The Broncos played their thrid consecutive primetime game on Sunday Night, winning their 4th in a row overall, yet due to some offensive struggles I have a feeling that we may have dropped a bit in the polls. Let's take a look around the web!
ESPN - #4(LW: 3) - ESPN drops us one spot, behind the Chargers in the Top 5. I really can't complain about this, and besides, we'll get our shot at San Diego. --
One person on offense who isn't struggling is Tatum Bell, who's No. 7 in the NFL with 470 yards rushing.
CBS - #3(LW: 3) - More concern about the offense, though the CBS guys keep us at #3. --
One touchdown in five games is a dominating statement for the defense. At some point, though, the offense has to score more points.
Covers.com - #9(LW: 9) - Covers.com keeps us right at #9, mostly due to our 2-3 record against the number. THey do recommend to take the under, however...
Beating the Raiders might not be an impressive stunt, however allowing only one touchdown during the first five games is certainly worth mentioning. The Broncos defense has led under bettors to a 5-0 mark.
Football Outsiders - #11(LW: 10) - The FO guys take the purely statistical appraoch, and it takes into account every game of the season, so we are still taking hits for our week one performance. They are right on the money when it comes to screen passes, though....
Denver is still low because of the Week 1 loss to St. Louis and a mediocre game in Week 2 against Kansas City. The Broncos have a very good DVOA for their last three wins. I do think, however, that the Broncos need to spend some time practicing screen passes. Denver keeps throwing it over to Tatum Bell, but the offensive linemen have not gotten there yet, or there are two defensive linemen between the blockers and the receiver, and the quarterback never should have thrown the ball seeing that. This isn't just the Broncos; I'm noticing it more all over the league. Teams are having serious problems with fundamentals on screens. For crying out loud, practice so the blockers are BLOCKING for the receiver.
RealFootball365 - #4(LW: 4) - Again, no movement up or down, though the praise for the defense continues. -
Mike Shanahan's guys took care of business against the Raiders, but the offense remains unimpressive. There's no way Jake Plummer has played 4-1 football this year; it all goes back to the Broncos' grossly underrated defense, which has surrendered just one TD in five games.
Yahoo Sports - #4(LW: n/a) - A new entry this week is Yahoo Sports, that has the Broncos at #4, though the comparison to the 2005 Bears is troubling. -
The offense should have had a field day against the Raiders. The fact that it didn't is troubling. Until the Broncos can string together some serious points, this is a team that's going to continue to look as one-dimensional as the Bears did in 2005.
FoxSports - #3(LW: 3) - I think you can tell the sites that appreciate good, solid defense.
The No. 1 scoring defense in the league, Denver has been transformed from an offensive juggernaut with an above-average defense into the 2000 Ravens over the course of a year. On consecutive weeks, the Broncos held opponents to three points on national television. Add in their 17-7 slugging of the Patriots on Sunday night a few weeks back, and you have three nationally televised games in which they've held conference opponents under 10 points. Their wins aren't exactly "Must See TV" -- but they are pretty darn impressive.
Sports Illustrated - #3(LW: 3) - SI also keeps the Broncos in the Top 3, proving that the score shouldn't matter, as long as you win...
At the end of the Oakland game the Broncos had allowed one TD in the last 53 possessions. Possessions? Oakland? Those weren't possessions, they were short-term sentences.
GridIronGrumblings - #6(LW: 10) - Finally into the Top 10 on this fantasy stats site.
NFL.com - #3(LW: 5) - More love for the D, as Carucci moves us up two spots into the Top 3. --
Even with their strong defense, the Broncos have seemingly done the impossible by winning four games with such a dysfunctional offense.
The offensive struggles are still getting most of the attention, though the play of the defense is starting to get recognized...