Good Morning, Broncos fans! Somehow, some way, the Broncos eked out 49 points yesterday in slipping past the Chefs of Kansas City yesterday. It was an incredible display by Denver's players, who managed to beat KC despite their coach having lost them weeks ago, and without the services of future Hall of Famers Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall and Peyton Hillis. In fact, the Broncos likely won just to spite their coach, who has made several of the worst trades in sports history over the past 21 months. While Kyle Orton threw four TD passes and Knowshon Moreno topped 100 yards rushing for the first time in their respective careers, Cutler clearly would have thrown at least five TDs and Hillis would have hit 100 yards with four broken limbs. Tim Tebow both passed and threw for a touchdown yesterday, but a less-arrogant coach would better utilize the young player en route to a far superior won/lost record </sarcasm (for now)>.
No, yesterday was not the cure for all that ails the Denver Broncos - they still sit alone in last place in the AFC West standings. Plenty of work lies ahead of them, no later than next Monday night in San Diego against the Dolts. Prevent defense or not, the Broncos did still allow 29 points and 484 yards of offense to Kansas City. Yes, Denver got away with some boneheaded throws by Orton and escaped disaster following McDaniels' foolish decision to go for a 58-yard field goal just before halftime with a 35-7 lead and 18 seconds remaining on the clock.
But while some will perhaps say that yesterday was a confluence of everything going right for the Broncos that had been wrong prior, there was an awful lot to be legitimately excited about. Denver finally was able to trot out the starting offensive line they had been expected to back in August, and that quintet turned in a virtuoso performance - they allowed zero sacks and just one negative play from scrimmage (a fourth-quarter run by Moreno). Knowshon finally had holes to run through, and the result was a 4.8-yard average on 22 rushing attempts, and 156 yards from scrimmage. Brandon Lloyd and Jabar Gaffney continued to make highlight-reel catches, with two of their three TD receptions coming in spectacular fashion.
The defense generated a ton of pressure and sacked Matt Cassel four times, while Jason Hunter returned a fumble by the QB 75 yards for a score. That defense also made an exceptional goal-line stand after the Chefs had gained a 1st-and-goal from the Broncos' 1-yard line. Most importantly, Denver held KC's vaunted rushing attack to a mere 51 yards on 22 attempts, numbers we've grown painfully accustomed to seeing on the Broncos' side of the ledger.
After having scored but 7 first-quarter points all season long, the Broncos came up with 21 in yesterday's opening stanza. This marks the second time Denver has scored exactly 49 points, the other instance being a 49-21 defeat of the Iggles in 2005. The Broncos fell one point short of their team record, set in a 1963 win over the Dolts by a score of 50-34.
Big Fat Innuendo of the Day
"Denver has exploded on Kansas City" - Dave Logan describing Gaffney's TD
Chris Hall and Broncos TV wrap the game.
Here are the highlights from NFLN GameDay.
Here's the box score for your enjoyment.
Mason breaks down some of the game's standout numbers.
Klis describes Tebow's two touchdowns on the day.
DJ Williams sat out the first defensive series of the game as punishment for his DUI arrest.
DJ's defensive mates spoke about him following the game.
Williams apologized to the fans via Twitter. Well, not really...
Todd Haley pointed an accusatory finger at McDaniels rather than shake his hand following the game.
Kiszla tries to get to the root of Haley's sour grapes.
Woody makes it sound like the Broncos just tried harder or figured something out yesterday. Nothing about the offensive line...
Some quotes from the tailgaters at the Big IF.
Kent Babb recaps the game.
So much for all those good feelings in KC.
How much did the Chefs' injuries at safety play into what happened yesterday?
Well, Matt Cassel and Dwayne Bowe did well by you if they're on your fantasy team...
Randy Covitz says the Chefs' loss puts the Dolts in the driver's seat for the West.
Here are Adam Teicher's notes from the game, including one on Brandon Lloyd and another on Tebow.
Teicher on the Chefs' unbalanced attack.
Vittorio Tafur grades Jokeland on their season's first half.
Can Jokeland get healthy for the second half?
Nick Canepa issues his report card on the Dolts.
There's been a lot of midseason roster turnover in San Diego.
Hard to argue with Mike Silver's thinking that the Dolts are going to once again take the West after a brutal start.
Pat Kirwan thinks the Broncos' use of Tim Tebow in the Wildcat is something of a security blanket for them.
Don Banks is seemingly the first national guy to pick up on Peyton Hillis' serious fumbling problem. Plus, the Broncos' win yesterday doesn't fit his narrative, so now Banks is all confused and stuff...
Kube's Texans lost a wild one in Jacksonville, as the Jags scored on a Hail Mary pass as time expired. Most appropriately, guess who was calling the game? Why, Gus Johnson, of course!
Bill Rhoden thinks the Cowboys should turn to Tony Dungy to turn things around.
CHFF loves the parity evidenced by Denver's opposing first halves against Jokeland and the Chefs.
Brian Burke reminds us that a team's passing efficiency is always the best place to look in predicting a game.