Reid Fischer's World of Rants

Looking at the sports world through orange colored glasses

Broncos’ Defense Strikes Again

Posted by mizzou1028 on September 28, 2009

Broncos Raiders Football In a lot of ways the Broncos game in Oakland today was a carbon copy of the one they played last week against Cleveland.  The Broncos played an outstanding defensive game, ran the ball very effectively, won the turnover battle, and ultimately earned a decisive victory against well, a team that should have beaten, beating the pitiful Oakland Raiders 23-3.  I’ll be the first to say that the Broncos once again benefited today from the schedule makers.  The Raiders are not even close to a contending team, so that does temper the kool aid drinking just a tad from those of us here in Broncos country.  However, a good team is supposed to take care of the bad ones, and that is what the Broncos have done so far this season.  (In fact, the opening road win against Cincinnati is suddenly looking very impressive being that the Broncos held them to just seven points).

As with the first two games, you once again need to start with the defense for the Broncos.  They got two more sacks from Elvis Dumervil, who has six so far through the first three games.  They forced three more turnovers, including two interceptions by JaMarcus Russell.  The first interception came early in the game after the Broncos failed on a fourth and goal from the one.  This pick helping swing momentum back to Denver and set up the first score, a touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall (more on him in a moment).  The second interception set up a field goal that made it 10-0.  The third turnover came on a crucial fumble recovery in the third quarter.  The Raiders had just recovered a Correll Buckhalter fumble and were driving for a score that would get them back in the game.  Darren McFadden took a toss right and was sprinting down the sideline for what looked like a score.  Suddenly, D.J. Williams came out of nowhere and leveled McFadden, knocking the ball free.  Brian Dawkins happened to be run out of bounds, but he had the presence of mind to establish both feet in bounds quickly, then pounce on the loose ball along the sideline.  Ultimately the Broncos were plus two in turnovers, and that proved to be very key in the victory.  Besides the turnovers, the Broncos also held the Raiders to just 137 total yards, including a mere 61 passing from Russell.  I don’t care who the opponent is, those defensive numbers are nothing short of terrific.  Consider that the Broncos are allowing a mere 5.3 points per game so far this season.

Offensively, a look at Kyle Orton’s numbers doesn’t indicate anything spectacular (13-23 for 157 yards and touchdown), but he once again managed the game well.  He avoided any interceptions for the third game in a row, and he added another win to his total as a starting quarterback.  He made some key throws at important times, and he continues to show good decision making abilities.  Amazingly, there was also a Brandon Marshall sighting.  The receiver who is now known for his attitude problem caught five balls for 67 yards and the team’s initial touchdown of the game.  Marshall made several good catches today, and for the first time this season actually played like he wanted to be out on the field.  He showed actual fire and it was clear watching him today that he was playing hard and playing to win.  The Broncos will need him to continue to play this way going forward.  This was critical today because Eddie Royal was held to just one catch for four yards and Brandon Stokley was nonexistent.  Ultimately though, the key for the Broncos offense is the running game, and it was again terrific today.  Correll Buckhalter rushed for 108 yards (averaging 7.7 yards per carry) and Knowshon Moreno added 90 yards and his first career touchdown.  This for Moreno despite the fact that he was questionable to even play with a groin injury.  The running game helped the Broncos get a 13 minute edge in time of possession, and that will continue to be a big key for the Broncos as their schedule toughens up in the coming weeks.

Some other observations:

– For the second straight week the Broncos offense left a lot of potential points on the board.  Besides coming up empty on the first drive after a failed fourth and goal, the Broncos twice settled for red zone field goals.  If the offense can start capitalizing on these chances, it could be scary for their opponents.  That being said, the Broncos must shore up this area and quick.

– The Denver offensive line did a great job once again.  The line held Oakland without a sack in addition to leading the way for the rushing attack.

– Jabar Gaffney has quietly been a good acquisition for the Broncos, catching four more passes today for 39 yards.

– I knew the game was being blacked out in Oakland due to a non sellout, but I didn’t expect the sea of empty green seats in the Oakland Alameda Coliseum.  Granted the Raiders haven’t exactly given their fans much of a product to watch, but at this rate it will interesting to see how long the East Bay can even support the Raiders at all.

– JaMarcus Russell is a huge disappointment.  Check that, disappointment isn’t a strong enough word, how about awful.  Right now he’s not even close to being a starting caliber quarterback.  The only reason he is still starting is because the Raiders aren’t about to go to Bruce Gradkowski.

– The schedule definitely gets tougher for the Broncos next week as they host Dallas.  That begins a stretch of five games that will tell us a lot more about this Broncos team.  Until then, they are 3-0, and that is the stat that matters at the moment.

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One Response to “Broncos’ Defense Strikes Again”

  1. bobbygee said

    The Doncos now get into the hard part of their schedule. Raiders stink. The Raiders may win three games this year. http://bobbygee.wordpress.com/

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