Fear Not Broncos Fans


After one week of NFL action, with the exception of two Monday Night Football games left to be played, the Denver Broncos have shifted identities almost overnight. The defense, which by its own merits gave up only 6 points to the Baltimore Ravens in a 19-13 win Sunday, may just be the water carrier for the team this season.

As I watched the preseason unfold, I had a feeling it would be this way, at least to start the season and it appears I was correct in my thoughts.

The defense is currently the # 1 unit in the NFL statistically speaking, unless the Falcons, Eagles, Vikings or 49ers give up less than 173 yards in their respective games this evening.

Against the Ravens, who are armed with signal-caller Joe Flacco, one of the better quarterbacks in the game, the defense held him to 117 yards on 32 attempts, or just under 3.66 yards per attempt. With those numbers, the passing game becomes ineffective and when the Broncos’ defense makes teams one-dimensional, or in some cases leave them bereft of any dimensions at all, this could be a Super Bowl contender once signal-caller Peyton Manning gets a command of head coach Gary Kubiak’s offense.

However, even if the Manning of years past does not return this season, it is important to remember that the Broncos have a rich history of star quarterbacks not performing at their best when Super Bowl championships were won.

In 1997, current Broncos executive John Elway won his first Super Bowl in a legendary Hall-of-Fame career but he completed only 55.8 percent of his passes, which is minus 1.1 percent from his career average.

With the advent of tailback Terrell Davis, the offense became more run-oriented and Elway was required to do less and he did struggle in 1997 in many statistical areas in the air.

Nevertheless, he made plays when he had to and that’s exactly what Manning did Sunday against Baltimore, especially on a 3rd and 6 pass to receiver Demaryius Thomas for a crucial 10-yard gain which ultimately resulted in Brandon McManus’ 33-yard field goal for a 19-13 lead which the defense preserved.

Many Broncos fans were disillusioned with this on social media but it’s obvious defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ aggressive scheme enables the Broncos to grow into Kubiak’s offense.

Ever the tireless worker, Kubiak confirmed to AM-850 KOA’s Dave Logan Monday that he will work well into the night this week to prepare for the game at Kansas City Thursday on a short turnaround.

If the Broncos win this game, they have a crucial divisional tiebreaker for the time being and an additional three days  before they play against the Detroit Lions on NBC’s Sunday Night Football September 27.

With the way the Broncos play defense and were able to run the ball more effectively as the game went on, they may have the recipe for a 2-0 record.

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