Sometimes, that's all that it comes down to. Kyle Orton had an incredible day - unfortunately, it was on this past Friday and it was practice. Today, he missed open receivers, 7 off them in the first half, and with a few better throws, the game never should have come down to the 4th quarter. It did, though, and Orton missed on only two passes in the 4th quarter and threw 2 TDs. Each week, it seems that it's the 3rd and 4th quarters when the Broncos are really tough to stop and today was one more in that pattern. Following their usual pattern, there came the adjustments as the game went on that Josh McDaniels has been know for since his first coaching job. Mike Nolan did everything he had to do on defense, too. In the end, it was the kind of all-team effort that is beginning to mark the kind of Broncos squad that has well earned its 4-0 record.
This week I did the unthinkable. I watched every play, but instead of focusing on one player on each side of the ball, I watched the play over 3 or 4 times and focused on multiple players. The upside is that I was able to take all of your requests from last week.
The downside? It took a hell of a long time. Usually I get this done on Saturdays, but with the extra player analysis, you are getting it right before Sunday's games. I hope this is okay. If not, I apologize and will get next weeks Spotlight out a little earlier. But, all in the name of Bronco analysis.
There's not really a lot to add today in the way of text. I'll be tweeting on Sunday (@TedBartlett905,) and my column Shallow Thoughts & Nearsighted Observations will appear her Tuesday morning, for those who aren't as familiar with MHR. Thanks for visiting us; I hope you enjoy the video, and I appreciate your feedback, as always. Go Broncos!!
Welcome to 3-0, Denver! The team that destroyed the raiders on the road will still not get as much respect until they beat a few of the teams in the upcoming stretch. I'm not worried about that happening. We have had a series of things in our favor over the other squads that we've taken been able to use. Those advantages have involved personnel matchups, coaching matchups, scheme, attitude and execution. In today's effort, I'm going to start with the biggest among them.
Fate laughs at probabilities. -- Lytton E.G Bulwer
The defense was rock solid, the Broncos won again, and Ryan Clady was so dominate, they pulled his dreadlocks.
Somewhere Al Davis is crying like a little girl.
Not a bad week, my friends.
Happy Tuesday, friends and welcome to another edition of Shallow Thoughts & Nearsighted Observations, where we're always aiming to deliver the best thing since Starks in Clark's Wallabees. It's a feel-good Tuesday, right? Our Broncos are 3-0, but it's a much more legitimate-feeling 3-0 than last season's version. The respect is still slow in coming, but it's coming bit by bit.
The most important thing I've witnessed happening is a growing confidence and self-respect among our fan base. MHR is mostly known as a positive-thinking community, so maybe a lot of us were on the feel-good train earlier than others, but I can feel it really starting to take hold. Contrast that to Cleveland (where most are aware that I reside). The feeling around here is just awful, and we can all be glad not to be feeling that way. It's on to the Cowboys game, but first let's do this thing here. Ready.... BEGIN!!!!
"They booed Russell off the field when he was intercepted on the Raiders' second drive of the game, a play where Darrius Heyward-Bey slipped and fell on his route. They booed again on the Raiders' next drive, when Russell overthrew Heyward-Bey for another interception.
They booed every time after that when Russell took the field or threw an incomplete pass. It got so bad, left tackle Mario Henderson at one point clapped for Russell and patted his helmet while the crowd chanted, "JaMarcus sucks."
What did Russell say of it all? That both interceptions should have been ruled defensive pass interference, and that other than that, "I think I did all right. ... I try to play with no regrets."
He completed two passes to a wide receiver, both on the same second-quarter drive to Louis Murphy. Eight passes were check down screens to the running backs, and two went to tight end Zach Miller."
If you did not see last night´s game between the Colts and the Cardinals, you didn´t miss much. However, if you missed Tony Dungy breaking down the Colt´s offensive pre-snap signals, you missed a thing of beauty. Dungy essentially took all of America through Petyon Manning´s pre-snap reads, what all of the hand gestures meant, the line calls and when they are made, the 3 plays that were relayed into Manning from the sideline, how Manning determined which of the 3 plays to call from his pre-snap reads, and finally, how he figures out whether he is in man or zone coverage with the most simple of moves. It was genius.
It was boys against men.
There was a lot to digest, as I watched the game again tonight. There was the problem of scoring in the red zone, the fact that the 3-TE set that has worked so well wasn't in evidence near the goal line and that the defense looks like it's played together for years. But in the final analysis, that was really the thing that stood out to me. Boys against men. It wasn't just the inability of JaMarcus Russell to find a receiver. It wasn't even his lack of accuracy in the second half. It wasn't the lousy raiders running game, the one that looked so concerning at first, the way we ran up the gut so easily or the way that our D shut them down. You can (and a lot of us will) complain that the Broncos should have scored 35, but even so - this wasn't really a game. It was more of a schoolyard whipping, a beatdown, an hour-long embarrassment that apparently left the Raiders' faithful - both of the ones who are left - complaining about the referees' calls. They didn't have anything else to do. They couldn't keep saying the same things over again. Their outcries were at first furious, then plaintive, and finally just bored. By the time Kyle Orton took that final knee, there was nothing left to say. The Broncos had dominated this game in nearly every possible phase.
Last week, I took a play by play look at Brandon Marshall and Champ Bailey. This week, I had originally intended to look at Ryan Clady on offense. However, he was so completely dominant, I thought it would be more interesting to see how Clady does in later weeks against better competition.
So this week I looked at Ron Fields and Ryan Harris, play by play. As I stated last week, it's quite interesting to watch a game and not pay attention to the ball. It allows you to see things from a much different perspective. For example, as you will see from the drive log, Ron Fields does not generally play NT on passing downs. Marcus Thomas subs for him. Simply by watching this substitution, one can see pre-snap (without straining to see the secondary coverage) whether Coach Nolan is thinking the offense is going to run or pass. It also allows you to see when he guesses wrong, which means Fields is trying to generate a pass rush (not really his strength). It also allows you to see when Nolan guesses right, which is most of the time. Rarely does Nolan have Fields on the field when the offense passes the ball.