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Broncos Mtnman
09-15-2008, 12:06 AM
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

This introduction to the classic "Tale Of Two Cities" is the perfect description of today's game between the Broncos and the hated Chargers because we were clearly looking at a "tale of two teams."

It was the best of times in the first half when the Broncos outplayed the Chargers and took a 31-17 lead into the locker room at half time. It was the worst of times in the second half when the game almost got away after the Chargers outscored the Broncos 21-8.

It was the best of times when Jay Cutler threw for three touchdowns in the first half. It was the worst of times when he threw his first interception of the season late in the second half in the end zone, allowing the Chargers to take a seven point lead late in the game.

It was the best of times when the Broncos defense held the Chargers to 10 first half points. It was the worst of times when they gave up 21 points in the second half.

It was indeed, a tale of TWO teams. But, it was also a tale of TOO teams.....

It was a game that had TOO many breakdowns in special teams, yielding 212 return yards, including a 103 kickoff return for a touchdown.

It was a game that gave up TOO many big plays by the defense, including a 66 yard TD scramble from a dump off pass to Chargers running back Sproles that should have been a short gain.

It was a game that had TOO little pressure on Phillip Rivers which gave him TOO much time to make his passing decisions. He picked apart a Broncos secondary who were outplayed TOO often.

And yet, in the end it would be be a tale of another set of TWOs that would decide the game.

In an apparent fumble by Jay Cutler on a second and goal play, he would get a second chance (that's TWO chances) when the play was blown dead by the referee when he ruled Jay's pass incomplete. After a second look (there's that TWO thing again) the replay officials would rule that he had indeed fumbled the ball, but because the whistle had blown the play dead, the replay rules only allowed for the ball to go to the offense at the spot of the fumble.

TWO plays later, Jay would throw a TD pass to Eddie Royal, setting up an opportunity to tie the game with the PAT. However, with the game on the line, Mike Shanahan threw caution to the wind and went for TWO, giving the Broncos the lead with 24 seconds left in the game. With no timeouts left, the Chargers would fail to get the ball in field goal range resulting in the Broncos win.

So, after TWO games, the Broncos came away from this contest TWO and Oh. TOO cool, huh?

This week's highs and lows.....


HIGHS :2thumbs:

1 - Jay Cutler. I think it might be safe to say that as Jay goes, so will go the Broncos. After seeing the Broncos lead disappear thanks to his first INT of the season, he took the ball 80 yards for the game winning TD and successful two point conversion. Jay has clearly demonstrated that he is the leader of this team and has the ability to carry them on his back.

50 att / 36 comp (tied a team record) / 350 yards / 4 TDs / 1 INT / 109.58 passer rating

2 - Brandon Marshall. He set a team record for receptions in a game (18) for 166 yards and a TD. His favorite ringtone is "Bringing Sexy Back" by Justin Timberlake. It's more than a ringtone after today's game.

3 - Eddie Royal. "Casino" came through on the fourth and goal play for the TD and 2 point conversion that won the game. Talk about CLUTCH.

4 - Tony Scheffler. Jay's second favorite target came through with 6 catches for 64 yards and 2 TDs.

5 - Offensive line. Continuing a trend started in the preseason, the offensive line gave Jay lots of time and protection, surrendering only one sack (the first of the season).

6 - Red Zone and Goal-to-go. One of the weaknesses from last season seem to be fixed. For the second game in a row, the Broncos would score a TD in every goal-to-go opportunity, going 4 of 4. They were 5 of 6 in Red Zone efficiency (the only failure being Jay's INT mentioned above) with every score being a TD.


LOWS :2thumbsdown:

1 - Special teams. Even though Prater would reach the end zone 6 out of 7 times, only one would result in a touchback. The rest would yield 212 return yards.

2 - Defense. After a decent first half, the defense would totally collapse in the second half, giving up one big play after another and nearly allowing the Chargers to win the game. They would surrender 456 total yards and a pathetic 8.8 yards per play. There were many weaknesses....

3 - Pass rush. There simply isn't one, at least not on a consistent basis. Phillip Rivers had all the protection he needed to pick apart a struggling secondary.

4 - Secondary. Karl Paymah and Dre Bly displayed some of the worst secondary play I have seen in awhile. If the defensive line isn't able to get it's act together and start pressuring the the QB, these guys will be treated like unwanted step-children.

5 - Rush defense. Yeah, I know it looks like they did a good job in this category (surrendering only 80 rushing yards), but that is a very misleading stat in a game where the Chargers were behind early and would throw for 377 yards. The defense would give up nearly 4.5 yards per carry. When you consider the totals surrendered last week against the Raiders, it appears there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in this area.


In the end, the Broncos have a nice TWO game lead against last year's division winners. When you consider the head-to-head tie breaker, it actually equates to a three game lead.

With Drew Brees and the Saints coming to town next week, we could see another high scoring affair like this one, but this team has the chance to go 3-0 after that game.

If you had offered me odds before the season started on a bet that this team would go 3-0 this year, I would probably have taken that bet, but that's a bet I am more than TOO happy to lose.

omac
09-15-2008, 05:28 AM
Very, very entertaining read, broncos_mtnman! :2thumbs:

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