The preseason is usually dismissed as a meaningless collection of games that does little more than put the team's starters at risk for injury.
As a result of the lockout that took away from a great deal of the offseason, this year's preseason may be the most important preseason the NFL has seen.
With only a couple weeks of training camp to prepare for the first exhibition game, this year's preseason will serve as an excellent way for teams to assess who is ready for the season.
The positives seen in this year's preseason cannot be ignored, and there were several positives for the Broncos to take away from last night's preseason game.
Von Miller showed exactly the kind of things the Broncos wanted out of the young man who was the second overall pick in the NFL draft. He was fast off of the snap and in the backfield very quickly.
After coming close on a couple of occasions, Miller logged his first sack as a Bronco after making an unreal dip move to beat his blocker around the corner.
Miller is definitely providing a lot of excitement and hope to a defense that was the laughing stock of the league last year.
Kyle Orton and Brandon Lloyd were by far the most dynamic quarterback-to-receiver combination in the NFL last season.
Lloyd led the league in receiving yards last year, and it seems as if his career resurgence is going to continue, as the chemistry between he and Kyle Orton picked up right where it left off.
Orton went 10-for-13 for 135 yards and a touchdown last night. Five of those 10 went to Brandon Lloyd for 55 yards.
I don't know what it is about those two, but these guys just have something special going, and it's really good for the offense to see that these two are still on the same page.
The specific play calls that I'm talking about came when the Broncos were down at the two-yard line.
Last season, the Broncos were infamous for trying to play finesse games right on the goal line, throwing fade pass after fade pass.
No longer with John Fox, as the head coach of the Broncos did exactly what teams that win games do when they are on their opponent's two-yard line: They punched it right in with the running game.
One thing that makes any NFL team successful is being able to run the ball effectively when the opposing team knows you want to run it.
At the two-yard line, the run game should be the first thing on everybody's mind. When you, as a team, can prove you can run on your opponent from wherever you want, then the play-action plays at the goal line become effective.
Just remember this play from Super Bowl 32 (at the 1:50 mark) when everybody figured it would be Terrell Davis running it in.
Brady Quinn is certainly making a name for himself this year. I don't think he's ever played as well as he is playing right now.
Quinn has gone a long way toward solidifying himself as the second quarterback on the roster behind Kyle Orton. He helped his case even more last night, going 10-for-16 for 130 yards with a touchdown and one interception.
The most impressive thing about him last night—to me, anyways—was that he didn't allow himself to be negatively affected by the interception he threw.
It was at a big time, since he had just run a great two-minute drill to bring the Broncos down to the Buffalo goal line, but Quinn made a bad pass that got picked off.
Almost immediately at the start of the second half, Quinn came out firing on all cylinders and got the Broncos in the end zone again.
I've been very impressed with everything I've seen from him.
With the exception of the first series, the Broncos' first-string defenders played exceptionally well.
Von Miller made a sack, Elvis Dumervil was a force on the line, the secondary covered very well and the defense managed to create a turnover. D.J. Williams got an interception after some great coverage created a tip drill situation that just fell right into his hands.
All in all, the Broncos have a lot of things to be happy about. Let's hope these positives continue to run into the next preseason games and the regular season!