The taste of victory is oh so sweet – especially when it comes against the Raiders! It’s a good thing for Raiders fans that the game was blacked out in the Oakland area. The Broncos are now 3-0 and sitting pretty atop the AFC West. Many people will say “Sure the Broncos are 3-0, but look who they’ve played.” They played the Bengals who beat the Steelers today, they beat the admittedly poor Browns last week, and they beat the Raiders who gave the Chargers a run for their money in week 1. The great thing about football is a win is a win. Ask the Detroit Lions if you don’t believe me. We’re in a heated divisional race where first place automatically sees the post season while the rest of the AFC West makes comfy on their sofas. I’m thinking that the Broncos are as good if not better than any other team in the NFL right now.
Today, the defense once again showed its teeth and then they chomped down into the silver and black. The Broncos made holding the Raiders to 3 points look easy. 2 INTs (Reynaldo Hill, Andre Goodman), 1 fumble recovered by Brian Dawkins, and 2 sacks by Elvis Dumervil gave JaMarcus Russell and the rest of the Raiders a reason to cry into the arms of Al Davis. JaMarcus Russell is the worst QB drafted #1 since Ryan Leaf. What a bust! I’m willing to say that the defense’s performance is not a fluke. Sure, they haven’t played the best offenses, but that’s no reason to doubt them. Any team in this league has the capability to score, but when you’re putting pressure on QBs like the Broncos are, it’s going to make it difficult for any team. The defense is running like a well oiled machine with Mike Nolan manning the controls. They’re as physical as any team, and they’ve allowed just 1 touchdown all season.
The Broncos scored 13 points off of turnovers today which was huge. Credit a lot of their scoring production to the ground game as Knowshon Moreno (21 carries, 90 yds., 1 TD) and Correll Buckhalter (14 carries, 108 yds.) made Richard Seymour and Co. look like a bunch of beach bums. Without giving up a sack, the offensive line did another fantastic job of protecting Kyle Orton. Giving him that time allowed Brandon Marshall to finally make a significant impact (5 rec., 67 yds., 1 TD). It also allowed Orton to avoid the costly turnovers that were such a big issue in the preseason. The offense did give up the ball for the first time this season on a Buckhalter run, but that kind of stuff is going to happen occasionally. Hell, I’ll take 1 turnover ever 3 games. Matt Prater got back on track making all 3 of his field goal attempts from 48, 21, and 24 yards. The Broncos dominated the time of possession 36:15 to 23:45 and quite possibly showed the rest of the league that they will be a team to be reckoned with as the season moves forward.
The tough part of the schedule begins next week as the Broncos host the Cowboys. There isn’t another way I would want to see this team enter that game. With an offense that is finding their groove, a defense trained to tear heads off, and overall confidence riding high, I say bring on them Boys’ from Dallas. Welcome to the other Big D!