Welcome to week 4 of "Repeating Business". I will discuss the Tampa game and take a look at the Falcons.
Tampa Bay - The Broncos marched into a hot and muggy Raymond James Stadium looking to extend their record to 4-0. Denver started out on defense and the dividends paid off fast. After a couple of Charles Sims rushes, Jameis Winston dropped back to pass. His pass went right into the welcoming arms of Aqib Talib. The former Buccaneer ran it back to the Tampa 11 and proceeded to taunt the home fans in the process. The offense wasted no time cashing in with Trevor Siemian tossing an easy TD to Demaryius Thomas to take the lead 7-0. Unfortunately the lead didn't last long because the Bucs answered the score with a 13 play, 75 yard TD drive where most all of the yards came in the air and Winson scrambling for the TD to tie the game. At this point, the game had the makings of a shootout, but the next three series all ended in punts.
Tampa took over on offense, but on third down Talib struck again with another pick that set the Broncos at the Bucs 27. After a Russell Okung was flagged with a false start, Siemian made up the yards with a first down to Thomas at the TB 15. On the next play, the pass was intended for Jordan Taylor, but the defender was flagged for DPI and the ball was placed at the 1. Siemian attempted a pass to John Phillips, but Phillips was knocked down and another DPI was called. C.J. Anderson then took the ball and punched it in to make the score 14-7. The teams exchanged punts on the next two possessions and the Bucs started at the 50. Tampa got to the Denver 26 thanks to a Von Miller offsides and a mix of run and pass. On 3rd and 1, Sims tried to pound the ball up the middle and was gobbled up. In the process, it looked like he was going to pitch the ball to Winston but Billy Winn took the ball away to kill the drive.
On the next series, Siemian was sacked on first down and he was slammed shoulder first to the turf like a rag doll. He was able to get up and make a hand-off to Devontae Booker on the next play, but the pain was too much. He came to sideline and Paxton Lynch came in to relieve him. Trevor was carted to the locker room and Lynch tossed an incomplete pass after the two minute warning. Riley Dixon punted and the Bucs took the ball at the 16. Denver's D forced a 3 and out with some time left in the half. In many cases, a coach would just run the clock out when your back-up rookie QB is in the game to get to half with a lead. Fortunately for Denver, Gary Kubiak is in charge and he let Lynch throw the ball around. Lynch rewarded his coach by getting the offense to the TB 20 with five seconds left. Brandon McManus knocked in the FG to take a 17-7 lead at the half.
Denver took the ball in the second half and chipped at the Bucs D for 69 yards and almost EIGHT minutes of time taken off the clock. The Broncos settled for the FG after stalling out at the 6. The defense struck again by forcing another 3 and out thanks to Derek Wolfe sacking Winston, but the offense could not capitalize on the drive. The teams exchanged another four punts leading into the fourth quarter as Denver led 20-7. The offense came alive again with an 80 yard drive thanks to a mix of running by Kapri Bibbs and Lynch passes. The drive was capped off when Lynch rolled to the right and completed his first TD pass to Emmanuel Sanders to make the score 27-7. Mother Nature decided to strike that afternoon and the game was forced into a lightning delay. The delay lasted over 90 minutes and CBS decided to shaft the viewers by only offering the rest of the game on the TV station in Denver, Tampa or on Sunday Ticket. The rest of us fans were screwed over by CBS showing "60 Minutes" instead. Thankfully, a local radio station had the Broncos Radio Network and a fan streamed the game for the rest of us that were blacked out. The game at the end was a rainy and sloppy mess with the Broncos taking the win 27-7.
As for the game, the defense took a few lumps in the first quarter by giving up a lot of passing yards. The run D was stellar by giving up a mere 72 yards on the ground and holding Winston to under 200 yards passing. Winston was sacked five times with Wolfe netting three of them and hit 16 times. Offensively, the running was not great thanks to Gerald McCoy causing havoc until he left with an injury. The QBs had a decent day. Siemain was doing well until he hurt his AC joint (injury is day to day, unknown if he plays this weekend). Fortunately Lynch came in prepared and moved the ball well at times. The biggest key was the offense protecting the ball and not putting the D in tight spots. Overall a good and solid road win. Now we take a look at the next challenger......
Atlanta - The 3-1 Falcons fly into Denver fresh off dispatching the Panthers 48-33. They are led by Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. Ryan is coming off a 503 yard passing day and Jones a 300 yard receiving day that looks more like a Madden game box score rather than an actual live NFL game. They also have a solid RB tandem with Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman that have the ability to rack up yards on the ground.
For the Broncos to win this game, the Denver defense will have their work cut out for them against this bunch. Good thing there is some home cooking and we have a great defense. Unlike Carolina, the "No Fly Zone" are the best in the business and look for Talib to match up on Jones a lot. Ryan was hit a mere four times last game so he was never rattled. Look for Phillips to dial up some pressure to get to him fast. Miller, Ray and Wolfe will need to get there and get Ryan down. On offense, this would be a good time to get Donald Stephenson and Virgil Green back so the running game can get going. By doing that, the pressure will be on the shaky Atlanta D and it keeps their O off the field. It also helps the QB playing in this game. I don't know if Siemian will be able to go or if Lynch gets the nod. Either way, a good run game keeps the QB hits at a minimum and helps protect the ball. If Siemian goes, we don't want a ton of dropbacks to allow for a shot on his shoulder. If Lynch starts, shorter fields to get first downs thanks to the run game will be a huge help. It will be an interesting week for certain. That's all I have and GO Broncos!