When teams talk about executing a complete game, this game is what they're always envisioning. Offense scored at will. Defense held the opponent to field goals rather than TDs and special teams put up 2 TDs. The Eagles did a good job of hanging around for the first half but the second half is what this team is known for as we outscored the team from Philly 31-7 to close out the game. This team has been in playoff form since the first kickoff of the season and it's a sight to see their execution. Every game is a blowout and I can't see that changing anytime soon. Von Miller is going to have plenty of opportunities to make a comeback for the sack title this year. Is that really out of the question?
Every single week to start this season, records are dropping like flies. A franchise record 52 points was achieved today from a total team effort. Seven total TDs from the offense and special teams. The running game also chipped in 141 yards on the ground to keep the defense honest. All resulting in another franchise record, 35 first downs. 30 of which was achieved before even reaching 3rd down. Basically unstoppable. Machine like. That's frustratingly efficient. Defenses have had game tape on what we're doing and there aren't any answers. It's just elite execution from everyone on the team. I'd have to believe that Peyton is a huge influence on this team as he raises everyone's game. He floats all boats. Even his hard cadence is elite as we seemingly get defenses to jump offsides at least a couple times a game. This is hard work paying off.
Know Your Role
Knowshon Moreno doesn't exactly have full support from the Denver fan base. Understandably so after being a high first round pick and wasting a couple years riding the bench with injuries. He really came on strong to finish the regular season a year ago only to end up injured again. Typical. I have a feeling the locker room has a different perspective. I've noticed that he's always the first person to congratulate a player coming off the field. No matter who it is, Peyton, Colquit, etc. He's first to greet these players as they come off the field. He's kept a positive attitude throughout the benching and drafting of high round RBs. He's been a very good fit in this offense and he's playing his best football. He looked great today as he once again lead the team in rushing. Despite a "stupid" play that killed a scoring drive at the end of the first half, he's been a pleasant surprise. I'm proud of him for fighting through adversity and being a leader on this team. I'm of the minority here but I wouldn't mind giving Moreno another contract. For the right price of course.
With all the gems that John Elway and company keep finding in the draft and college free agency, you start to realize how young all these names are. Stevie Johnson with his most significant contributions to this team. Blocked punt to go along with a scoop and score. Johnson is a second year player that wasn't even drafted. Julius Thomas is a weapon in his third year making just his 15th reception. Trindon Holliday is still in his rookie contract. More on him later. Danny Trevathan in his second season is a full time starter and covers the field sideline to sideline. Nate Irving seemingly makes a play behind the line of scrimmage every game. He's consistently flashing on screen. Does anyone out there still have something negative to say about Nate? He was also being painted as a wasted pick. The knee jerks are unavoidable with some people. If you don't contribute immediately, it's time to move on with some fans. Personnel experts I tell ya. Great mix of youth and veteran leadership leading to great chemistry among the ranks.
Bent, Not Broken
As I watched the game against this innovative fast paced offense, I was frustrated with all the first downs the Eagles were converting. Especially in the first half where Vick was able to convert 5 of 9 3rd down opportunities. The Eagles were moving up and down the field to the tune of 450 total yards. Michael Vick was still fully capable of turning the corner and breaking off big chunks of yardage on scramble plays. We were getting zero pressure to start off the game and we seemingly looked like a sieve on defense. Then on further examination, several occasions that Vick spent an eternity in the pocket came on 3 man rushes from the D line. This was a product of the scheme to limit the open field from Vick. It felt like we couldn't stop the Eagle offense tonight. Then I realized we only gave up 13 points to their starters before the backups scored a gimme TD towards the end of regulation. You could rack up as many yards as you want, but if you're only scoring 13 points, you failed. The Eagle weapons never took flight as no one was close to a 100 yards rushing/receiving. McCoy came the closest in rushing with 73, but then again he was averaging over 130 yards a game. It may not have been pretty giving up all those yards, but the end result was achieved. Great job JDR. Back off USC!
Every game this year the defense has given up easy TDs at the end of the game. Opposing QBs are carving up the secondary late in blowout games for garbage time points. At first glance, we appear to have a problem with our defense. It's deceiving. This defense is much better than their 17th ranked pts/g average. Most of these points are coming at the backside of a blowout games where players and coaches are just trying to get out without any injuries. We pull back the reigns and play soft coverage. I'm not worried about these points. I know this defense performs when they need to. I'm sure it would be lovely if we beat team 52 - 0, but I'm not going to get bent out of shape how we're playing today. Our defense is only going to get better. Especially in 2 weeks.
Sell High, Buy Low
Every passing week, could Trindon Holliday be pricing himself out of Denver? This kid is the most consistent return man in NFL history. Something to the point of 3.5 games every time he returns a TD. A caveat of that is he plays a mile high where most kickoffs land outside of the endzone limiting his opportunities. He is a free agent next year where the Broncos have exclusive rights. I would love to keep him his entire career, but at what cost? How much does an elite return man warrant? He is a game changer, literally. With all the talent we have developing on this team, we can't afford to keep everybody. We've never had a return man like Trindon and I feel a bit spoiled. I don't want this to ever stop. Unfortunately, he may be too good to keep.
Little Quick Notes:
- David Bruton bidding for a specialist Pro-Bowl appearance? He came up with a key block to spring Trindon on his way to the TD return. David rightfully deserved that second contract.
- What is it about new contracts that leads some players to fall off? I'm not all that impressed with Britton Colquit's play this year. Where are all the long air time booms from last year? He's at the bottom portion of every punting category and is 4th worst in return yard average. Not worth the big contract at this point.
- Solid tackling by our second level limiting YAC by Eagle play makers. This Philly team is well known for their YAC but our sure tackling DBs did a great job of making stops in open field.
- Pam Oliver is looking washed up. Can't even get the words out anymore.
- A big credit goes out to the offensive coaching staff. This unit has bought into the system and are playing it like they've been doing it for years. I'm impressed with their knowledge of the game. They change up the cadence on each play and they know not to move. The communication is at a high level and their understanding of what we're doing is where you want it to be. Very disciplined team.
- Good news, Von has been ghost since his suspension. No news is good news.
- Speaking of Von, is it out of the question to not start him his first game back? Let him come in on sure passing downs only his first game. Might want to send a message to the team. You could be all world, but when you lie to everyone and get suspended for 6 games, you probably shouldn't start the second you come back. The defense is playing well with his absence and we're not desperate to get him back in there. I'd love to see him play every second he's available, but would rather send the "right" message to the team instead.
- DRC limited DeSean Jackson to just 34 yards on 2 catches after 6 targets. To put that into perspective, Jackson is still ranked 5th in the NFL with 393 yards receiving. DRC win.
- Sack count: Ayers 3.5 - 2 Dumervil
Another week, another dominating performance. As everyone's been saying all along, this team is only going to get better and they've shown it week to week. Never was this game in jeopardy. Sure the Eagles pulled within 1 point, but that's mostly due to us shooting ourselves in the foot on offense for the series following Trindon's TD. The first quarter of the season is finished, and there's no doubt who the best team in the NFL is. We are "all over" good. Go Broncos!