Victory is a very sweet aroma. Although you cannot smell it, you most certainly know it is there. You are not depressed, and you feel very high and light on your feet. Your optimism levels have reached new heights and you are in danger of claiming to all that your team, the Denver Broncos, are going to the Super Bowl. Although a 49-29 win at home is huge and certainly feels like a Super Bowl victory when it’s against the Chiefs, there are certainly a lot of things to take away from this game both positive and negative. Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you my first (and hopefully not last) Likes and Dislikes column. I do not wish to be a pessimist and deflate the optimism this victory has brought to us all. But I’m also not going to be ignorant to what things the Broncos still need to work on which is exactly what Josh McDaniels will be doing as well. So without further ado, here we go:
The list of likes from this game almost seem endless, so I’ll try to sum it up to three key factors.
1) Knowshon Moreno got his first NFL career 1oo yards rushing. We have been waiting 26 games for this. Granted, Moreno was not healthy or even playing in all of those. But during McDaniels’ tenure, no RB under his regime has broken the 100 yard marker. With the Broncos dead last in running the ball, this definitely resurrects a spark of hope in us all. Running the ball well to set up the pass has been the foundation for many NFL systems. In this Broncos’ squad, they can throw the ball regardless of the run. But with a running attack, the Broncos are no longer predictable and Kyle Orton will spend less time on his butt. In this game, Kyle Orton was sacked a season low zero times. Which reminds me, in order to keep my list to three, I’m going to throw a compliment along with this one. I liked the O-Line. Knowson is going nowhere without the O-Line. The return of RT Ryan Harris allowed Zane Beadles to move back to LG and this transformation resulted in the best O-Line all season.
2) I liked 21 points in the first quarter. The Broncos have been miserable in the first quarter, unable to finish drives or even get them started. Josh McDaniels, as well as Kyle Orton, have been saying all week that they want to get out of the blocks quicker. They want to hang up points on the opposing team faster mainly because they know they can. This is huge for the Broncos. Being the last place team in the league at stopping the run, having a lead as big as 21-0 stops the run by itself. Teams must play catchup and in doing so become one dimensional. They are forced to throw the ball and abandon the run. The Chiefs were the number one ranked team in running the ball coming into this game but the Denver offense, with the help of some key Denver D stops, slowed down the Chiefs. There’s an old saying, the best defense is a good offense.
3) I’m not sure what I liked more, so I’m just going to like it all. Brandon Lloyd made some spectacular catches, two of which made it to top 10 catches on NFL.com. I don’t know why, but I love to see Broncos players on stuff like that. I also liked Tim Tebow running for a TD and throwing for his first ever NFL passing TD. This past offseason, McDaniels was playing possum when asked if he had any redzone Tebow packages. Now we just all wonder what else he has in mind. Oh, and I also liked the LineBacker core. Joe Mays has still got it. He may be somewhat slow, but he certainly knows how to hit some guys. Either way, Joe Mays, Mario Haggan (3 sacks), and Wesley Woodyard along with the rest of the defense, really stepped up when facing the adversity of their defensive Co-Captain D.J. Williams’ DUI. I applaud them all and am very proud of them.
This list is shorter but still holds some merit. These are things that still need to be addressed and hopefully are being considered. Oh, and none of them will be D.J. Williams.
1) I dislike and am worried about the fact that Kansas City exposed some serious holes in the Denver Defensive secondary. I understand that when you are behind you abandon the running game and virtually throw the ball every down. But the Broncos gave up 469 passing yards to Matt Cassel who, in my opinion, is not that good. Several times we saw Champ Bailey look around at the rest of his secondary with a look of question and confusion. Assignments were being missed and the Chiefs took every opportunity given to them. The Broncos are in trouble if the secondary continues like this. Phillip Rivers is lighting up defensive secondaries this year and will most likely do the same to Denver. Antonio Gates is a matchup nightmare and for whatever reason seems to be open all the time. To top it all off, the Chargers got a very good look at this game due to their bye. They’re going to have had two weeks to prepare for this game and to top it all off, this game will be in San Diego. Don Martindale, Denver’s defensive coordinator, and Josh McDaniels are going to have to get very creative for this next one. But the problem may very well not be the secondary. Which leads me to my next dislike…
2) I absolutely hate the fact that Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers are not both on the field. We all saw how many times the Broncos got penetration on Matt Cassel. We all witnessed the three sacks by Mario Haggan. But did we all stop and think for a second just how many sacks the Broncos could have gotten if Dumvervil and Ayers had both been there? It’s an injustice and and I hate it. But I’m worried for the Broncos because it still wasn’t enough. The offense won the game in the first quarter. The defense was allowed to take it easy. So unless we see the offense come out swinging next week, it could very well be another long Sunday.
3) I dislike the fact that Tebow got two touchdowns and that Kyle Orton didn’t get 300 yards. I know I know, what am I talking about, right? The only reason I say this is the fact that Kyle Orton is my QB for one of my fantasy leagues. I’m thrilled that he got 4 TDs. I’m thrilled the Broncos won. And I’m really happy for Tebow. But, I get bonus points when my QB goes beyond 3oo yards and the rest of my team didn’t do so well so I could have used the two TD’s from Tebow. But thus is life.
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