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View Full Version : 1-0.... by the skin of our teeth



Broncos Mtnman
09-09-2007, 04:41 PM
WOW, what a game...

Now that I've caught my breath, I'm able to give a report on our opener against the Bills.

You could tell it was the first game of the season, with great plays - followed by terrible plays - followed by great plays - followed by terrible plays - followed by... well, you get the idea.

The first drive of the game looked terrible for the defense, where we allowed the Bills to drive right down the field to our 30. But then, like you want a defense to do, they dug down a little deeper and sacked Losman for a 14 yard loss. Unable to get another first down, the Bills had to punt.

It seemed like we were able to play defense pretty well the rest of the first half. The only points we gave up were on a punt return for a TD. I'll cover Special Teams a little later.

The offense showed the same mixed bag of results.

Cutler showed some flashes of great play, with a couple of great pass plays to Stokley and hooking up with Javon for over 100 yards. But again, this was sometimes followed up with poor decisions. His pass near the end of the 1st half being a great example. While driving to a possible go ahead score, Jay took a low snap off the ground and panicked, forcing a throw to Stokley that sailed high and was picked off.

Special teams were very weak. Besides the punt that was returned for a TD by the Bills, we gave up field position on nearly every punt. Big leg Todd was inconsisitent on his punts, but he did appear to have his kickoffs down pretty well. Elam missed two FGs and if not for the last one with time running out, would have missed 2 out of 4.

So, what were some of the most glaring weaknesses?

1st - too many missed tackles. There were several times in the second half that the Bills faced 3rd and long and made a first down with a simple off-tackle play or pitch out. If you'll remember, 3rd down was a concern in the preseason, but it was a surprise to see it on running plays. Ian Gold missed ALOT of tackles today, but tackling was weak by just about the whole defense.

2nd - Jay needs to keep his head about him. This will come with time, but he made several "passes" that could have cost us a turnover and possibly the game. One late pass, ended up being a lateral that could have ended the game except for the smart play of Young knocking the ball out of bounds. To his credit, Cutler came back with a great pass play to Walker on 3rd down, and a QB option run for the 1st on 4th down.

3rd - As mentioned, special teams

4th - Several dropped passes in key situations, but there were also several off-target throws by Jay.

What were some of the good things?

1st - Shanny!! I think this game demonstrated that he is going to use the entire playbook. When's the last time you saw a QB option from our own end zone? Heck, when's the last time you saw an option play in the NFL? They don't happen often, that's for sure. As the season progresses, we will see more formations, more trick plays, and more agressiveness from Shanny. He knows he has the tools.

2nd - Simeon Rice. In his first game with only a few days to get ready, he was involved in two great plays that stopped drives. If he stays healthy, he was an incredible pick up for us and could help our defensive line problems.

3rd - Travis Henry. He was a beast and reminded me of the days when TD was in the backfield. He found his lanes quickly, made his moves, and took down a few guys when facing them straight up. It looks like we might have a great running back for the next few years. Young did a decent job in relief as well.

4th - The entire offense and special teams on the last drive of the game. Jay was able to overcome his lateral for a big loss, and lead the team down the field, converting on two 4th downs. Then, with only about 12 seconds on the clock and no time outs, the special teams group got on the field, got set, and with 2 seconds left, Elam nailed it.

With all the adversity they had to endure, much of it self-inflicted, they were able to keep their heads about them and win it when it counted. With basically a rookie at QB, several new pieces on the offense, a new defense with a new scheme, and the weight of blown opportunities on their shoulders, the Broncos showed the type of character that could be the foundation of something very special.

Hey guys, we're 1-0 for the first time since 2004. At the time of this article, the Chefs lost to Houston, the Bears were beating the Dolts, and the Faiders were being shut out by Detroit.

Super Bowl, here we come. OK, that's a little over the top, but I'll take a one game lead on the entire division over being behind by one game, any day of the week.

:beer:

Kapaibro
09-09-2007, 04:43 PM
Would you like a defibrillator with your 1-0?

Sharkie
09-09-2007, 05:52 PM
Great report Mtnman.

Unfortunately Dolts and Faiders are mounting a comeback at the moment, but even so, a good start to the season.

I look forward to seeing these guys play at home.

TXBRONC
09-09-2007, 06:04 PM
Very well done Mntman, but there is one huge glaring omission I can't believe you missed in your article. :D Jay Cutler also for over 300 yards for first time in his career.

Broncos Mtnman
09-09-2007, 06:46 PM
Very well done Mntman, but there is one huge glaring omission I can't believe you missed in your article. :D Jay Cutler also for over 300 yards for first time in his career.

Hey, I'm like FOX...

.... Fair and Balanced. :laugh:

Good catch on your part though. And it won't be the last time he gets that many.

Joel
09-09-2007, 06:48 PM
Dumervil had a pass defense, a sack and intercepted a pass knocked down at the line, in addition to a few tackles on Lynch. Our run D still looks suspect to me; we look to have had a generally good game against a talented rookie playing behind a poor line, but the 20+ yard TD on 3rd and 11 could've cost us the game, and on the replay it looked like the Broncos took turns missing tackles so everyone had a chance to miss at least one. If you can't stop the run you'll never find out how good your pass D is. I wish the rest of our STs was as good as Mike Leach; on our last punt he tackled the returner at the Bills 21 in addition to having snapped the punt, but I guess Buffalo put two blockers on him on the TD return.

I still wanna start next years draft with a MLB and NT, though I can't decide which I'd do first (but leaning toward the latter; I don't want Adams to retire and leave McKinley and Thomas our best tackles.... )

Broncos Mtnman
09-09-2007, 06:51 PM
Great report Mtnman.

Unfortunately Dolts and Faiders are mounting a comeback at the moment, but even so, a good start to the season.

I look forward to seeing these guys play at home.

Well, Detroit went on to kill the Faiders, but the Bears decided to have Christmas in Sept. this year.

Their present?

They gave the game to the Dolts with turnovers.

Still, I think we are seeing what will be the trend in SD, when the Bears shut out the "Super Chargers" offense in the first half.

Give Norv another couple of weeks and he'll have SD playing like the Faiders in no time.

So, the final standings after week 1...

SD and Denver 1-0
Oakland and KC 0-1

I'll take it. :beer:

Jaded
09-09-2007, 07:03 PM
Dumervil had a pass defense, a sack and intercepted a pass knocked down at the line, in addition to a few tackles on Lynch. Our run D still looks suspect to me; we look to have had a generally good game against a talented rookie playing behind a poor line, but the 20+ yard TD on 3rd and 11 could've cost us the game, and on the replay it looked like the Broncos took turns missing tackles so everyone had a chance to miss at least one. If you can't stop the run you'll never find out how good your pass D is. I wish the rest of our STs was as good as Mike Leach; on our last punt he tackled the returner at the Bills 21 in addition to having snapped the punt, but I guess Buffalo put two blockers on him on the TD return.

I still wanna start next years draft with a MLB and NT, though I can't decide which I'd do first (but leaning toward the latter; I don't want Adams to retire and leave McKinley and Thomas our best tackles.... )


Dumervil had a hell of a game! But defensive line is still the achilles heel of this team.

One thing I think we have to get used to is the draw play....With the DE's leaving so much room to run in their haste to get to the passer, teams will feast on the draw until Denver proves they can stop it.

Btw, DJ was much improved, imo...

Crush05
09-09-2007, 11:14 PM
Hey, I'm like FOX...

.... Fair and Balanced. :laugh:

Good catch on your part though. And it won't be the last time he gets that many.

You fair and balanced????;) J/k man! Great thoughts on your end and well explained as usuall!!!! Maybe the Broncos or 850 KOA should have you replace Dave Logan!!!!:beer:

KCL
09-09-2007, 11:36 PM
Cutler threw for over 300 yards? Man that is great!!!!

I didnt see the game...I was stuck watching the Chiefs lose....:rant:

Maybe I will become a Bronco fan now!






































Nah-I could never do that! Good for you guys tho!

Watchthemiddle
09-09-2007, 11:42 PM
Nice post and I agree.

I am glad you mentioned Shanahan and the play calling. I thought it was outstanding. More creative then we have seen in years. It just wasn't always executed well.

I think we have a good 3 headed monster at WR. The more they all work with Jay, and with the way Travis is running the ball this could really take off...and take off fast.

I was overly impressed by the defense when they needed to make a stop. Tackling was an issue, but they seemed to follow it up with a much needed stop. Only giving up 7 points was nice to see considering so many people where down on them during the pre-season.

omac
09-09-2007, 11:49 PM
Excellent breakdowns, broncos_mtnman! :salute:

This game might be a microcosm of how our season will be; Cutler, with his growing pains, making mistakes, but also making great plays. The new defense looking bad, then making big stops.

Despite their mistakes, I liked how the offense looked; we got production out of Henry, Sapp, and Cutler on the runs, and Walker, Stokley, Marshall, and Graham on the pass. Even Young contributed on a headdy play. 299 yards passing and 179 yards rushing, the only thing lacking were a bunch of TD's that are usually linked with those numbers. Talk about a balanced attack. :rockon: And Elam and the FG unit making that literal last second kick, was there really any doubt? :laugh:

On a side note, I don't think the Bills took the yardage penalty caused by Young swatting the ball out of bounds, so that Denver would have one less down to work with.

Broncos Mtnman
09-09-2007, 11:59 PM
Nice post and I agree.

I am glad you mentioned Shanahan and the play calling. I thought it was outstanding. More creative then we have seen in years. It just wasn't always executed well.

It's going to be fun seeing Shanny get creative again.


I think we have a good 3 headed monster at WR. The more they all work with Jay, and with the way Travis is running the ball this could really take off...and take off fast.

Even with the mistakes, the "monster" created a 300 yard passer, 100 yard receiver and 100 yard running back.

Even with a few mistakes, you'll win a alot of games when you accomplish that feat.


I was overly impressed by the defense when they needed to make a stop. Tackling was an issue, but they seemed to follow it up with a much needed stop. Only giving up 7 points was nice to see considering so many people where down on them during the pre-season.

Agreed. As I mentioned, it seemed like they settled down after that first drive.

broncosfanscott
09-10-2007, 01:57 AM
The one thing I was glad to see was the time of possession arrow in our favor. Good to see the offense on the field more giving the defense some rest instead of being on the field and getting winded near the end of the game.

Finally a road win to start the season. Now lets get those Raiders.

4th qtr combacks for Cutler: 1.....and counting.

Joel
09-10-2007, 02:29 AM
Dumervil had a hell of a game! But defensive line is still the achilles heel of this team.

One thing I think we have to get used to is the draw play....With the DE's leaving so much room to run in their haste to get to the passer, teams will feast on the draw until Denver proves they can stop it.

Btw, DJ was much improved, imo...
I hope you're right about D.J., but even so, that's still only going to be one legit starting MLB, and I think every team needs two, just like they need two QBs, and for many of the same reasons.

I agree with you about the line, but the thing I think a lot of people miss is there's more to the line than just the ends, and in terms of run stopping for Bates that seems especially true by all accounts. Everything I've read on Bates' Ds, Green Bay, Miami or wherever, states that the ends main duty is "get to the passer"; the DTs focus almost entirely on stuffing the run in the middle and the LBs force the outside run back inside to the DTs. Obviously the ends have to be able to play the run at least a little, but even more obviously in that scenario the DTs MUST STUFF THE RUN. If they don't teams will run up the gut all day, and even when they don't, even when a LB succeeds in forcing the run back inside, the DTs will get run over again. That's before we even consider that on any given pass play there's one guy throwing, 2-5 guys catching and a minimum of five guys blocking (and sometimes six or seven). If the DTs can't penetrate or draw double teams the ends can get around the offensive tackles all day and the QB just steps up into a comfortable pocket, then throws a strike. A NT and a MLB on Day One of the '08 Draft; that's my "Please, please, please, Shanny".

Retired_Member_001
09-10-2007, 06:35 AM
Great first article Mtnman.

I agree mostly apart from your comment about Cutler, he made one Plummer like throw (the last INT) but most of the other throws that were bad were because he was rushed by poor pass blocking. (See my new article)

The tackling and Special teams play can be fixed I think. Simeon Rice needs to show Ian Gold how to tackle ;), we just need to spend alot of time practicing tackling. I think we are also going to HAVE to put some of our better players on Special Teams ( I saw Champ in there) and we also need to play Quincy Morgan as the KR/PR. If we do that then all we have to do is fix the offensive line and I think we have a good team, of course I don't know how we are going to fix the offensive line at this stage.

BroncoSexyDaddy
09-12-2007, 08:13 PM
Good breakdown Mtn Man :salute:


Those miss tackles are really starting to irk me :mad:

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