Broncos at Titans: Denver Airmailed This Win In

Michael KellerAnalyst IIIMarch 22, 2017

Broncos at Titans: Denver Airmailed This Win In

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    When you have a Denver Broncos team that finishes with 20 yards rushing on 20 attempts for a 1 yard per rush average, what would you expect? A great big L in the W-L column, right?

    WRONG! Somehow, some way, QB Kyle Orton and company were able to put this game in the W column with a 26-20 win and another amazing air show. Of course they had a lot of help from their defense but I am not sure I have ever seen a professional football game with so little rushing yards by one team and that team walking away without a loss.

It All Starts Up Front

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    As bad as the running game was today, the offensive line did a masterful job pass-blocking. Even though they gave up 6 sacks, this was against one of the most physical and nasty front lines in the NFL. The way TENN platooned and kept their guys fresh added to that effort I saw today.

    Yes, JD Walton looked like a rookie a few times today, but he never missed a snap and is getting better each week.

    This was RT Ryan Harris' first game back and he still didn't look 100% nor did LT Ryan Clady.

    When all these guys get back to 100%, including RG Chris Kuper, I see improvement in both the pass protection and MAYBE the run game.

Denver Receivers Are Delivering In Clutch Situations

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    Brandon Lloyd, hardly a household name outside his own household last season, is tearing it up this year. 

    He finished with 11 catches for 115 yards today, running his 4 game total to 25 receptions and 454 yards. If my math is right that projects out to 100 catches and 1,816 yards. Not bad for a player who was only active in and only played in two games last year.

    Then there is Eddie Royal, who had 8 catches for 113 yards and 1 TD. His projections would be 100 catches and 1,196 yards. And he returns punts with his sure hands and his speed.

    Jabar Gaffney "only" had 3 grabs for 51 yards. I guess he was the odd man out today. His year projects out to be 88 catches and 960 yards. 

    These are gaudy numbers indeed and makes you think of the old days of Air Coryell in San Diego.

    But what I took away today were the number of clutch catches made by all the WRs. Balls that were first downs or moved the ball deep at the right time. The chemistry these guys have with Kyle Orton is uncanny.

    As good as the Titans' defense looked at times, they also looked bewildered when there was almost always someone open somewhere on the field.

Running Game? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Running Game

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    Actually we do, but we just didn't need it today.

    How you can continue to have such an abysmal running game and still be in the game is astonishing.

    Final stats: 20 carries for 20 yards and the leading rusher was ol' swivel hips himself, Kyle Orton, who had 11 of those yards. In fact, I think Denver was in negative rush yardage in the first half. 

    There were times when there were more Titan jerseys in Denver's backfield than Bronco shirts.

    Hopefully Knowshon Moreno will be back next game but I am not sure even that will make much difference from what I am seeing right now.

Matt Prater: One Bronco Who Is Getting His Kicks This Season

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    36, 36, 35, 36

    Just another day at the office for Mr. Prater and Associates. He is like a machine, hitting 8 for 8 so far this season with one a 54 yarder that would have been good from 65 yards.

    Technically he is considered to be part of the Special Teams but with our offense bogging down at times, it is comforting to know that Prater will make good when called upon. He is our best offensive scoring weapon right now.

Tight End: Receiver Or a Third Tackle?

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    So far this season, we have seen very little use of the TE in pass routes. Daniel Graham caught three passes for a total of 5 yards. And his projections for the season would be 40 catches for 224 yards. And only one other TE has even caught a pass.

    So it seems that we are seeing the measure of a TE in Josh's offense as one of a third tackle. And Mr. Graham can indeed be that person, as he uses his 6-3, 257 pound body like a bulldozer. 

    Will this philosophy change? I only think it will on a game by game basis. Graham has decent hands and great size but he knows his role here and will see the ball on an as-needed basis. That goes for the other TEs as well.

Josh McDaniels: Is This The Second Coming Of The Mastermind?

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    For those of you who may be new to the Broncos and the lore of yesteryear, Mike Shanahan was known as the Mastermind, a nickname coined by our beloved (or hated) Woody Paige, of the Denver Post. 

    As this season unfolds, I am seeing more and more of the subtleties and complexities in this passing offense. It hasn't always hit on all cylinders but when it does, it is something to behold.

    With the play calling improving and the execution and timing getting better, this will likely be a passing juggarnaut, assuming none of the key players go down with injuries.

Kyle Orton, The Man Who Has The Keys To The McDaniels Mobile

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    Kyle Orton, he of the Jay Cutler trade, the throw-in in the deal. All he has done is have a career year last year and is on pace this year to have 472 completions on 700 attempts and 5,676 yards with 24 TDs and 12 INTs. and a passer rating of 96.

    Will he keep up this pace? He may have to if the Broncos can't find some kind of running game. And there is always the chance of his getting hurt with that many attempts.

    Kyle had a ho-hum day today, throwing 35-50 for 341 yards and 1 TD with 1 INT. A career game for many QBs in the NFL right now but just another day in Music City for Orton.

    I am not sure if there is another QB, outside of Peyton Manning who could do what Orton is doing right now with this team. He has the intelligence, the poise and the ability to make the right throw in the right situation.

    His chemistry with his WRs and his trust in his O-line gives him the pocket presence to see the field and make his quick decisions and get the ball out on time and to the right place.

    And if this doesn't shut down the last of the Orton naysayers, I guess we will be stuck with those blind idjits for the rest of the season. No, folks, Tim Tebow and Brady Quinn couldn't hold Orton's jock strap considering how he has mastered this offense.

    But the real thing I am witnessing is Orton's quiet but total leadership on this team. Those guys would follow him into Hell right now and he would be proud to lead them.

Touchdowns and More: Why This Will Be The Most Fun We Can Have Watching Football

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    I know, we haven't had a lot of TDs to cheer about but I think they will be coming and in buckets as the offense works out the final kinks in the redzone.

    What we are witnessing is the beginning of a new era that reflects the old era of the AFL. Tons of passing and a few pounds of rushing.

    And I think it will work, but there will have to a bit more balance in the running game.

    Like maybe 50 yards per game?

    No matter, whatever happens, I can't help but think this will be one fun season.

     

    Just one Bronco fan(atic)'s opinion.