The Denver Broncos first preseason game went just about as I expected. The players who shined in training camp glimmered on the field tonight in Cincinnati.
On defense, Champ Bailey was a stud as usual with two pass deflections in the first quarter. You can’t put a value on the kind of shutdown corner he is.
Missing in the secondary was Brian Dawkins and D.J. Williams as they are still recovering from injury and not game ready.
The most notable and understandably the most watched position was quarterback. Kyle Orton has performed so well at training camp that his 8-13, 84 yds., 2 TD performance comes as no surprise.
As Josh McDaniels said after practice last week, “He’s [Orton] on time, he’s accurate, he’s always been accurate, he’s stronger this year than he was last year, which is showing up on some of the intermediate routes that are tight against tight coverage.”
Last season, Orton didn’t have the deep ball in his arsenal of weapons. Even though Orton’s two touchdown passes went to Eddie Royal for a 12 yard gain and Brandon Lloyd for a 6 yard gain, he completed a nice 31 yard pass to Jabar Gaffney. The intermediate to deep ball is something that the Broncos are trying to work on with him.
When talking about Orton last week, McDaniels said “He’s made a lot of big throws down the field.” Coach is right. In training camp, he’s made the throws down field to countless receivers - Jabar Gaffney, Eddie Royal, Brandon Lloyd, Matthew Willis, Demaryius Thomas, and the list goes on.
Sharing the spotlight with Orton tonight was Tim Tebow. He made his NFL debut late in the third quarter and performed well going 8-13 for 105 yards and 1 rushing touchdown. The nerves were probably riding high for him as the rest of the country watched his new throwing motion, delivery, and his accuracy.
As the clock read 0:00, Tebow headed towards the endzone and as two Bengals converged on him, Broncos fans held their breaths. With the Broncos bad luck with injuries thus far in camp, a Bengal sponsored Tebow execution with zero time left on the clock wouldn’t have come as a surprise. A collective sigh of relief was let out as he crossed the goal line with ball in hand, limbs intact, and up on his feet again to begin work on week two of the preseason.
Just another day at the NFL office.
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