Reid Fischer's World of Rants

Looking at the sports world through orange colored glasses

This Actually Feels Possible….

Posted by mizzou1028 on September 22, 2008

The Broncos are 3-0.  They lead the AFC West by two games.  Their offense is a machine, averaging 38 points a game, on pace to break the season scoring record set by New England last year.  Jay Cutler has thrown for 914 yards and 8 touchdowns in three games, while his top target Brandon Marshall, is on pace to break Jerry Rice’s record for receiving yards in a single season.  That even takes into account Marshall missing week one due to suspension.  As he continues to put up huge numbers, the other receiving targets will become even more dangerous.  The Broncos have also shown they can run the ball, even if it’s not the primary mode of attack.  Selvin Young averaged 5.9 yards on 11 carries yesterday, forcing the Saints to respect the run enough that the Broncos’ pass attack could be even more dangerous.  The Broncos offense has been by far the best in the league through the first three weeks of the season, and that alone makes them a real threat to do damage all year, perhaps a season earlier than expected with everyone so young.  For the Broncos to truly go where they want to go though, their defense has got to get better. 

The Broncos blew a 21-3 second quarter lead for the second straight week.  They gave up 502 yards of total offense to the Saints, including 414 through the air by Drew Brees.  They continued to give up big plays in the passing game, including a 74 yard pass to Robert Meachem to set up a Saints score.  They allowed the Saints to convert 8 of 14 third down attempts.  The fact they gave up 30 points for the second straight game is a red flag as well.  Considering these ominous signs on the defensive side of the ball, it’s easy to forget the Broncos are 3-0, and they have found a way to win these high scoring shootouts.

Consider that the Broncos won yesterday despite not scoring a point in the fourth quarter.  Yes, the defense gave up huge numbers but they did make plays when they needed to.  The defense scored a second quarter touchdown on a Nate Webster fumble return TD.  They came up with a stop on fourth and goal at the end of the first half.  They came up with a critical pass deflection on a two point conversion try that would have tied the score at 34 with ten minutes to play.  They came up with a stop on 3rd and 1 late to force what ultimately became Martin Gramatica’s missed field goal.  D.J. Williams actually seems to be on his way to a Pro Bowl season, having posted 16 tackles yesterday. 

There does seem to be enough talent on the defensive side of the ball that one can be optimistic improvement will be shown.  Keep in mind with the Broncos offense clicking on all cylinders, the defense doesn’t need to be spectacular, it just needs to be above average.  Or to put it another way, they need to be able to dig deep to come up with a big play when needed.  The Broncos know they have the offense that can score in bunches, particularly with a franchise quarterback and a star receiver leading the way.  They also know they have talent on defense.  The balance of power has shifted in the AFC with the Broncos joining the Titans, Bills and Ravens as the early division leaders.  (If ANYONE had those four teams leading their divisions at any point this season, than I’m Fred Flinstone).  The Broncos know they have a chance to do something special this season, and suddenly their season schedule doesn’t seem so daunting. 

As a side note, I can’t think of any other time in Broncos history where they were a 10 point favorite at Arrowhead Stadium, as they are for Sunday’s game.  Not only that, I’m wondering if it’s worth catching a weekend fare to Vegas, just so I can bet the farm the Broncos will cover, because I know the Broncos will put at least 30 points on the board, and even as suspect as the defense has been, they’ll at least be facing a Chiefs offense that couldn’t put 30 points on the board if 11 random fans were selected out of the stands to play defense.  If the Chiefs offense does in fact light up the Broncos D, than I will officially start to get concerned.

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