Why Broncos Fans Should Be Very Confident Going Forward
For much of the first half against the Falcons on Monday night, Denver's offense looked lost and confused. Every call seemed to be going against them and the football gods gave them no lucky breaks. At times, it seemed as if Broncos didn't even want the ball.
After the abysmal game, Broncos fans everywhere had a knee-jerk response to the loss. The Broncos have even fallen out of the top ten in many power rankings. While San Diego fans sit atop the AFC West for now, gloating and laughing at Denver following last nights loss, I'll tell you why the Chargers—and the rest of the NFL—should be shaking in their collective boots. Broncos fans should be very encouraged going forward.
The Orange Crush Is Baaaack!
Denver's defense was lights out last night, especially given the situation they found themselves in. Despite four first quarter turnovers—an NFL high since 2002—the defense only surrendered 10 points. Due to repeated three and outs from the offense, the defense would end up surrendering 17 more points, but shut Atlanta out in the fourth quarter, including forcing back to back three and outs of their own.
The run defense really shone last night. Every time Turner carried the ball he was swarmed by white jerseys for little or no gain. The secondary completely eliminated Julio Jones until the very end.
As this unit continues to grow under Del Rio, NFL teams will come to fear the orange crush yet again.
Op-Thomas Prime Is Quickly Becoming the Next Reggie Wayne
Demaryius Thomas is quickly becoming Manning's go-to guy. The touchdown grab he had at the end of the first half was a thing of beauty. At 6'3, 236, Thomas is an absolute nightmare match-up for defensive coordinators.
As Decker emerges in a similar role to Brandon Stokley in his prime, Thomas will become Manning's Reggie Wayne.
Willis McGahee Is Still a Boss
There was a point last night when it seemed that the only way Denver could pick up a first down was if they ran the football. McGahee did get stuffed a few times, but he also broke off some nice runs. On a day when the passing offense is rolling, McGahee will have space to tear it up even more.
Peyton's Arm Strength Should Not Be Questioned Anymore
Yes, there where points last night where Manning looked, well...terrible. I'll give you that. But there were also a couple of throws that made my jaw drop last night.
One was a pick that sailed over Stokely's head and the other was a huge drop by Eric Decker in the fourth quarter. Those two throws, though they were, in the grand scheme of things ineffective, showed me that if Manning has to gun the ball, he still can. That should be very comforting for the Broncos faithful.
The Broncos Were a Brock Osweiler Hail Mary Away from Winning
No, that's not a typo, and it should not discredit the last slide, but we'll get to that in a minute. In spite of everything that went wrong last night, the turnovers, the terrible calls, the home crowd and the unlucky breaks, Denver found itself right in the game at the very end against a really good Falcons team. And that should scare the hell out of everyone in the NFL.
Denver had every excuse for chalking this one up as an "L" and yet every single Falcons fan was holding their breath for the last two minutes. It's only the second week of the season. This team will continue to gel and improve. The fact that they were right in the thick of things at the end last night should have Broncos fans saving up for playoff tickets.
Now, about Brock. Had the Broncos gotten the ball back last night, they would have had some serious ground to make up. Brock Osweiler can comfortably throw a ball in the air 80 yards, and that is something that Peyton Manning could never do, even in his prime. So it makes sense that Brock would have been the one to go out and throw it as far as he could at the end of the game.