The tortoise and the hare is not the appropriate fable to describe the Denver Broncos.
When the Broncos get off to a fast start, there’s no stopping them. A snappy start has been a rare occurrence for the Broncos this season. Prior to Sunday’s win over the Chiefs, they had scored just one touchdown in eight first quarters (against Seattle).
It was quite possible to start cooking up a nice little Sunday afternoon lunch at opening kickoff and not miss much of anything unless you absolutely craved seeing the opposing team score.
On Sunday, the Broncos were up 35-0 after 24:12 of playing time elapsed. The last time I was in that stadium, I saw the Broncos on the other end of the scoreboard down 38-0 after 23:02. For once, I was able to sit back with my beer and thunder dog and enjoy a victory in the first half of play.
My 27-year-old heart saw some preventative medicine with yesterday’s easy win. Thank you, Josh McDaniels.
McDaniels can be credited with getting his team ready to play. They were well prepared, refreshed, and well-educated on what the Chiefs were trying to do.
It all started within the first three minutes of the game when the Broncos got the run going to move the ball down the field, and Kyle Orton threw a strike to Knowshon Moreno to finish the drive with a touchdown. The Chiefs didn’t get their first points up on the board until the Broncos had already been in the painted area five times. In the post game press conference, McDaniels said,
“Finally, we started fast which is something we’ve been talking about a lot…Whenever you have an extra day of practice, you usually have an opportunity to run through how you’re going to start the game more than one time, and we did that this week.”
That’s great that McDaniels utilized his time wisely, but what happens when the Broncos don’t have that extra week? Not only that, but they are facing a team in the Chargers that have had an extra week to prepare for them because of the bye.
The Broncos used an unorthodox style to start the game. They went with their bread and butter first and then turned to the run. McDaniels said,
“We try to throw it [first] and run it later. It’s a kind of a backwards philosophy in some regards, but that’s what we thought we wanted to try to do tonight, and we tried to do that in the first quarter.”
That approach worked against an unbalanced defense, but what will that do against the Chargers’ 3rd-ranked passing defense and 4th-ranked rushing defense?
As the Broncos bask in the glow of victory for a short time, the focus has got to be narrowed down to a very different AFC West team. This is a new and relatively shorter week for the Broncos to prove that they are just what Sunday’s scoreboard indicated – Winners.
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