Well that was fun to watch, don't you think? What an honor to watch the GOAT leading this juggernaut of a team. With so many options all over the field, Manning is maniacally carving up these defenses. Great example is Welker's TD where Peyton orchestrated the offensive alignment by flip flopping the WRs/TE and anticipating the hole in the defense from the look he was getting. Result is an easy pitch and catch TD. That's a testament to his great film study. Wish the game would have been more of a blowout, but I'll take a statement in front of a national media. Plenty of rewards to go around. A great MNF appearance which was well worth the extra day's wait.
I'm the Juggernaut B*!
This offense is really starting to roll. The passing game is officially unfair. Any and every player on the field is a legitimate threat and Peyton is playing his best football in 16 seasons. We're 3 games in and already breaking historic NFL records. This offense has been built to be unstoppable. Thank you John Elway. Like Ray Lewis said at the post game, "there's always a weakness". That sir is correct and give Peyton 15 seconds at the line to review the defense and it's all she wrote. Even the running game came to life. Liked how Foxy gave Hillman his redemption song. Kid showed that pop in his burst and made a few guys miss on the way to his first TD of the season. Montee even showed great vision and elusiveness as he made decisive cuts up the field. If not for that late fumble, this is a complete offensive outing. Never did hear why Knowshon stopped playing. Was he hurt again? Don't be fooled people, this game is a 50 point game if we keep the pedal to the metal and keep the air attack rolling in the second half. That second half was Fox showing mercy.
A Gift And A Curse
The home crowd finally gets it. When the defense is on the field, the place is rocking. Life was not easy for Pryor. The cameras were shaking and all you could hear was the crowd. Then when the offense hits the field, it's quiet as a mouse. It became obvious to me early in the first quarter when you could hear all the communication at the line of scrimmage. I loved how the crowd played their role, but on the other side of the coin, other teams will hear all our calls at the line. I'm sure it's still like trying to decipher codes, but experienced coaches will be able to catch on eventually. I'm obviously not a Colt fan, so I don't know how they dealt with their calls always being so audible. I guess I'll just have to look at PFM record in 14 seasons at Indy as a reference. I still don't like other teams getting that valuable information.
Right Out Of The Gate
It wasn't a perfect start with a Knowshon drop and an offensive holding penalty, but we still drove down the field with a clinical dissection of the defense. Welker, DT, JT and Decker all got a catch while Knowshon carried the rock. Nice seeing Erik Decker coming up big 2 weeks in a row and finding pay dirt for the first time. He made outstanding catches and even got some good YAC. He definitely left game 1 behind. Then the defense starts the game with several 3 and outs in a row. A big credit has to go to the home crowd for a fast start. We've been clamoring for a complete 60 minutes and this started out that way. Then we pull the reins back and tried to cruise to a win in the second half. That first half is just a glimpse of how far this team can get.
Peyton Being Peyton
32/37(87%) passing for 374 and 3 TDs. This guy is in the zone and he's enjoying it. He loves the challenge that a new team like Denver brings him especially being with the Colts for a long 14 years. Is it really a stretch to say this is the best team he's ever been a part of? I may be biased, but I'm taking this offense over any he's had in Indy through all the years. And that arm strength sure looks fine to me. He was putting nice zip on passes out there especially when they needed it. Peyton threaded a few passes into tight coverage where he overpowered the ball into the receivers hands with perfect blanket coverage by the defender. That arm strength is the difference between a catch and a pick 6.
Dominating 3rd down defense?
What happened with our 3rd down defense? We were supposed to be known as a defense that's tops in the NFL on the money down. Terrelle Pryor definitely showed me more than what I was expecting. He looked smooth running with the ball and impressed with his composure in the pocket picking apart our great defense for 281 yards and a TD for a rating of 112.4 for his performance. What I didn't like is most of his conversions were on third and long situations where WRs were running free in the secondary. Seemed like there was plenty of confusion and miscommunication as Raiders were running wide open to extend drives leading to points. Gotta clean that up and work to get off the field when it's 3rd down.
Robert Ayers Schmayers
He is not the answer. It's comical how you could compare him to Dumervil in the pass rush game. You're drinking too much kool-aid if you think Ayers could even hold Doom's jock strap. I don't know why people want to keep denying what they're seeing. With my own eyes I've seen Ayers be disruptive in the pass game since last year. Sure he only has 3 sacks in 3 games but he didn't get any last week. Forget about the 2 times he had Eli in his grasp only for Eli to snake out of it and throw the ball away. Never mind the other couple times he had his hands on Terrelle today only for him to break away. Robert is just so close, just not close enough......to leading the league in sacks. We know he won't lead the league in sacks, but he's sure not listening to me. He ends the day with 2 sacks, 2 tackles for a loss and 3 QB hits. Does anyone know how many pressures he has this year? The icing on the cake is he's doing this against left tackles!
Sack Count: Ayers 3 - Doom 2
The Boy Who Cried Wolfe
Is Wolfe really there or not? Disappointingly, Wolfe doesn't even show on the stat sheet today. I know I know, he impacts the game in other ways, but hearing talks of J.J. Watt like production only sets him up for failure. Well, so far this year, he's been pretty non existent. He's not a difference maker like I was expecting him to be this year. He hasn't developed a pass rushing arsenal of moves. He just tries brute force and relentless effort on the way to the QB. Unfortunately, this is the NFL and he's not getting to the QB. Sure it's early in the season so he has plenty of time to redeem himself. And I definitely hope he does. He was one of the players I was most looking forward to see this year. The opposing team is pitching a shutout at this point. I may be wrong, but I don't think the neck injury is causing this. Come on Wolfe, we're going to need you down the stretch. Get with the program because the rest of the team is leaving you behind.
Like a proud dad watching his children. I'm thrilled to see all the impact plays being made by our young bucks. From Nate Irving getting several hits at or behind the line of scrimmage to Malik Jackson getting tons of pressure on the QB and even getting his hands on half a sack with Woodyard. They've been standing out to me whenever they get in the game. They're making impact plays with limited opportunities. Duke Ihenacho is also playing at an elevated level. That chip on the shoulder keeps him hungry for the recognition he deserves. Long gone are the days of Marlon McCree missing tackles in the open field. Then my favorite standout of the night, Kayvon Webster. He was called upon after Tony Carter's injury and he definitely impressed. To reiterate, this was the reach in the 3rd round of this year's draft. Well, the John's have proved plenty of people wrong yet again. This kid was out there laying bone crushing hits(which didn't work so well on the much larger Marcel Reece) and breaking up passes. Even showing the speed and hustle to try and chase down Denarius Moore on the blown TD. Sure we have Hall of Fame veterans on this team but I'm just as excited about our future. Love seeing consistency on the draft front. Elway has really put a solid squad together and I'm sure Peyton is thanking his lucky stars.
MLB of the future, already on the team?
Is anyone else as impressed as me of the job Wesley Woodyard is doing in the middle? This is a yearly captain from the second he stepped on the Broncos field as an undrafted player. He's the vocal leader we needed on the defense and he's also leading by example. Leading the Broncos in tackles for the second year in a row. He's all over the field and he's bringing the wood with him, no pun intended. He even took Pryor out of the game. I was against giving him an extension this past off season because I was high on Trevathan, but boy do they play REALLY well together on the field. Trevathan is a rising star and Woodyard is playing at a pro bowl level. I would not be upset if Wood got his extension, to play MLB going forward. He's earned it.
Hold It Right There
McFadden with only 9 yards on 12 carries for the night. The run defense is leaps and bounds the best run defense this year. This was the 2nd ranked rushing offense in the Raiders and they were held to 49 yards on 17 carries. Run DMC seemed to always gash the Broncos, but not today. This run defense has been a huge improvement from recent year's past. Sure Peyton piling on points helps, but forcing a running team to just 2.9 per carry makes them just as one dimensional on offense. Love the big uglies plugging the holes and the DEs setting the edge only to leave the fastest LB crew we've had in quite a while to run buck wild to the ball. This run defense is one of my top accomplishments by our defense so far this year.
Little Quick Notes:
- Jack Del Rio, PLEASE DON'T LEAVE! At least stick around for the Peyton Manning experience. It feels good to be confident in your defense. We've experienced enough shoddy play for a lifetime. Keep your hands off you floundering teams looking for new leadership! JDR is ours.
- I was real surprised we lost the turnover battle. I was expecting at the least 2 forced turnovers by our defense. Instead, we gave up 3rd and longs. I guess Pryor isn't as bad I as I thought he would be.
- Another week, another fumbling RB. First it was Hillman, now Montee. Please can we just hold onto the ball. There's still hope. Knowshon has had his fumbling problems in the past, and now he's reliable. Get your head's in the game young ones. Only way you're going to stay on the field.
- There sure were a lot of little injuries out there. Nothing looked too serious. Carter looked to have the worst of it judging by his reaction. Duke probably re-aggravated his injury from last week. Hopefully the prognosis is good and nobody misses any time. On the bright side, we have tons of depth!
- Chris Clark played admirably. Lamarr Houston is no slouch and Clark was left on an island majority of the night. He did get beat one time, but definitely held his own the rest of the night. There sure was a lot of crying in the MHR comments about the doom and gloom we were about to experience because of Clady's injury. The season was over they said. Probably won't hear those people much anymore. Shoo fly.
- Why does Decker always seem like he's tripping on his own feet in the open field? It just looks unnatural. He's slowing himself down.
- Our two best defenders have yet to touch the field!!
I know it's the hapless Raiders, but they're not as bad as everyone expected. The AFC West is not a pushover like the rest of the league thinks. This is the closest thing since the 07 Patriots to a potential undefeated season. Been saying it since the summer when this team was put together. I don't know how anyone can even view this game in a negative way. Sure the defense gave up points and we were outscored in the second half. Guess what, that's because we stopped playing Manning football. We clearly eased off the gas and just tried to run the clock and escape with as few injuries as possible. No doubt in my mind we put up at least 50 if we really wanted/needed to. If you see negativity in this game, it's just sad and I feel for you. I know there will always be the glass is half broken critics out there, just waiting on the opportunity to say "I told you so". Well, today's not the day. We are the team to beat and it's not even close.