peyton Manning looked good tonight. He got hit more than he did the last time they played, but that's what happens when you want to work on a high scoring, big play offense. And you know what? I'm glad he took a few mild hits because our offense was starting to get stale and stagnant. Manning showed the entire NFL that he can throw a beautiful deep ball. Sure, there will always be questions about it being cold outside, but when the weather is decent, look out!
Knowshon Moreno once again had some "take the game over" moments. However, unlike last week, this week he did it in the passing game, not the running game. Moreno struggled all night to get any type of consistent rushing going. He averaged just over 1 yard per attempt on the ground, but again, it wasn't in the rushing game that he made his impact. He caught a screen pass that set up our first TD to save the game from getting out of hand very quickly. He later caught some more passes and picked up critical 1st downs with them. It seems like each week he finds a way to put his thumb print on the overall outcome.
Montee Ball played like a freaking beast in the running game. Unlike Moreno, Ball COULD run on the ground. 13 attempts for 117 yards pretty much says it all, doesn't it? When we needed yards on the ground, Montee got them. When we were backed up deep in our side of the field and Adam Gase wanted to go 3 & Out, Montee had different ideas. When there was 2 minutes left in the game and we needed a first down so we could take knees, Montee damn near breaks loose for a TD. Montee my man, you get my gameball! I said in the preseason that Moreno would and should start the season, but come the end of the year, you'd be the man. So far, so good. It's worked out even better than planned because Knowshon AND Ball are playing like a couple of bosses!!! Montee beasting it up on the field completely froze the entire KC defense for the go-ahead Decker TD that gave us the lead. Without that effectiveness, that play action isn't there and the game might look completely different.
Does anyone have a status update on Champs
retirement injury? He looked like garbage on the first play, got hurt the second play, and I personally didn't see him play a single down in the 2nd half. Is this cat done? Like, for good? Or is he simply trying to gut out an injury that he really has no business playing through? Either way, he needs to NOT see playing field any time soon. I jokingly said "I don't see Champ out there. No wonder our defense is playing better." Unfortunately, I was only half joking. For how bad Webster is playing, I think that Champ is playing even worse! Yikes!!!
How many more injuries can this Broncos team and especially defense take? Wolfe, out. DRC, out. Moore, out. Vickerson, out. Champ, done. Von, hurt. Webster, brain dead and pulling a Rahim Moore in the passing game on a long pass. I mean, how much more can this defense take before they simply run out of eligible players to line up? Yet somehow, they seem to be able to turn it on when needed. Even though they aren't great, they are good enough, especially when you take into account the injuries. I swear, if we had this whole team healthy and 100% (including Champ), this defense would be scary good.
More like special .... nevermind, I got in a ton of trouble last time I made a joke like that. Lets just say that our special teams SUCKED! Hey, you see that guy with the football about 9 yards deep in the endzone? Yeah, TACKLE HIM!!! Another game and another record set against the Denver Broncos. I swear, if it weren't for the Broncos, there would be no NFL records. Every game would be a 0-0 tie with each play going for exactly 1 yard. It seems like the Broncos were put into the NFL for teams to set records against.
As I predicted in my 5 Random Predictions and Rodney picked up on, Jack Del Rio needed to get the offense back on track this week because this would be the last film that any team (including college) had of him being a head coach, and when you have a Hall of Fame QB in Peyton Manning, you need to show that you can put up points, especially if he's going to the college ranks where you DO get credit for running up the score.
While being in the position that JDR is in kinda sucks, he still needed to coach his butt off and make a lasting impression. Job well done! it may have taken until the 2nd quarter to get the offense into gear, but once it was, holy cow, there was no stopping the Broncos.
The reason why I say it sucks to be in JDR's position you may wonder? Easy, it's because he has to wear two hats. He has to not only do everything the defensive coordinator needs to do, but he also has to take away his time from the defense (his main job with the team) to focus on the team as a whole. He can't spend 100% of his time and energy into gameplanning and managing the defense so that they can shut teams down. Instead, he has to dedicate a ton of time into the team as a whole, including the offense and special teams. He did an admirable job, but he was spread too thin, and the overall effectiveness of the team as a whole has suffered noticeably.
Adam Gase needs to get more creative early in the game. I know that Manning is a rhythm QB, but he can light it up from the first snap forward. Why Gase is deciding to go run, run, pass, punt is beyond me. Shannon Sharpe once said that Bubby Brister's job was to "not wreck the Ferrari"... well, Gase refuses to open the damn garage door to let the Ferrari out until the 2nd half of every game it seems. Why he does that is beyond me. He either a) is a crap game planner, b) is too afraid of mistakes early, or c) is simply a great halftime adjuster but nothing else. If he is any of those three, he needs to change quickly because that's an easy way to lose in the playoffs against great teams who play 60 minutes of football, not just 20 or so. I love me some halftime adjustments, but in the playoffs, by the time halftime comes, the game could already be decided because of poor game planning or conservative play calls.
This was a fun game to watch. While it wasn't fun being down 21-7, there is a certain thrill of being glued to your seat and leaning forward in the waning seconds of the game. I would love to win games by 30 points each week, but eventually that gets kinda boring. And hey, I know that I nit pick here and there, but we are still cutting out the diamond from the rocks. We aren't finished. We aren't polished. We aren't "ready" quite yet, so nit picking when you put up 35 points is warranted. Nit picking when you give up 28 is warranted. But hey, at the end of the day, the Broncos won, we were all entertained, and we definitely got our money's worth from this hard fought victory.