Thoughts on the thrilling win over the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field (In no particular order):
- One of my favorite things to do after the Broncos win is read thoughts on the game from the players themselves. Interacting with NFL players is one of the most attractive features of Twitter and is why I’m an avid user. After the win yesterday, offensive lineman Zane Beadles tweeted the following:
"Another W!!! Can’t say enough about our defense!! Turned it on in the second half on O! #newresolve #Broncos #lovethisteam"
- In my mind, that is pretty much all that needs to be read in order to understand why Denver’s winning ways continue even in the face of doubt by a majority of the national media. This is a TEAM in every sense of the word. We all know that the defense forced 3 turnovers yesterday that were absolutely pivotal, but for the most part they had a rough day. It was the offense who picked up the defense this weekend rather than the other way around. Yet, here is an offensive player who gives the initial credit to the defense. Not only that, but he openly states that he loves this team. This is exactly what you wish for as a fan. All you want to see is that the players on the field care about the outcome as much as you do. You want to see them play together and win games. You hope for a time when everything seems to come together and your team goes on a magical run that you simply have to see to believe. In a sense, this is what sports are all about, and it has been a long time since a Denver Broncos team has made the game this much fun for their fans. What a great time to be a member of Broncos Country!
- Tim Tebow made believers out of a lot of people yesterday. It was impressive to see how he was spinning it. He finished 10-15 with 202 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions in what was easily his best throwing performance of the year. Once offensive coordinator Mike McCoy let go of the reins a little bit, Tebow once again rose to the occasion and showed the world that he can be comfortable in a more classic style offense. The Broncos ran numerous plays from under center with 2 backs, and he only carried the ball 4 times on the day. If this offense can be comfortable playing the smash mouth read option game, but also run an efficient offense from a more typical set, it will be an absolute nightmare for any defensive coordinator. I for one think the sky is the limit right now.
- Willis McGahee had another monstrous game and he now sits at 5th in the AFC with 886 yards rushing. I love how he seems to get stronger as the game goes along and brings a toughness to the ground and pound system that John Fox likes to run. The Tebow/McGahee tandem is becoming a dominant force in the league.
- I was surprised to see how much the defense seemed to miss Von Miller. They still managed to pressure the quarterback which resulted in 3 sacks and 2 interceptions, but they made Christian Ponder look like Aaron Rodgers in the 2nd half. The good news is that they didn’t give up and came away with the game saving turnover when they needed it most. That is simply a play this defense would not have made in past seasons.
- What was with the play call on Denver’s first offensive play of the game? Everyone in America knows that the only acceptable play call from your own 6-inch line is a quarterback sneak. They have Tebow at quarterback for goodness sake! Power it up the gut and get some breathing room so a deep handoff makes more sense. The safety that resulted from that first play haunted them the entire game, and I believe it is what hampered our offense for the rest of the first half. If I were to grade Mike McCoy on his play calling in the first 30 minutes it would be an easy fail. He almost cost the Broncos the game.
- It was nice to see Andre Goodman get the defensive play of the game with the late interception. He had been picked apart throughout large stretches of the contest but he made a great read when it counted most and secured the victory.
- I’m not saying that every call the referees made were incorrect, but how does every review and seemingly every big call go against the Broncos? The non-call on the late intentional grounding by Christian Ponder was inexcusable.
- I couldn’t believe how large the cheers were on TV every time Denver scored. Broncos Country is representing big time regardless of where they play, and the players are recognizing it as many took to Twitter after the game to thank the fans.
- Demaryius Thomas had an amazing game and it was encouraging to see. If he can become a legitimate threat to complement Eric Decker this offense is only going to get more explosive. He finished the game with 144-yards receiving and 2 touchdowns on only 4 receptions.
- The Denver Broncos have now won 5 games in a row overall and 5 games in a row on the road. Winning a road game is one of the hardest things to accomplish in the NFL, and the fact that they have done it 5 times in a row is unfathomable. The last time a Broncos team had a streak that long on the road was in 1998 when they finished the season by winning the Super Bowl.
- Denver lost the time of possession and total yardage battles by large margins but still held on for the win. That tells me this team is battle tested and knows how to handle adversity. Those are very important qualities that will come in handy during tough games late in the year.
- The Broncos sit in 1st place in the AFC West today and are in good shape with tiebreakers over the Oakland Raiders. As long as they take care of business and focus on one game at a time this team has a great shot at winning Denver’s 1st division title since 2005.
- It is great to see John Elway on the sideline every week cheering this team on. As far as I can tell, this entire organization is invested in this thing from top to bottom. I have never seen a team that truly believes in each other so much and are so clearly on the same page. That is what makes me believe this Broncos team is destined for great things.
- The first time I wrote this it was because we hadn’t won many games in a while and I wanted to make sure we appreciated it, but I’m certainly not going to stop writing it now. For the 5th time in a row: Enjoy this one Broncos fans!
- If you want to react real-time during the Bronco games & celebrate, complain, vent, cheer, commiserate, and have a few laughs, follow me on Twitter.