Sep 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos defensive end DeMarcus Ware (94) sacks Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) during the second half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Take a deep breath, Broncos Country.
This is the kind of game this team needs.
All offseason the talk was the improved defense of the Denver Broncos. For obvious reasons, people were skeptical. Through parts of the season-opening game against the Indianapolis Colts, the skepticism remained.
Until that defense came to the rescue and saved the game for the Broncos. It’s nice to say that about a Denver team again. This is and always will be a town that craves great defense. Talk of the Orange Crush’s return is premature, yes, but this is a great sign for the Broncos.
The only reason Denver won this game is because of the defense. On two occasions early in the third quarter, the Broncos faced two Indy drives inside the 10-yard line. Denver held Andrew Luck and the Colts to 3 points.
More from Broncos News
- Denver Broncos dream coaching staff for DeMeco Ryans
- Denver Broncos: “Sleeper” David Shaw checks every box
- The Broncos’ coaching search likely has not gone to plan
- Special Chiefs Suck Offer: Bet $5, Win $150 if Joe Burrow Passes for ONE YARD vs KC
- 3 reasons Sean Payton should not coach the Broncos
On fourth-and-six with the game on the line, the defense got the stop thanks to rookie cornerback Bradley Roby. Does anyone still doubt whether he can play in the NFL? He should have proven those doubters wrong in the final two preseason games. He ended that talk in emphatic fashion Sunday night with how well he played – not just the pass break up on fourth down to save the game.
“I knew it was crunch time,” he told CBS 4 after the game. “I knew we had to step up.”
As with the whole team, it wasn’t pretty. The Broncos need to get more consistent in all three phases. It wasn’t what the Colts did as much as Denver not making the plays in the second half that it did in the first. That has to change. But the Broncos still did a lot of things right.
The first half had the feel of another opening-night rout for the Broncos. But that changed after the first drive of the second half. News flash: The Colts are a great team. Don’t forget Indy beat Denver, San Francisco and Seattle last season. The Colts made a historic comeback against Kansas City in the playoffs.
With how dominate the Broncos have been the last two seasons, floggings have become the norm. If it’s not a blowout where Manning throws for over 400 yards and four touchdowns, it’s a major disappointment. It’s as if the Broncos lost.
Sep 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton (98) reacts during the second half against the against the Indianapolis Colts at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Games like the one against the Colts are far more beneficial to a team. It forces Denver to correct what needs changed instead of having it glossed over with a good coat of makeup. That won’t happen with this team. Not after this heart-racing win with the emphasis on “win.”
As I said, the Broncos have to get consistent. The offense has to execute the entire game as it did in the first half. Denver must finish when it has a team on the ropes. On the scale of areas to concern yourself, this offense’s struggles should not weigh too heavily. The offense will be there. And it still scored 31 points.
The area to focus on is the Denver defense.
It’s not the Orange Crush. Like the offense, it must do a better job of finishing. It can’t let a tight end run 41 yards untouched down the sideline for a touchdown. But the Broncos don’t need that in September. With what it showed against the Colts, it’s closer to the Orange Crush than you might think. When the Broncos needed a big play, the defense delivered. This is another step to what the Broncos hope and expect to achieve this season.
For now, take a deep breath.
Take solace in the fact the only reason Denver won this game is because of the defense.
Man, it feels great to say that again about the Broncos.
Sep 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos safety Rahim Moore (26) reacts after catching an interception during the second half against the Indianapolis Colts at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports