View Full Version : Winning Ugly Is STILL Winning

Broncos Mtnman
09-22-2008, 02:01 AM
For the second week in a row, the Denver Broncos would take a big lead against the opposition only to see it evaporate - For the second week in a row, it would take a little luck to put the game away - And for the second week in a row, the Broncos would win a game they could have easily lost.

I call it winning ugly.

It's ugly when your defense gives up over 500 yards in total offense. It's ugly when your star QB is off-target to wide open receivers. It's ugly when he throws a pick that results in seven points to the Saints. It's ugly when your defense comes up with an impressive goal line stand, only to have your offense give up a safety on a poorly called run play. It's ugly when your punter, with only 23 seconds on the clock, gives the Saints good enough field position that they are able to attempt a field goal just before the half (fortunately, they missed).

There were some other ugly moments, which I will cover below, but I think you get the idea. In the words of Jay Cutler after the game, the Broncos left too many plays on the field.

This week's highs and lows....

HIGHS :2thumbs:

1 - Brandon Marshall. Even though he dropped a perfect pass at the goal line that could have been his second TD, he still hauled in 6 receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown. Despite the fact that he missed the first game of the season, he is the NFL's leading receiver in receptions (24) and yards (321). I know it's only week three, but Baby TO is on pace for nearly 2000 receiving yards for the season. By the way, Jerry Rice holds the single season record with 1848 yards.

2 - Offensive line. I think we can officially say that this line is the real deal. For the third game in a row, they kept the opposition from sacking Mr. Cutler (don't forget that last week's sack was a result of the Hochuli call). Like the Allstate insurance commercial says, Jay is in "good hands" with these guys.

3 - Third Down. 6 for 10 on converting third downs. I'll take 60% in this catagory any day of the week.

4 - Michael Pittman. The "P" in Pittman stand for "Points." When it's a goal-to-go situation, Mr. Pittman has shown to be money. Considering that there were those who thought he wasn't even going to make the team, he's become the "go-to" guy in short yardage situations. His touchdown in today's game is his fourth of the season.

5 - Matt Prater. He went 2 for 2 in field goals. Doesn't sound like much (although I bet Grammatica would have taken it today), but with his successful kicks, Mr. Prater is a perfect 5 for 5 so far. More important however is that he had 4 of 5 kickoffs reach the endzone, with 3 of them going for touchbacks.

6 - DJ Williams and Nate Webster. In a game where the defense would give up over 500 yards, these two guys came up with game changing plays when it was really needed. Nate Webster would have a fumble recovery for a touchdown, but perhaps his biggest play of the game came when he stopped the Saints on 4th and goal inside the one-yard line. DJ, who led the team in tackles with 14 solo and 2 assisted, came through in the Saints final drive. With the Saints in time-killing mode as they try to win the game with a last second field goal, DJ would take down Pierce Thomas for a 1 yard loss, forcing the Saints to attempt a field goal that went wide right, cementing the win.

7 - Goal-to-go offense. A weakness in seasons past has become one of this year's strengths. The offense went 2/3 in this game, with the only failure being Tony Scheffler's fumble late in the game. The 2 successful situations were both touchdowns.

8 - Jeremy Bates. Mike Shanahan revealed this past week that he has turned the offensive playcalling over to the quarterback coach. Through the first three games, his coaching has produced an offense that's averaging 38 points and over 400 yards a game. They are on a pace that exceeds that of the record set by the New England Patriots last season.

LOWS :2thumbsdown:

1 - The defense. Well, this one was obvious, wasn't it? Particularly ineffective for the second week in a row was the pass defense. With the big leads the Broncos are getting early, passing yards will be high, but this defense has been giving up HUGE plays like candy at Halloween. For the second week in a row, they would surrender over 30 points and would allow the opposing quarterback to pass for over 300 yards (421 in this game). After three weeks, the pass defense is dead last, surrendering an average of 315 yards per game.

2 - Turnovers. An interception that the Saints turned into a touchdown, along with a fumble inside the 10 yard line on a game clinching drive (which gave the Saints a chance to win the game) were very costly. For the second week in a row, the Broncos would fumble late in the game (last week's fumble was the infamous "incomplete pass" play), nearly costing them the game. These young players need to learn how to put it away when given the chance.

3 - Defensive line. In the Superman comics, there is a place called "bizarro world" where everything is the opposite of the real world. This describes the Broncos defensive line to a tee. In the real world, the Broncos offensive line is dominating the line of scrimmage. In "bizarro world," the Broncos defensive line doesn't. As good as the offensive line has been, the defensive line has been as bad. The front four has failed for three games to provide any consistent pressure on the opposition. In today's game, the Broncos used several three man fronts, which only added to the inability to pressure Drew Brees.

4 - Denver offense. OK, before you think I had too much to drink at the game, hear me out. There was a point in the game where the Saints had nearly twice as many offensive plays as the Broncos. It's great to be able to strike quick (ala the big pass play to Brandon Marshall), but the offense needs to be able to kill some time when they are ahead in the game. The running game still hasn't found it's rhythm yet, and it shows when the team is trying to consume some time.

5 - Bob Slowick. I know he brought a new philosophy to the defense this season, but it's been ineffective so far. He is playing too soft when the team gets these big leads. When your offense gives you big leads, that's the time to put the pedal to the medal, not the time to sit back and let them pick you apart.

There's alot of room for concern for Broncos fans, but the bottom line is that they are 3 games ahead of the Chiefs, 2 games ahead of the Raiders, and will hold at least a two game lead on the Chargers (pending their game tomorrow night).

It's called winning ugly, but the key word here is WINNING.

09-22-2008, 02:31 AM
Great article, broncos_mtnman! :salute:

I'll take ugly wins all the way to the superbowl. :D

09-22-2008, 03:14 AM
Good article. A win is a win is a win is a win. I would take an ugly win anyday over a pretty loss. The Saints and Chargers lost "pretty". Huge numbers huge points, but got the L.

Wins are hard to come by in the NFL and I don't think we can be picky on how we win, just be happy that we won. Sure there is a lot of room for improvement and from what we have seen out of the defense, none of us should be surprised. Just be thankful that the offense is the most high powered offense in the NFL.

09-22-2008, 05:52 AM
3-0. That's what matters to me!

It was ugly, stressful, nauseating etc etc, but we still have the W.

Now, who is sending their Grandma down there to slap Slowik and the D with her handbag?

09-22-2008, 08:14 AM
On the plus side...Thigpen next week. But if he throws 300+ on us...:viking:

Medford Bronco
09-22-2008, 08:19 AM
On the plus side...Thigpen next week. But if he throws 300+ on us...:viking:

They only way Yancy throws for 300 on us if he plays us in Playstation and makes up a fictious player with the attributes of Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.

Then we will all have to drink :wine:

Medford Bronco
09-22-2008, 08:21 AM
Good Article Mtn Man as usual

I hope the D gets straightend out though. At least be middle of the pack or it will be a quick run to the playoffs if we even get there.

09-22-2008, 01:25 PM
The problem with winning ugly is that it can quickly become LOSING ugly. No favorable ref call to give you the ball back after a fumble. The opposing kicker doesn't shank 2 FGs to let you off the hook.

The opposing coach isn't stupid enough to go for it on 4th and goal, and then try to run the ball, when he's been passing up and down the field all day on the Broncos d.

At some point they're not going to be that lucky. And unless this D. improves they will lose.