Turnovers are hard to overcome.
Red Zone sterility doesn’t make it any easier.
Against Peyton Manning and the Colts, both are an RSVP to your own implosion.
Today the story will be how Peyton Manning defeated the Broncos—again.
But the true story is that on a day in which the Broncos defense finally mastered the Colts, their offense and special teams let them down. Whether it be through an interception, a lack of push on 3rd-and-short, or a fumbled punt, turnovers and lack of red-zone execution were the seeds of destruction.
Denver had a great game plan today. From doubling Dallas Clark at the line of scrimmage to some great pass calls out of running formations, this was a game they could have easily won, despite the final score. Unfortunately, a great game plan, no matter how great it is, just can’t overcome turnovers and horrendous execution in the red zone.
How quickly things can change. Last week, the Seahawks were the darlings of the NFL. And we were subjected to the oft-repeated opinion that Denver could very well be on its way to an 0-6 start, since they were going to have to face the mighty Colts, Titans, Ravens and Jets in the next 4 weeks.
Not only did Denver paste the Hawks 31-14, but the domination of the Broncos’ next 4 opponents is in question, and just as Denver’s offensive line is getting healthier and more cohesive. Denver’s wide receiver corps isn’t just surviving, they are thriving. It wouldn’t shock me to see the Broncos go 2-2 in the next 4 weeks. Vince Young, Joe Flacco and Mark Sanchez aren’t going to scare this secondary, and the Broncos are scoring points this year.
Now, let’s look at today’s game. First, the positives:
It’s never smart to overreact to an opening-day loss, but there are plenty of takeaways from today’s game. First, let’s start with the positives:
1. Eddie Royal. As advertised, he’s much stronger this year. And it was good to see how many yards he picked up after the catch. It’s clear that his move to the slot will pay dividends for Denver. Royal had 8 catches for 98 yards.
2. D. J. Williams. Williams was flying all over the field in both run and pass. Williams had 10 tackles today.
3. Kyle Orton. Although Orton took two sacks that he could have probably avoided by throwing the ball away, overall, Orton looked very mature in the pocket.