Sep 29, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos kickoff returner Trindon Holliday (11) returns a kickoff for a touchdown during the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Great, The Not Bad, & The Lovely : Denver Broncos Week 4


(Legal Disclaimer: No actual eagles were harmed in any way during the Denver Broncos‘ 52-20 dismantling of the Philadelphia nor in the construction of this article).


These kind of week-in, week-out performances, while enjoyable to watch, are going to make my articles look very redundant and stale. Though I think I can speak for Broncos’ fans in saying, “GREAT!” This week’s effort was so stellar, I am treating “The Bad” and “The Ugly” from my normal post-game article title like Josh Freeman and Brandon Weeden and benching them. That should make this piece seem a little fresher.

The Great: In a word, EVERYTHING!!! To be more specific, that #18 guy at quarterback had another world class effort. Peyton Manning‘s line in week four looks like this: 28-34, 327 yds, 4 TDs, and 0 INTs. Manning surgically took apart the Eagles, feather-by-feather (sorry, I couldn’t resist) as he has done to each of the first four opponents’ defenses at the quarter pole of the 2013 NFL season.

The Broncos’ special teams were just that. At 6:03 of the first quarter, following a Philadelphia FG, Trindan Holliday returned the ensuing kickoff for a 105 yard touchdown. Then early in the fourth quarter with Denver leading 42-13, linebacker Stevie Johnson blocked a Donnie Jones punt and returned it 17 yds for a second special teams score. As if PFM and his arsenal of weapons aren’t enough to deal with, the Eagles had to try to overcome this too. I almost feel bad for them…almost.

The Not Bad: The Defense gave up a bunch of yards in the first half. Philly showed off their electric team speed. However when the Eagles worked the ball into the red zone, the Broncos D stiffened and kept them out of pay dirt in two of their three first half scoring drives. The Eagles made it close when they scored on a four yard TD run by Chris Polk with 11:12 left in the first half to cut the Broncos lead to 14-13. It would never be that close again. Knowshon Moreno was the running back of choice this week. Moreno rushed for 78 yards on only 12 carries and his TD with 5:05 left in the half sent the orange and blue to the locker room with a 21-13 lead. As has been the trend throughout the first quarter of the season, Denver made all of the necessary halftime adjustments on both sides of the ball. They would score 31 consecutive points before Eagles backup QB Nick Foles would put up a garbage-time TD to make the game seem closer than it really was.

The defense again settled in after the first few drives of the game and held Philadelphia to a little over 100 yards until the aforementioned garbage-time TD drive. The Broncos sacked Michael Vick 3 times. Derek Wolfe and Shaun Phillips were each credited for a full sack and Robert Ayers and Wesley Woodyard each a half.

The Lovely (This is more of an alliteration which almost rhymes with ugly than a serious attempt at using the word, lovely in a football piece): Denver also played about as clean of a game that a team can. They did not commit a turnover and were only penalized twice for 25 yards. That, my fellow Broncoholics is virtual perfection. That is lovely!

The weather, as is usually the case in the Mile High City was lovely. The cheerleaders, as always are lovely. The text message I got from my Aunt in Centennial telling me that the Broncos have put a big smile on her face was lovely. So you see, that is how I work “lovely” and football into the same article…and for alliteration purposes.

Stats of the week:

Peyton Manning has now thrown more touchdown passes in the first four games of a season (16) than any QB in the modern era.

The Broncos set new team marks in points (52) and first downs (35). Of the 52 points, Manning joked in the post game interview, “may have to give ole’ Thunder an I.V”. Of course that refers to Thunder, the horse which gallops onto the field after every score. Needless to say, ole’ Thunder was really busy today.

Denver is averaging 47.1 PPG through the first four games of 2013. That average is a little more that 10 PPG better than that of the prolific 2007 New England Patriots‘ offense through the same four week period. Ladies and germs, we are witnesses to something very special here.

Up Next: The Broncos travel to Jerry Jones‘ dome of decadence to face the reeling Dallas Cowboys. Dallas lost in San Diego Sunday 30-21 after blowing an 8 point, second half lead. I think they might be in a bad mood. But then again, I don’t think it will matter. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:25 PM MST on CBS. I cannot verify yet, but I would assume that CBS’ #1 team of Jim Nance and Phil Simms will get the call.

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Tags: Denver Broncos Peyton Manning

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