2. The Packers Really, Really, Really Wanted To Win This Game -- This is not an excuse. I'm heavily annoyed that the Broncos lost this game, a game they could have and should have won. The fact remains, however, that the Packers took this game, or it's outcome anyway, a lot more seriously than the Broncos.
Why else would the Packers leave the starting offense and defense on the field late into the 3rd quarter? Why else would the Packers be blitzing in the 4th quarter. Let the record state that I have no problem with how the game was played, but as I have stated many times, the final score is less important to me than the way we get there. The Broncos had some goals they wanted to accomplish tonight, and I think they were able to do that, even though the end result is a Loss.
3. Running Game Is Healthy As Ever -- The starting Offensive Line was very impressive tonight. Just look at the First Half stats -- 91 yards rushing, 115 yards passing, 17 points on 3 possessions -- the group as a whole played extremely well. Once again, the Broncos did not allow a sack and were actually moving the Packers off the ball.
Individually, both Andre Hall and Selvin Young played well, combining for 83 yards on only 13 carries, good for about 6.5 yards per carry. I thought this was a big game for Young and he came through.
4. Ok, So Brandon Marshall Is A Beast, But.... -- I wanted to see Jay Cutler find some rhythm with another receiver not named Brandon Marshall, with Marshall scheduled to miss the first 2-3 games of the regular season. If it is going to happen, it will need to be on the practice field.
While Cutler only completed 6 passes, the two biggest were to Marshall, with Nate Jackson, Peyton Hillis and Andre Hall accounting for the other receptions. In other words, the only receiver to make a catch tonight was Marshall. The starting unit is unlikely to play against Arizona next week, so the next time we see Cutler and Co. it will be in Oakland, and most likely without Marshall.
5. Don't Worry About The Pass Defense... -- Worry about the pass rush, instead. It doesn't matter who is playing corner, if you give a NFL quarterback 4-5 seconds to throw the ball they will find someone. The Broncos were also playing alot of straight vanilla looks in the defensive backfield, not wanting to give away their zone schemes. That said, if the front-4 cannot generate a pass rush, the team will continue to get picked apart through the air.
Now with Dumervil out and Ebenezer Ekuban held out with back soreness, the Broncos just don't have alot of options when it comes to getting to the QB. Jarvis Moss is still learning, and Tim Crowder is not a pass rush specialist. Someone is going to have to step up.
Extra Credit -- Is it just me, or is the time radpily approaching for Domonique Foxworth to become the starting corner alongside Champ Bailey? Dre Bly is starting to look old, and he must have missed 4 tackles in huge spots. The Broncos can't afford to wait too long to make a change if a change is needed.
Extra Credit #2 -- The Broncos first team offense was 3/3 in scoring possessions tonight, and 6/10 overall in the pre-season. More importantly, 5/6 have been Touchdowns. Jay Cutler's preseason statistics through three games: 30-of-43 (69.8%) passing for 352 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 117.6 passer rating.
Here are the final numbers for the Open Threads tonight --
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