Maybe the heat, lightning and rain was an omen that someone up there doesn't like the Broncos, even if they do have Tim Tebow.
This was one of those games that at times felt the Broncos were in control and could put this game away. Then a fumble, penalties, an INT and some letdowns on both sides of the ball knocked the wind out of the team.
This was an absolute disaster.
When you let third string Kick Returner Tiquan Underwood run around, through and over you all day long, there are major problems. This young man had a career day and may have ended the careers of a few Bronco Special Teams players and a coach or two.
Watching the missed assignments, the missed tackles and at times, the lack of physical play was quite painful.
Britton Colquitt had a few decent punts but didn't do what Adam Podlesh did in the way he pinned the Broncos back inside the 20 time after time.
Why There is Still Hope: One bright spot was seeing Matt Prater blast a 56 year FG that would have been good from 65.
As bad as the Special Teams played today, there is no way for them to go but up. ....Right?
Where oh where is Elvis Dumervil when you need him most? Although there were glimpses of a pass rush at times, it wasn't consistent and never really shook up a fairly immobile David Garrard enough to throw an INT.
And the new look Front Three slowed Maurice Jones-Drew down but didn't shut him down, as he finished with 2 yards short of a 100 yard day.
But the man-mountain AKA Marcedes Lewis (6' 6" 275#) was the dagger in the Denver D's heart as he caught two TDs over the shorter Denver secondary.
Why There is Still Hope: This is a defense that is still learning and figuring out how to mesh as a unit. But they better do it fast as the games are coming at them on a weekly pace.
The Broncos CBs Champ Bailey and Andre Goodman shut out the Jags highly regarded WR Mike Sims-Walker.
And they won't see a TE as big as Lewis again all season. Thank God.
From the last of the first quarter through the third quarter, the Denver offense was efficient, clock-eating and able to move the ball. But like last year and several years previous, they couldn't score. And like last year, it is a game of 4 quarters and a team needs to play well in all 4 quarters.
The offensive line was pretty good but did have some breakdowns at the wrong times. But with two rookies starting and LT Ryan Clady still not 100% from his off-season knee surgery hampered the cohesiveness at times.
An untimely fumble (Buckhalter) an INT (Orton) in the final drive to tie the game and penalties killed what were looking like obvious scoring drives. This won't get it done against teams better than the Jaguars.
Why There is Still Hope: With the the exception of that INT, Kyle Orton showed a grasp of this intricate offense and was throwing the ball with snap and went deep more than he did last year when he was hurt. He also showed some mobility but will never be mistaken for Mr. Elway.
The offensive line, as mentioned above, is a young one and one that is still banged up. When Clady and RT Ryan Harris (Inactive for this game) are fully healthy, I think we will see a different team out there in front of Orton.
I also liked what I saw from the three WRs, Gaffney, Royal and Lloyd. They had good games and I felt they had good chemistry with Orton on most plays. They will continue to get better and make us almost forget about the departed #15. And this doesn't even include getting the rookies Thomas on the field and Decker involved in the passing game.
Two runs for two yards. No passes, no completions.
Why There is Still Hope: He didn't get hurt and he didn't throw an INT. Plus he got to play in front of his hometown fans and probably sold more jerseys then any Jaguar.
Maybe now that he is the 2nd string QB, and has played, some of the hype will die down and let him and the Broncos get back to work on getting ready for the Seahawks.
As disappointing as this game was in many ways, it also didn't produce any major injuries that I am aware of.
And as far as I know, Ryan McBean was allowed on the team charter home, even after his two bonehead plays. But he may have had to sit in the baggage compartment.
Why There is Still Hope: The Denver Broncos don't have a mascot as crappy and embarrassing as this one is.
And there will never be as many Bronco fans dressed up as empty seats as there were Jag fans in Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. Parts of that stadium looked like it had been evacuated. And that was BEFORE the lightning delay.