All the good feelings generated about the Denver Broncos’ backups during their preseason blowout of the Bears disappeared very quickly against the Seahawks on Saturday. The second and third stringers got steamrolled 21-0 after halftime to make the final score 30-10 in favor of Seattle.
Luckily for Broncos fans, the second half of a preseason game means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things. Furthermore, Denver won on the scoreboard when the starters were in despite making some big mistakes throughout the first two quarters. Peyton Manning looked very sharp in the two minute drill right before halftime and led Denver to a field goal that gave them the lead. It would have been better had Jacob Tamme held on to a perfect strike that hit his numbers in the end zone, but by then Broncos Country had already seen what they needed to see. Manning looked like his old self in crunch time, and he also took his first hit of the year and showed no ill-effects from it.
Here are some thoughts from the preseason loss to the Seahawks:
- Willis McGahee only had a 3.5 yard average, but he finished with 28-yards rushing and a score. Considering his limited playing time it was an impressive outing and I’m expecting another monster year out of Willis.
- Tight ends Joel Dreessen and Jacob Tamme both finished with four targets and two receptions, but Tamme’s drops are becoming an issue. It will be interesting to see if he loses some targets to Dreessen going forward.
- Although it wasn’t a bone-crushing blow, Manning did get knocked down for the first time in 2012 and bounced right back up. Hopefully that will end the “first-hit watch” that has overtaken the media during training camp.
- The first team defense held Seattle to only three field goals in the first half. This was despite three turnovers by the Denver offense that constantly put their defense in a bad spot. So far this preseason the defensive starters have done a great job shutting down the opponent and keeping them out of the end zone. The one item of concern was Marshawn Lynch’s 6.2 yards-per-carry average on six touches. The interior defensive front gave up big chunks of yardage at times, and that is not a good sign considering some of the elite running backs that Denver will face this year.
- Brock Osweiler had a great chance to lock up the backup quarterback position, but he put forth a very poor performance. He ended up 5 for 11 with 38 yards and no touchdowns. The offense was completely stagnant throughout the second half with him in the game, so the battle for the #2 quarterback will continue on at least another week.
- The special teams unit looked great. Britton Colquitt punted six times and averaged 52.7 yards, Matt Prater drilled his lone field goal attempt, and David Bruton blocked one (and a half) punts. If the special teams unit can keep up this level of play it will give the Broncos a massive edge this season.
- Champ Bailey showed some flashes of why he is still one of the best defenders in the game. His deflection of a pass intended for Terrell Owens to end a Seattle drive was a big time play. Matt Flynn still has a lot to learn about what cornerbacks you want to throw at in the NFL.
- Manning finished the first half going 16 for 23 for 177 yards and 2 interceptions. One of those picks was off a deflection and Tamme dropped a certain touchdown, otherwise those numbers would look a little more impressive. What can’t be denied though is that Manning will have no trouble leading this team in 2012. His yardage total was impressive and he played better as the pressure increased. He still needs to find his touch on the long ball, but there is no doubt in my mind that Manning would have led the Broncos to victory on Saturday night if he would have been allowed to play in the second half.
- Preseason game #3 is on Sunday, August 26th at Mile High against San Francisco and it will be nationally televised. It will be a tough test against a good team and Manning should play most of the game. This game will be the closest thing we see to the real deal until the season opener on September 9th. Go Broncos!
Tags: Britton Colquitt Brock Osweiler Broncos Country Champ Bailey David Bruton Denver Broncos Jacob Tamme Marshawn Lynch Matt Flynn Matt Prater Mile High Monday Peyton Manning Terrell Owens Willis Mcgahee