Week 1 has come and gone and the Broncos turned some heads on Thursday by beating the defending champion Ravens 49-27. Not only that, but Peyton Manning had a record-tying night with his 7 touchdown passes, which is something the NFL has not seen since 1969. Julius Thomas introduced himself to the rest of NFL fans and Broncos fans could boast that they told you that he was going to breakout this year. Here are the rest of my takeaways from the Broncos Week 1 victory.
What I Liked:
Undrafted/Unheralded Players Making Plays
Former undrafted players Duke Ihenacho and Wesley Woodyard led the Broncos in tackles and made a lot of good plays all night. Another undrafted player, Chris Harris Jr. made a fantastic interception of one of Joe Flacco’s passes. Special teams captain, David Bruton, also made a big play but blocking a punt that the Broncos later turned into a touchdown. It is very encouraging to see these guys step up especially in the absence of Champ Bailey and Von Miller.
Broncos 2nd Half
The Broncos looked ok in the first half of the Week 1 game but turned it on in the 2nd half. The Broncos started the 3rd quarter down 17-14 but outscored the Ravens 21-0 in the 3rd and 14-10 in the 4th to turn the deficit into a blowout. Five of Manning’s seven touchdowns came in the 2nd half (2 to Wes Welker, 2 to Demaryius Thomas, and 1 to Andre Caldwell). The Broncos pass rush came alive and the defense played much better in the 2nd half as well.
There were plenty of things to like this week with a win like that. The Broncos were firing on all cylinders, especially in the 2nd half, and used their big 2nd half to blowout the defending champs.
What I didn’t Like:
The Weather Delay
What a buzzkill right? Everyone is excited for NFL football to start and then the game gets delayed. Everyone understands that it was for lightning but it still was frustrating for fans. Luckily for Broncos fans it did not seem to affect the Broncos play on the field.
Trevathan’s “Drop Six”
Danny Trevathan made a great play on the football to pick off a pass from Joe Flacco and looked like he had an easy pick 6. Trevathan approached the goal line to tack on another Broncos touchdown but then disaster struck. Not only did Trevathan drop the ball before he crossed the goal line, resulting in a touchback and the Ravens getting the ball, but linebacker Woodyard was injured on the play trying to recover the football for the Broncos. You can see the play for yourself here. Lucky for Trevathan the Broncos were already up 42-17 so the touchdown was not critical and also Woodyard returned to the game and did not seem to be crucially injured. Other than this play Trevathan played well and Bronco Nation will forgive him. I am fairly certain he has learned from this and it will not happen again. Let’s hope anyways.
Obviously, the Broncos had a pretty good week when the two things that I did not like we’re a weather delay and a botched touchdown that would have put the Broncos up 49-17.
Next Week: Broncos at Giants
It is the next installment of the Manning Bowl and there are sure to be fireworks. Even though the Giants had quite a few turnovers in Week 1 against the Cowboys they stayed in the game and made some plays. If the Broncos can force the Giants to turn the ball over like they did in Week 1 they should be able to jump out to a big lead. The Broncos offense is more potent than the Cowboys and they can turn those turnovers into points.
The Broncos travel to visit the Giants Sunday at 3:25 CDT.