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Denver Broncos at the Quarter Pole

By Dave Bruning

The Denver Broncos are 2-2 through their first four games. Many of the common themes I outlined in my season preview and two week review continue to be prevalent. These themes include stellar play by Kyle Orton and the Broncos’ receivers, a slow return to health for the Denver offensive line, a virtual inability to run the football and continued poor play from the special teams unit. Let’s quickly review Denver’s last two games.

Orton and the Denver offense moved the ball at will against the Indianapolis Colts. The Denver QB threw for a career high 476 yards and led one drive after another into the red zone. Sadly, zero touchdowns and only 2 field goals were scored on those drives and the Broncos lost 27-13. Crafty veteran Peyton Manning torched Denver’s secondary, which was missing Andre Goodman. Rookie Perrish Cox was thrown into the fire and repeatedly burned by Manning and Austin Collie. The rook had a tough game, but I see nice potential in his ability. Cornerbacks need short-term memory and hopefully Cox let this game go quickly.

Denver’s inability to run the football could easily be fixed if the other Peyton, Hillis that is, were still wearing a Bronco uniform. The former Bronco has scored 4 touchdowns for the Cleveland Browns and taken over as Cleveland’s featured running back. It goes without saying a tandem of Hillis and Knowshon Moreno would give Denver much needed offensive balance. The trade of Hillis for Brady Quinn did not create many headlines, but clearly appears to be a bad decision by head coach Josh McDaniels.

Game 4 saw Denver travel to Tennessee for a matchup with Chris Johnson and Vince Young. Once again, Orton had a fantastic passing day, the receivers were superb yet again and the Broncos had no running game. Denver totaled 19 yards on 20 carries – no misprint, no exaggeration. The defense deserves some nice credit here, holding stud runner Johnson to 53 yards on 19 carries and even overcoming a kickoff return for a touchdown. It is a minor miracle Denver emerged with a 26-20 victory.

The second quarter of Denver’s schedule features difficult matchups at Baltimore and home to the New York Jets. Also on tap is a visit from the Oakland Raiders and a trip to San Francisco before the Broncos get their bye. 5-3 is possible, 4-4 more likely. Denver needs to find a running game. Sadly, it appears they gave theirs away.

1 comment:

  1. I think they shoud put in Brady Quinn at H-Back and see what he can do. If he averages better than 2.5 a carry he's our running back, if not mail him back to Cleveland (with the reciept of course) and demand a refund. I think McD is the only guy on the planet that thought getting rid of a hard running "north-south" type guy was a good idea. Good for Hillis, he's just proving what he already proved at invesco....he's a hard guy to bring down, that is if you're not a thirty-something coach with a shitload of ego.