This week’s article is brought to you by the number 6 and the number 0.
When does a 16-point win feel a little bit like a loss and a 16-point loss feel a little bit like a win? If you follow the Denver Broncos and the NFL in general, this is not a hard riddle to figure out. The answer is when the then 5-0 Broncos go into Sunday’s 35-19 victory over the then 0-5 Jacksonville Jaguars as a 27.5 point favorite and only win by two touchdowns and two 2-point conversions. You see, before Sunday’s game, Denver had scored more points in last week’s game at the Jones-mahal in Dallas as Jacksonville had in their first 5 games combined. Perspective is a peculiar thing. If you watch or listen to the various pundits on T.V and radio, you can already give the Vince Lombardi Trophy to Mr. Bowlen, John Elway, John Fox, and Peyton Manning; and the Jaguars are on the clock. However what many failed to understand, including your humble correspondent, is that those crazy cats from the banks of the St. John’s River have real-life football players, with real-life coaches, a real-life front office, a real-life owner, and real-life talent and desire. We forget that these guys were drafted and have been signed to lucrative contracts because what they do best is play football. Lastly, what today’s NFL shows us is that the chasm between the perceived best team in the league and the perceived worst team in the league is not as great as it once was. That said, lets hand out our good, bad, and ugly designations for week 6.
The Good: I am going to throw a knuckle-curve at you this week and start with our valiant opponents, the Jacksonville Jaguars. They could have come into (Sports Authority Field at) Mile High Stadium and just laid down, collected a paycheck, and flew back to North Florida for some fried ‘gator tail and a grouper sandwich. These guys played with some heart and did not seem the least bit intimidated buy our guys. The coaching staff even came right out and on the first possession of the game, faked a punt deep in their own territory, and tried to catch the Broncos off guard. It didn’t work but the Jags sent a message that they are not rolling over for anybody. I want to take a moment to specifically acknowledge LB, Paul Posluszny and WR Justin Blackmon. Posluszney picked off a Peyton Manning pass and returned it 59 yards for a score. It pulled Jacksonville to within 14-12, which would be the score at the intermission. All Blackmon did was catch 14 balls for 190 yards. There was some complicity by the Broncos’ defense which will be re-addressed in “The Bad” later in the article.
Now it’s time to praise our Broncos’ players who shone yesterday…after all, this is PREDOMINANTLY “FREAKIN” ORANGE not the Teal Times or the Cat-Scratch Fever (all apologies to the Motor City Madman).
For the second straight week, my first kudos goes to RB, Knowshon Moreno. There was a time when some referred him as Kno-gain Moreno or Kno-score Moreno. Well it appears those days are behind him. Moreno has distanced himself from the other backs on the roster and appears to have become the clear-cut number one RB as long as he stays healthy. While Knowshon’s overall numbers (15 for 42, 2.8 ypc and only a long of 11 yards) don’t jump out at anybody, his three TD’s do. The Middletowm, N.J. native also caught 7 passes for 62 yards. For the mathmatically challenged, that is 104 all purpose yards. At the most critical times, KM got the rock to either score or get some needed short yards to extend drives. Also, he is carrying the ball very securely as if last thing he plans on doing is turning it over. I wish that could be said for the Broncos’ other RB’s. Moreno appears to be garnering the trust of the coaching staff and most importantly, of PFM.
The receiving corps had another good game: Demaryius Thomas caught 3 balls for 72 yards, Julius Thomas had 4 receptions for 22 yards and a score, and Wes Welker hauled in 6 for 63 yards and another score.
Lastly, Peyton Manning had a good game. It’s funny, he has set the bar so high that even 28/42, 295 yards, 2 TD’s, and 1 INT seems like a poor performance. However, I am here to keep it in perspective. Most other QB’s would love to have that line on a weekly basis. More over, they would like to have Manning’s most important stat of all: 6-0. Right, Eli? Sorry lil Bro, I couldn’t resist. You know I still dig you!
The Bad: Even though the defense was really short-handed, I have to call them out for giving up 303 yards to Chad Henne! The only reason Henne is dressing up for Halloween as a starting QB in this league is because of injury. All due respect to him, he is NOT starting QB material in the NFL (my earlier comments about these guys being NFL pros, yada, yada, yada do not necessarily apply to all). And yet, there was our defense giving up 303 yards to him. I will give them the credit for bending but not breaking. However Henne and Blackmon are not exactly Manning and Thomas. I think the fans in Jacksonville, FL. are about ready to give new meaning to the term, hanging chad…in effigy, of course.
Disclaimer: This article is for entertainment purposes only. In no way is the author suggesting or condoning the physical harm of any player for poor performance…or any reason for that matter. YA GOT IT HOUSTON!!!!
I would think that the defense should be much better this coming week as the core of the front seven, Von Miller, Wesley Woodyard, and Robert Ayers are due back. They absolutely need to be as the Broncos head to Indianapolis for the battle of the Equus ferus caballus’. That is the scientific term for a horse, of course, of course. Ah, who do I think I am, Jack Hannah? I had to look that up. You’re welcome!
The Ugly: The game as a whole was ugly. Denver, once again lost the turnover battle. They put the ball on the ground 3 times, losing two of them. Then there was Peyton Manning’s impersonation of lil Bro, Eli as he threw the 59 yard pick-6 to Posluszny. Sorry again, Eli. I just cannot stay away from the low-hanging fruit.
Also Ugly were the fans in attendance who felt compelled to boo the best team in the NFL because they were showing a human side. Look, I get it. You pay your money and you have the right to boo but as stated earlier, I’m Captain Perspective this week. Contrary to popular belief, the Broncos are not going to score every time they touch the ball. Also, this team is not going undefeated this year and frankly, I don’t want them to (don’t you remember what happened to the last team that entered a super bowl undefeated?). Let’s face it, Denver has not gone through any adversity on the field this season. A loss or two will help reset this teams bearings and keep them focused on the ultimate goal. Also, juxtapose the 2013 Broncos to the teams we watched from 2006-2011 and then consider whether or not these guys deserve to be jeered.
So the Denver Broncos did not cover the 27.5 point spread. The only folks who should be upset about that are the fools who actually laid that many points to another NFL team and put their hard earned money behind that ill-advised decision. At the end of the day, it is another W for the orange and blue. Take solace in the fact that they played their worst game of the season and still won by 16 points.
Next up: It is back to national television as Peyton Manning returns to the place he called home for fourteen season; thirteen on the field. It’s the old guard against the new guard as Manning and the Broncos take on Andrew Luck and the streaking, 4-1 (at the time this article is being written) Indianapolis Colts. It’s the wild horses steel cage match on Sunday Night Football on NBC. The Colts will be honoring PFM prior to the start of the game. All we can hope for is that Peyton shows his appreciation by handing them a loss. Kickoff is at 8:30 PM EST, which is 6:30 PM Elway Standard Time. As usual, Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth will have the call.