Broncos defeat Raiders 37-21: Instant Reactions

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Look, any talk of the Chiefs or anyone else giving us issues needs to be put to rest until that matchup occurs. Until then the Chiefs can eek out wins with a +5 turnover margin while the Broncos can blow out a division rival after finishing -2.

Peyton "5 x MVP" Manning

He's a shoe in for AFC Player of the month, and no one else is going to catch him in production on this pace.  Tonight he did something many have done before: torch the Raiders.  That one act however made his 3-game run to begin a season the greatest mark of all time.  Now, it isn't the greatest three game stretch at any point of the season (he holds that record BTW with 15TD's in a three game stretch going back to 2004), but let's just say no other QB in the NFL has played so dominantly thus far to begin the season.

The numbers so far?  89-122 (72.3%), 1143 yards (9.4 per attempt), 12 TD's, 0 INT's, 134.7 QBR

But I'm sure Andrew Luck or Phillip Rivers will be ahead of him in tomorrow's ESPN QB metric....

Broncos ain't played no one!!!

The combined record of our opponents? 3-6.  The combined record of the Chiefs opponents? 3-6.  Net Points? Broncos +56.  Chiefs net points? +37.

How about the other undefeateds???  Bears opponents 2-7.  Saints opponents 2-7.  Seahawks opponents 2-7. Dolphins opponents 4-5.  Patriots opponents 3-6.

You take the field and I'll take the Broncos.

Chris Clark resident badass...at least for one game

Okay, so he got owned on one occasion.  So what?   Dude played a great game--and I don't like the prospects of him at LT.  He held up just fine and got beat on one play by one of the most productive pass rushers thus far in the early NFL season.

I want to see more sustained progress, but I will give the man his due tonight.

Robert Ayers...sackmaster

Finished with two on the night to go along with several more pressures.  I use that label sort of tongue in cheek hoping to bait someone (cough Rodney) into a response but up to this point, Ayers is leading the Broncos with 3 sacks on the season.  Paired up with FA vet Shaun Phillips, that gives them 5.5 from the edge.  At this point last season Von Miller had 3 sacks and Elvis Dumervil had 1 sack.  That makes 4 by my count.  Am I saying Ayers and Phillips is greater than Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil?  Nope.  But the sky isn't falling either and our defense seems to be doing just fine in their stead.

Front 7 Resident Badass(es)

Darren McFadden 12 carries 9 yards.  That is .8 per carry.  Not even a yard per carry.  Pryor managed to inflate the numbers with some good scrambling, but up to this point the Broncos front 7 have allowed 130 rushing yards through three games (42.5 yards per game).  This isn't a mistake or smoke and mirrors.  Our line is blowing up the offensive front and giving our fast LB's room to mop up whatever comes their way.  Nate Irving has been a big reason why.  He is making a play or two in the backfield everygame.  Tonight he led all Broncos with 12 tackles.

The Black and Decker Quartet

Welker, JT, DT, Decker.  This fearsome foursome have absolutely lit it up, and they are so close to each other in numbers after 3 games:

Player

Catches

Yards

AVG.

TD

D. Thomas

20

346

17.3

2

J. Thomas

14

194

13.6

4

E. Decker

19

252

13.3

1

W. Welker

19

190

10.0

4

This pace is insane, and though I'm I don't think it can continue here's what it would mean at the end of 16 regular season games:

Player

Catches

Yards

AVG.

TD

D. Thomas

106

1845

17.3

11

J. Thomas

75

1035

13.6

21

E. Decker

101

1344

13.3

16

W. Welker

101

1013

10.0

21

I will say that we will likely flirt with the prospect of 3 100 catch receivers, 3 1000 yard receivers, and 4 double digit TD reception seasons from these guys.

The Studesville Triplets

Excellent game tonight.  I liked what I saw from Ronnie Hillman.  I liked what I saw from Montee Ball up until that fumble.  Ball ran hard, determined, and made a couple of tough first downs.  Kid has to stop putting the rock on the ground.  We would have ground up the rest of the time on that drive had he not fumble.  It's not like the mistake was going to cost the game but some day it might.  Regardless, did anyone else cringe seeing Peyton Manning in position to make a tackle?  With our injury bug lately, the last thing we need is for some stupid mistake to prolong the competitive nature of the game to the point that one of our guys getting injured.  Almost happened with Wesley Woodyard week 1 on Trevathan's stupid play, happened last week late in the game with Clady still in the game, just hold on to the ball and close the game.

I don't care if we use four guys to run the ball, our running game chewed the clock in the 2nd half.  Combined, Hillman and Ball had 20 carries for 127 yards (6.3 yards per carry).

Pass DRC, our new #1

There were two plays late in the game that reminded me of Champ Bailey in his prime.  On one, the speedy receiver ran by with a step, DRC turned on the jets and caught up to deflect the ball.  Not sure Champ makes that play anymore.  Late in the game on 4th down at our goalline, DRC breaks up a quick slant.  Reminds me of all the times I've seen Champ do that.

When Champ does come back, DRC is still our best outside corner.

Injury Bug Go Away

Somewhere, someone has a voodoo doll of the Broncos and is jabbing pins in it every week.  When I find whoever is responsible, I'm going to kill you.  Just fair warning.

Next up

The Eagles.  They will provide the best test against our defense so far.  They may be mistake prone, but they are also dangerous and capable of moving the ball against any team.

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