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Broncos Two Week Review

By Dave Bruning

The first two weeks of the 2010 regular season have showcased almost all of the strengths and weaknesses of the Denver Broncos. I’m afraid fans of the team had better get used to these types of rollercoaster performances. With that in mind let’s take a look at the good and bad Denver has ponyied up.

Kyle Orton has been extremely efficient through two games. He continues to display a mastery of head coach Josh McDaniels’ complicated offense. Orton exudes confidence and preparation, reads defenses well and rarely makes a poor decision or throw. He probably will not guide the Broncos to a Super Bowl but he clearly gives Denver the best opportunity to win football games.

I was quietly confident in the Broncos’ receiving corp. Through two games, this group has exceeded my expectations, and has been the most impressive part of the football team. Eddie Royal looks reborn as a slot receiver, Jabar Gaffney and Brandon Lloyd are off to nice starts and if rookie DeMaryius Thomas’ debut is a precursor of things to come, Brandon Marshall will not be missed at all. Thomas caught eight passes for 97 yards and a touchdown. He is a physical specimen without the baggage of Marshall. Thomas is the only 1st round pick by McDaniels that I feel has future star potential.

Denver’s running backs have punched their time cards but have not worked much overtime. Knowshon Moreno had a solid game against Seattle yet still worries me with his durability and fumbling. Denver added some depth by trading for Laurence Maroney from the New England Patriots. Maroney needed a fresh start. This trade does not particularly excite me.

The Broncos’ young offensive line is holding its own (no pun intended!). Rookies J.D. Walton and Zane Beedles are learning their craft in the trenches from the get go. Standout left tackle Ryan Clady has looked rusty in his return from knee surgery, but I am not overly concerned. When right tackle Ryan Harris returns Denver’s offensive line should be a solid and cohesive unit.

I am reserving judgment on the defensive side of the football. Denver looked rather pedestrian against Jacksonville; too many penalties and big plays against a Jaguars’ offense that doesn’t evoke memories of Peyton Manning and the Colts. Conversely, the defense created turnovers against Seattle and turned the tide of the football game in the first half. Look for the erratic, yet at times opportunistic play to continue throughout the season.

Special teams coverage makes me sick to my stomach. Continued shoddy play here will certainly cost Denver a game down the road. I do, however, like both their field goal kicker and punter, although the Mile High altitude makes all kickers appear to be special.

Head coach Josh McDaniels has been solid through two games. I like his offensive mindset and game planning. I am ambivalent about his in game adjustments. He hasn’t made any major mistakes, yet I don’t believe he has been forced to make major adjustments to his game plan either.

The first win of the season is as euphoric as the first loss is sobering. 1-1 is not terrible. 2-0 is nicer but no guarantee of success, as 6-0 last year proved. I see some nice qualities in Denver. I want to see more consistency overall and elimination of mistakes. Improvement in these areas will remind the NFL how unpleasant it can be to play an NFL road game in Denver and help re-establish the Broncos as an elite franchise.

1 comment:

  1. Holy Cow. I agree, agree, agree, agree, agree, agree. It's refreshing to see a fan of a team look realistically at what is going on on the field. Orton has been very good, as has the recieving corps. The running backs have been less than average, yeah, they arent getting a ton of carrys, but maybe it's because they are gaining less than 2.8 a touch. "D" who knows, they stink against Jax, solid against Seattle and average against the Colts. Special teams...UGH! Only point of contention is on McD. He makes no adjustments and it seems clear judging by Mike Nolan's "D" in Miami that the no adjustment idea was all McD's. In addition his throw, throw, throw till you get inside the five then run, run, run, doesn't seem to work.