Broncos Sparkle, Frustrate, Mystify and Expose One Of NFL'S Myriad Rule Gaps

Scott GollContributor ISeptember 16, 2008

Let's be honest. It was a fumble. You don't need me to tell you. You have eyes. Before I get to the game itself, let's touch upon the fundamental problem with the NFL game. Simply too many rules and stipulations. Ed Hochuli missed the call. I can forgive that, and I think any reasonable person could understand it was a missable call to the human eye.

The fact that replay could correctly identify this, and not be usable due to a WHISTLE being blown is to say: The human made an error, we can fix this error, but we cannot because the human made an error.  Huh?

The Broncos are the clear beneficiary of a blunder, and as a member of the faithful I'll gladly take it. Be clear though, something ridiculous is bound to happen on the other side, and the NFL hasn't done enough to keep the calls from being the story in these games.

Moving on, since you didn't visit to read a novel.......

Shanahan impressed me bigtime with his confidence in Cutler, giving him the ball and going for 2, essentially saying "Kid, you made a mistake, but I believe in you, go win us the game because I know you can, and you will".  Will Cutler ever question (if he did before) that his coach backs him and believes in him 100%? Not a chance.  Impressive considering Cutler had not one, but two major gaffes. (The interception in the end zone that would have sealed the deal late, was somewhat overlooked in the hoopla of the final minute fiasco).

The confidence in Cutler may have also been a decision of necessity that served a dual purpose:  The defense was stopping nothing in the second half particularly. This was a whoever-has-the-ball-last-wins game, and proved to be just that.  Shanahan essentially took the outcome of the game away from the overtime coin flip, and put it on Cutler's able arm.

Eddie Royal comes up big, for the second game in a row, and somehow, amazingly, Brandon Marshall's heroic return, with an 18-catch exhibition of dominance, is lost in the shuffle.

Positive signs are the Broncos offense showing signs they could very well be upper-echelon all season long.  On defense, the pass rush has shown improvement, but the run stop still has an uphill climb.

Promising developments for a season of contention and high-scoring games too. Shaping up to be quite a fun year in the Mile High City!