The Broncos joined the 3-0 club on Monday night with a 37-21 win over the Oakland Raiders. Denver was up 27-7 at halftime and they were able to cruise in the second half. Peyton Manning led the way again this week with 374 yards and 3 touchdown. Eric Decker also had a big game, catching 8 passes for 133 yards. Julius Thomas and Wes Welker each caught a touchdown this week as well and both have caught a touchdown passes in each game this year. The Broncos looked good again this week and here is what I liked, what I didn’t like this week, and what to look forward to next week.
What I liked
Defense keeping McFadden in check
I was very impressed by how well the Broncos did keeping Darren McFadden from having a big game. The Broncos held McFadden to just 9 yards on 12 carries. He did add a late touchdown and a passing touchdown on a trick play, but the Broncos contained him for most of the game. Quietly, the Broncos’ run defense has played very well through the first 3 games and they are ranked first in the league, only giving up 43.3 rush yards a game. hey have held Ray Rice, McFadden, and the Giants backs to under 50 yards.
What I didn’t like
Ball’s Fumbling Issues
In the preseason it was Ronnie Hillman with the fumbling issue but now it looks like Montee Ball has caught a severe case of fumblitis. Ball coughed the ball up last week against New York and also fumbled again this week in the 2nd half. Ball did look good aside from the fumble, carrying 11 times for 61 yards, but he needs to find a cure for this problem or he will be losing more game reps. Hillman had a lot of carries in the 2nd half this week, Knowshon Moreno has looked good so far this season, and C.J. Anderson will be returning soon from his injury. Anderson was playing well before he got hurt and Ball could very easily find himself as the odd man out in the backfield if his fumbling issues continue to be a problem.
The Broncos will host Chip Kelly’s Philadelphia Eagles Sunday afternoon. The Eagles are currently 1-2 but have been competitive in all of their games so far. The Eagles Michael Vick-LeSean McCoy combo is similar to the Raiders Terrelle Pryor-Darren McFadden combo. Vick and Pryor are both dual-threat quarterbacks and McCoy and McFadden are both receiving threats out of the backfield as well as being the workhorse back for their team. The Vick-McCoy combo has been more potent so far this season than the Pryor-McFadden combo. Expect this to be a very fast paced game because both teams have tendencies to speed up play and get to the line quickly in between plays.
The Broncos host the Eagles Sunday afternoon at 3:25PM Central time.