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View Full Version : Give This One To The Defense...... Finally



Broncos Mtnman
10-06-2008, 01:44 AM
In September, Jay Cutler earned a well deserved Offensive Player Of The Month award for his performance as quarterback of the #1 ranked offense in the NFL. His stellar play would be vital to leading the team to a division leading 3-1 record. It would also be necessary to overcome a league worst 32nd ranked defense.

For their first game in October, the league's best offense would have to face one of the league's toughest defenses. A defense that would come into to Denver ranked #1 in touchdowns allowed in the first month of the 2008 season.

After a disappointing loss last week, a game that would see the Broncos explosive offense score a dismal 19 points, as well as see the defense give up 33 points to a Kansas City Chiefs team that is one of worst offenses in the NFL, it looked like today's game could easily turn into another loss for the orange and blue, particularly when you consider that the Broncos would only score 16 points.

Sounds like a prescription for another disappointing loss, doesn't it? However, today's game would change expectations in Broncos Country, and it would do so in a way that would bring back memories of the Orange Crush days of the 1970's. Well, not quite, but it did give Broncos fans a little something to get excited about.

And what is that little something?


:defense: D-E-F-E-N-S-E :defense:

Yeah sure, the Buccaneers offense was led by former Broncos "quarterback of the future," Brian Griese, but the Bucs are a team that have a great running back in Ernest Graham, and Mr. Griese had led the Pewter and Black to a 3-0 record in his three starts this year, so to make less of the the team's defensive play wouldn't be fair. Let's also not forget that this Bucs team scored 27 points and tallied an impressive 454 total yards against the Chicago Bears last week. I don't think anyone would confuse the Broncos defense with the Bears, so let's give credit where credit is due.

Today's highs and lows....


HIGHS :2thumbs:

1 - Jay Cutler. His stats weren't in the stratosphere, but he played error-free football. After last week's performance, where he threw two picks by trying to force his passes to players who weren't open, Jay took what the defense gave him this week. The result was a workman-like 23 of 34 for 227 yards, 1 touchdown and ZERO interceptions.

2 - Offensive line. I may just have to give these guys a permanent spot on this list. Another game with no sacks. The short-passing game helped alot in this case, but Jay's uniform was spotless, except for the grass stains he got on his run plays. The health of Mr. Cutler is vital to any hopes this team has for making the playoffs. These guys are doing their part.

3 - Matt Prater. He's a perfect 4-for-4 this season in field goals over 50 yards (one shy of the Broncos single-season record), making a 55 yard kick that would have been good from 70 yards. He also had 4 of his 5 kickoffs go for touchbacks, something that helps the defense in the battle for field position.

The quote of the day comes from Jon Gruden regarding Matt Prater: "Honest to God, why work on your kickoff return when you come here?" Bucs coach Jon Gruden said. "That guy was unbelievable."

4 - Defense. There was ALOT to be happy about with today's performance by the beleaguered Broncos defense. The defensive line provided pressure on Griese and Garcia all day long, tallying three sacks and an interception. They would keep the Bucs offense to just 307 total yards, their best performance since week one against the Raiders. They would also hold them to a mere 6 points for nearly 58 minutes. Team tackling was noticeably improved as well.

5 - Tony Scheffler and Brandon Stokley. In a game where the opposition was committed to shutting down the team's leading receiver (Brandon Marshall - 3 receptions for 25 yards) and the Broncos would have their number two receiver (Eddie Royal) get injured, these guys came up big. Their tally for the game would come to 10 receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown. Depending on the severity of the injury to Royal (ankle sprain), these guys could be relied on heavily in future games where Marshall gets taken out.

6 - Goal-to-go offense. It only happened one time, but the object of goal-to-go is to score touchdowns. The Broncos did just that today.


LOWS :2thumbsdown:

1 - Fumble after the interception. Marcus Thomas' interception of Jeff Garcia in the fourth quarter would have given the ball to the offense on the Tampa Bay 20 yard line. At the time, the Broncos were up 16-6. Even a simple field goal in this situation would have put the Broncos up by enough to pretty much sew up the game. Opportunities like this don't happen often. Good teams take advantage when it does.

2 - Brett Kern. Once again, he would punt the ball out-of-bounds unintentionally, giving the Bucs very good field position (42 yard punt out-of-bounds at the Bucs 30 yard line). I'm becoming a bit concerned about this. Considering there was a competition, I'm beginning to wonder how he won the job.

3 - Rushing offense. I'm still concerned about the running game. As good as the offensive line is in pass protection, could it be that they are struggling with their run blocking? In addition, I know that Torain is supposed to be the second coming of Terrell Davis, but where's the depth until he gets here? For the record, the Broncos short yardage running back (Pittman) was the leading rusher in this game with 6 rushes for 39 yards. That's one yard more than Selvin Young gained on 10 rushes. In a game where the opposing defense is forcing you to play "small ball," you should have seen a better rushing attack.


After a week where the Charger and the Chiefs (I still can't believe they won last week) would lose their games, today's win gave the Broncos a big advantage early. They now have a 2 game lead against the Bolts (with the first tiebreaker currently in their favor) and 3 games against the Chiefs. The Raiders had a bye this week, but lost .5 game with the Broncos win.

Next up? The Jacksonville Jaguars. The Broncos need to remember what they did against them last year (a 23-14 loss that wasn't as close as the score would indicate). If they take care of business, they should have some good momentum going into the big game against the Patriots the week after.

With the injuries the offense got hit with this week, they will need another performance by the defense like the one we saw this week against the Bucs.

Can they repeat? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure, this week's win goes to the defense.....




..... finally.


BMM

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10-06-2008, 02:58 AM
A very entertaining, insightful essay, as usual.

Regarding the running game, did it seem better when Pittman was on the field
or not? He seems to have better football speed than advertised, and I was
impressed with his quickness. And he hits like a mortar shell . . . he runs over
people, and he moves piles. He can block, and he's terrific as a receiver out
of the backfield.

It just increasingly seems to me that he should be the workhorse back, and
Young and Hall the change-of-pace. Does that make any sense?

-----

NightTrainLayne
10-06-2008, 10:09 AM
A very entertaining, insightful essay, as usual.

Regarding the running game, did it seem better when Pittman was on the field
or not? He seems to have better football speed than advertised, and I was
impressed with his quickness. And he hits like a mortar shell . . . he runs over
people, and he moves piles. He can block, and he's terrific as a receiver out
of the backfield.

It just increasingly seems to me that he should be the workhorse back, and
Young and Hall the change-of-pace. Does that make any sense?

-----

I said something similar last week, and this week's performance reinforced that notion.

I doubt that Pittman can be a work-horse back, but we're already doing the RB by committee with Yound and Hall. I think we should let Pittman have some of those 1st & 10 carries.

I'm convinced that he hits so hard, that some of Young's 2-yard carries would be 4-5 yard carries, giving us 2nd & 6 instead of 2nd & 8. Only two yards, but it does open the playbook some more.

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