Although many people don't put much stock into the preseason because it doesn't count, there is a lot you can learn about your favorite team during this time. Rookies can have a standout game and secure a roster spot or small injuries can impact the big picture. Preseason may not feature the star players as much as the regular season, but there's still plenty to learn.
1. Peyton Manning is Making Un-Manning-Like Mistakes...
In the first two preseason games, Manning has thrown three interceptions, two of which were at the goal line. The timing has been off with receivers Brandon Stokley, Eric Decker and Jacob Tamme. The off-timing is partially to blame for the interceptions.
2. ...but Still Reading Defense Well
Despite sitting out a year, it looks like Manning kept up with his reading of the defensive playbook. In the first two preseason games, Manning read the field well and gets the ball off quickly. He completed 20-of-30 passes for 221 yards Saturday night against Seattle.
3. The Offense Moves Down the Field Faster Under Manning
After last year's frustrations with the Tebow offense, it's refreshing to hear audibles called and see the offense move down the field consistently. There was one drive in particular Saturday night where Manning moved the offense to the Seattle10-yard line in a little over two minutes.
4. Silly Penalties Need to Stop
The drive mentioned above came to a screeching halt because of a dumb unnecessary roughness penalty. J.D. Walton was assessed a 15-yard penalty after pushing Seattle's Alan Branch. Frustrations need to be kept under wraps to keep from slowing down or blowing great drives.
5. Linebacker Position Is a Huge Question Mark
After losing DJ Williams for at least six weeks due to suspension and Keith Brooking to a hamstring injury, the Broncos are left with no solid weak-side linebacker. Coach Fox said he was happy with the progress of Nate Irving, so maybe he will be the solution until Williams or Brooking is back.
6. Brock Osweiler Was Worth the Draft Pick
7. Turnovers Are a Problem
So far this preseason, the Broncos have more turnovers (four) than scoring drives (two). This is a huge problem that needs to be solved quickly.
8. Team Chemistry Could Be Better
The timing issues and turnovers could be solved with better communication and chemistry. I by no means am suggesting team-building activities, but spending more time off the field together could translate to better productivity on the field.
9. Adam Weber Is Better Than A Fourth-String QB
I've said in past articles that Weber deserves a chance and shouldn't be listed as the fourth-string quarterback. Although he hasn't seen any playing time in a Broncos uniform, he had nearly 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns in college. Given the chance, he could impress Coach Fox and John Elway.
10. Injuries Are Cutting into the Depth Chart
The Broncos lost four more players in the Seattle game due to injury. Linebackers Mike Mohamed and Nate Irving both left the game with injuries, leaving a concern at the position. Wide receiver Andre Caldwell and cornerback Joshua Moore also left the game. These men join the list of injuries acquired during training camp. The Broncos need to get healthy quickly before the regular season begins.
11. Rookie Derek Wolfe Is a Big Hit
Wolfe had two sacks and a tackle for a loss in the game against Chicago. This came after impressing coaches and staff during training camp. The rookie is excited and prepared to earn his spot on the final roster.
12. The Defense Needs to Add More Pressure
Von Miller, Champ Bailey and the rest of the defense need to provide better coverage and put more pressure on the quarterback. Allowing 21 unanswered points against Seattle is unacceptable, even if it is preseason.
13. Lance Ball Shows Promise
Despite fumbling a Manning pass, Ball had good stats against Seattle. Ball is trying to make his mark in a crowded running back depth chart. Ball finished with four receptions and was the leading receiver.
14. David Bruton Made His Presence Known
Bruton has been in the NFL for three years and has never had a game like he did Saturday versus Seattle. Bruton got his hand on two punts and had two tackles on special teams. This type of added pressure is what is needed on special teams. Hopefully this preseason momentum continues to the regular season.
15. Knowshon Moreno Shouldn't Make the Final Roster
The competition at running back is intense and it seems Moreno is lackadaisical about his role. Moreno is very talented, but he has a bad attitude and can't seem to stay healthy. Lance Ball and Willis McGahee are already making strong cases for a starting position and Moreno needs to be worried if he plans on making the team.