Kyle Orton is running for his life again this Sunday. This time he'll outrun, and pass, his critics and his competition—with a win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
It seems like it's been years since the Broncos have defeated the Raiders, and that's because it has been.
Denver's luck will change in Week 2 when the Cincinnati Bengals come to town, and there's plenty of reasons why.
Kyle Orton had a tough night against the Raiders, partly due to mistakes committed on his own, partly due to some awful Denver weather and mostly due to mistakes by the rest of his team.
Sure, Orton dropped the ball on a third down late in the game when the score wasn't yet out of hand. There's another quarterback in the league that did a similar thing in Week 1—his name is Matt Ryan. I haven't quite heard of the Atlanta faithful turning their backs to their starter yet.
The Broncos did almost nothing to help their starting quarterback as they committed 10 penalties over the course of the game for a total of 91 yards. Meanwhile, Orton still managed to pass for 17 first downs against a field that was constantly growing in front of him. Keep in mind he only suffered two three-and-out drives in Monday night's contest.
If the penalties weren't enough, there was another player on the field dropping the ball, and he lines up right behind Orton.
Knowshon Moreno continued his fumbling ways early on, dropping the ball in the first quarter. He learned his lesson quickly and soon after he was witnessed clutching the football with both arms before almost every contact.
When the Bengals come to town on Sunday, the weather should hopefully have improved and will certainly give both teams a cleaner day on the field.
Cincinnati proved it can play football this year after a surprising win against the other bottom-feeders of the AFC North, the Cleveland Browns. The Bengals came out as a team for the first time in a long while—sans Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens and Carson Palmer—but don't expect their success to continue for long.
The Broncos have a lot to prove to a fanbase that's quickly distancing itself away from their front office in terms of their views of the future. Their biggest statement should have been made Monday, but now they'll have to settle with a big win against the Bengals.
Discipline will surely be the key aspect of Denver's practice this week. The penalties and turnovers suffered on Monday were key to Oakland's success in Mile High.
Take away the takeaways and keep the team from moving backwards, and John Fox will have his first chance at a win as Denver's head coach.
Couple these corrections with Orton's drive to undo his poor season opener and keep his offense on the field longer, and the Broncos will seal the deal.
Denver's new defense wreaked havoc on Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tarvaris Jackson in the preseason, and it'll look to do the same against Andy Dalton next week.
There's 16 teams searching for redemption after Week 1, Denver will be one of the many to find it.