The Denver Broncos are looking to go 3-0 by defeating the New York Jets on Sunday. Lopsided wins over the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants featuring a suffocating defense and very efficient play by Teddy Bridgewater and the offense have optimism running high in the Mile High City.
I’m a lifelong Broncos fan, the wins are welcomed and cheered. I also can’t argue with Bridgewater’s “near flawless” statistical performances nor the end results of the first two games.
However having watched both games in real time I witnessed two first halves in which the game actually hung in the balance. In Week 1 Denver trailed the Giants 7-3 with 2:41 left in the first half.
After three plays the Broncos had failed to pick up the first down. With 48 seconds left they converted on 4th-and-2 for a 17-yard gain and eventually scored a touchdown to lead 10-7 at half.
In Week 2 Denver trailed the Jaguars 7-3 with 6:05 left in the first half they took the lead 10-7 and thanks to two missed field goals by the Jags led 10-7 at the half.
In both instances the Denver Broncos defense clamped down and the offense put up more points in the second half en route to comfortable wins. That’s all good news for Broncos fans, but the Broncos were heavy favorites in each game albeit on the road and the talent appeared to just overwhelm the opponent as the games went on. My question is what happens when Denver’s loaded roster doesn’t simply overpower the opponent ?
Denver’s first two wins to me resemble that of a ranked college team that schedules a couple of “tune up games” with lesser opponents. The first halves being eerily too close before the talent of the roster shows through and the superior ball club emerges as the clear victor.
The scary part of my analogy is that the Broncos don’t get the benefit of college football in which they play a few ranked opponents at most and get tested come playoff time. After the Jets, Denver faces the Ravens, Steelers, Raiders, Browns, WFT, Cowboys, Eagles, Chargers, and Chiefs. For analogy sake that’s nine straight ranked opponents.
My fear is that having to fight tooth and nail to put up 10 first half points and come from behind just before halftime simply may not cut it against those formidable foes. Hopefully we are yet to see the best of this Broncos offense, but if not the questions start flying.
Are we sure we made the right decision at QB, Is Shurmur the right coordinator? Is the defense really good enough to prop up a ho-hum offense?
With any luck the Broncos put all these fears to rest. They trounce the Jets and go out and show that they’re for real against the Ravens.
I hope that’s the way it plays out, but in watching the first two weeks I see cause for concern even in victory. I find myself asking myself asking the aforementioned questions clear up until the victory is clearly in hand. I’m supportive, but can’t wholeheartedly buy into the whole efficient “near flawless” Bridgewater offense quite yet.
Hey make me a believer starting Sunday.