The IAOFM staff discuss the Denver Broncos' 23-20 preseason victory over the Seattle Seahawks
Denver’s first possession is a penalty-laden three and out
TJ: The Seahawks have a rookie at RT - Miller and Doom should test him tonight
Doc: They tried Tyler Polumbus this year, I believe. Didn't work out.
TJ: Wow, just saw why Brandon Mebane was wanted in free agency - good push from him. Penalties galore on this opening drive. Is this the 1st preseason game or the 3rd? Penalties took them out of their game plan, clearly
Doug: As Ted would say, right off schedule. Nice coverage on that punt from Matt Willis, and another huge kick from Colquitt
Denver’s pass rush forces a quick three and out from Seattle
TJ: Miller and Doom met on that play in a sandwich. As we guessed, Miller took that rookie right tackle to school.
Doc: Yeah. Love the amount of pressure. You don't complete many on that kind of harassment. Miller is brilliant.
TJ: Von doesn't even need a spin or rip move. He's so fast, his move is called "Flash"
The Broncos’ second drive ends with an interception of Kyle Orton by DE Chris Clemons
TJ: Good cuts by Moreno, nice bounce out
Doug: Yeah, that’s a burst we're not used to seeing from Knowshon
TJ: Nice protection for Orton on this play to Julius Thomas, who finds a nice spot within the zone coverage. Denver is running a healthy amount of 1-back sets - they were forced to on the first drive, but it’s by choice in the second. Orton just didn't see the end in the zone drop there - bad decision
Doug: That was a terrible decision for sure, although an amazing INT for a DE
TJ: Yeah, he just dropped and followed Orton's eye and made a great play
Seattle’s next possession gains just 17 yards on six plays
TJ: Looks like D.J. really got bent there, and I don't mean mentally
Doc: He hit the line early without a sightline on the ball - bad form
TJ: I like Miller in drop-zone - he's already showing the skill to do it with no problems. What I like about Dennis Allen is that he isn't going to wait around for the offense to show itself - he's just going to attack you. I don't think he even cares what package you are showing - he’s coming
Doc: Agreed. He creates the responses that he wants
Doug: It's been a while since we've seen that, although personnel has to have a lot to do with it. Wink probably would've done so more if he had some actual talent to utilize last year right?
Doc: I think so, but I don't think that Wink has quite the grasp of the game that Allen has, to tell the truth
Another three and out for Denver, including a 15-yard sack of Orton off a corner blitz
Doc: Branch and Mebane are a great combination.
TJ: Orton has to get outside the pocket and throw it away there - a loss of 15 on the play - that was brutal. That right there is what people talk about when a play breaks down - sure, the whole play could go perfectly, but it rarely does. And he doesn't have the athletic skill set to break that pocket, so you go down for 15 and end of drive. That's a corner blitz and he'll never be able to make a play - in his whole life he will never make a play on that type of pressure.
Doc: Right. Which is why you have to give him protection packages - like they did last week. It worked pretty well. If he's left vulnerable on a corner blitz, you're toast.
Seattle turns the Orton INT into a field goal, 3-0 Seahawks; Denver's next drive goes for 80 yards and continues into the 2nd Quarter, resulting in a 2-yard TD run by Willis McGahee - 7-3 Broncos
TJ: Crap, Bunkley is down now - that was a horribly cheap block by Gallery. Vickerson just went after Gallery on the next play - I love it
TJ: Knowshon is much much quicker this year - it's clear - nice cuts, too
Doc: Great block by Larsen to spring him for the 1st, and an unreal catch by Lloyd
TJ: By the way, Em - I agree on the max protection. On 3rd down, they ought to consider leaving 2 back in there
Doc: They did last week - worked well
TJ: Or, he could have audibled out of that play. On the radio broadcast, Brian Griese just agreed with that assessment, Orton should have audibled out of it to a hot route. He saw it pre-snap. Orton is just not an athlete, just go max protect. As much as it pains me to say it, do what they do in SD for Rivers
Doug: McGahee sure has nice patience on these short yardage runs
Doc: Denver hasn't had a good goal-line guy in a coon's age
TJ: Yeah, Willis always falls forward - he's good for 2-3 yards forever
Doc: Sure does, sure is. You need a guy like that. He can grab bigger chunks of yards, too
TJ: Ran the ball 8 times on that drive, and used play action. Orton is indeed the master when you can do that
Doc: He's talented at play action - always has been
Seattle and Denver trade three three-and-outs, starting with a 6-yard sack by Dumervil and Wesley Woodyard and concluding with a 57-yard FG by Prater - 10-7 Broncos
TJ: Ha, Doom finally got his man, he just had to wait
Doug: Jackson's gotta get rid of that, but i'll take it
TJ: I like that double-bunch formation from Denver on that Thomas catch - gets him in space quickly. Vickerson playing well tonight, so is doom against the run. Von Miller!!! The RT was so worried about him on the outside there, and Miller just cut inside and overpowered him - that was hilarious
Doc: Carpenter is holding Miler's jersey and Von just ignores him. Wow - not long ago, you worried about Doom re: the run. Not anymore.
Doug: Nice to see a crowd of Denver defenders on the ball - another thing we haven't seen much of lately
TJ: Wow, almost a TD to Lloyd. This is not your Josh McD offense to be sure - this is a low variance, change-of-pace offense
Doug: They're calling it an overthrow on the telecast but i think Lloyd mistimed his jump - the Seattle telecast, that is
The two teams combine for another four scoreless possessions, with Prater coming up short on a 69-yard attempt
TJ: Kickoff return is completely useless this year. I'll bet that you won't see more than 5 kickoff returns at Mile High this year. Putting Vaughn in on the nickel has been a great move on the outside
Doc: And Champ in the slot on 3rd downs - also brilliant
TJ: Doom on the twist - I love Dennis Allen. Julius Thomas acting like Shannon Sharpe - nice play action. I swear to you Fox will play this full 4 minutes out - I don't mind, either. The 4-minute offense is also critical, and you have to like Fox's feel for it - he milks every second of it. Wow, nice play, Kyle - he wanted that one - the 10 lbs. of muscle paid off
Doug: Must go for it. There were years where Fox only went for it like 7 times in Carolina - no exaggeration
TJ: Looks like Kuper missed his assignment - he just whiffed and his guy got into the backfield. From the replay it appeared as if Kuper just missed as he busted out of the blocks
Doug: Yeah, absolutely. He was supposed to have the LB McCoy
TJ: They can pick up that 4th down - it's too bad there. They will get labeled now a bit, but just a missed assignment
Doc: They need to - that's the kind of play that creates confidence
Doug: I just want to see Fox go for it there every time - I'm worried though, judging by his track record
Doc: Thank you Tyler Polumbus - the gift that keeps on giving
TJ: Miller and Dumervil again just sandwiched Jackson - I swear, you are not going to have more than 3 seconds with either one of those guys. Literally, they are the two pieces of bread and the QB is the meat of choice.
Doug: Especially so when there are rookie RTs
Doc: Moreno is running tough. But he took on in the testes or pulled a groin muscle there
Doug: Uh oh i think that's a groin for Knowshon. Otherwise, that's the fastest I've ever seen someone run after a nut shot
TJ: This reminds me of 2005, back when Al Wilson and the boys didn't allow people any yards
Seattle starts the 2nd half with a four and out, including a 3-yard sack of Tarvaris Jackson by Von Miller
TJ: Come on, Fox - let them play out the 3rd quarter! Von Miller can hit you, too - you simply do not want to face the Broncos in long yardage this year, you won't have more than 3 to 4 seconds to get the pass off. God, Von Miller is a complete linebacker already - it's just a fact. Wow, VON MILLER AGAIN! You can't stop him - you can only hope to contain him - seriously
Doc: A quality NFL quarterback is expected to do a three-step drop in 1.5 seconds, five steps in 2.1 seconds and seven in less than 2.7 seconds.
TJ: I'm tying to contain my enthusiasm, but this drive is another example of why Von Miller will be rookie of the year - he actually changes the game
Doug: We are seeing a pretty brutal pair of tackles here though, aren't we? How many opponents will have even one tackle as bad as Polumbus and Carpenter, even less two?
TJ: Yeah, but dude they get paid - and Miller did this last week, too. As I said, I'm trying to contain it. They are brutal, to be sure
Denver takes the next possession 85 yards in eight plays, ending with a TD pass from Orton to Eric Decker - 17-3 Denver
Doug: There we go, with the max protect
TJ: Yeah, if you run well and use Orton like they do with Rivers in SD with more backs in for protection, it does help
Doug: Suddenly Orton has a year to sit in the pocket every play. The Seahawks’ D is looking as gassed as they used to when they were in the AFCW and came to town each year
TJ: Yeah, the "old" Seahawks back in town. Nice read by Orton/Decker on the route
Doug: Another gigantic pocket too - if the line can block like this all year...
Following a Seattle punt, Tim Tebow takes over at QB for Orton with a five-and-out, concluding with a fumble that Denver recovers
Doug: Backup defense in now too, what a performance by the first-stringers
TJ: Yeah, they didn't even need to bring a lot of overloads either - Von Doom, I think they are like 5 rushers
Doug: Well, the second string is getting the same pass rush on this craptastic line
TJ: Tebow is getting warm - that's good, I hope he gets some reps. In his defense, I thought he looked good in warmups
Doug: I would like to see Tebow look off a primary receiver a few times tonight, and not tuck and run
TJ: Yeah, I actually would like to see him get some lather tonight - he didn't even get a chance last week
TJ: So far, Mr. Tebow, so good. Hey, he took the snap smoothly there, since everyone wants to know! Okay, that pass is a great example of what we were talking about. Orton doesn't make that pass play, because of the immediate pressure. Seattle is still playing some of their 1st string D - he stayed in the pocket but did not appear to progress through the reads. Was that a designed run on 3rd down by Tebow? Or did he just tuck it and run, I couldn't tell - it looked like the latter. Well, small steps - he made one good play with his feet. Stayed in the pocket on one and didn't quite go through his reads on the 3rd play, got a little quick with the feet and tucked
Doug: Some people will blame the backup line, but Tebow had plenty time there and stepped up when he shouldn't have
Seattle's drive continues into the final quarter and ends with a TD after 83 yards on nine plays; 17-10 Broncos
Doug: Wow, Seattle's starters are still in on offense
TJ: Yeah, and we are getting owned
TJ: Nate Jones is having a tough camp. Seattle is getting more yards through penalties than they are on offense tonight. Ah, hell, play fake, touchdown
Denver's next drive consumes 58 yards on 10 plays and is capped with a 40-yard FG by Prater; 20-10 Broncos
TJ: Lance Ball just eating up yardage now - some good holes right now. Another bunch formation - that's twice I've seen it now. Once on the pass, once now on the run. Tebow making another play with his feet. Good play. I love the creativity and improv and the big gain.
Doug: Wow, very nicely done there - that's another play Orton never makes. A ton of value in a play like that
TJ: Yeah, i think the Orton people have to recognize this, just as much as the Tebow folks have to recognize that he tucks, ducks, and runs too often
Doug: And then, the next play is about as bad as that one was good - collides with Larsen and runs for no reason. Although, I suppose it gets them a yard or two instead of an incompletion
TJ: They tend to run the stretch play more with Tebow, and it makes sense. The stretch is good for Tebow because he can then fake the stretch and bootleg - it could be deadly, if done properly - could loosen up the safety for a long bomb. Remember the Plummer days? He did that a lot
Doug: Yeah, those plays were always so exciting - I thought we should have seen more of them from Cutler, but it seemed Shanny went away from them post-Plummer - which didn't make sense to me with Cutler's mobility. Nice throw under pressure, even if it ends up incomplete. Oh brother, delay of game with no awareness or urgency there by Tebow - and then a tuck and duck
Seattle’s Doug Baldwin returns the ensuing kickoff 105 yards for a TD - 20-17 Denver, and the Broncos' next drive ends in a punt
TJ: The Broncos' KO return team did not expect him to bring it out - ha, maybe it would be a good strategy to bring it out sometimes. If a coverage unit never ever gets practice, then perhaps you can just beat them
Doug: I do think this is a lot of backups though, a lot of bubble guys - so i'll take comfort in that - guys like David Veikune, Chris Harris, Lee Robinson
TJ: Tebow again making plays with this feet - if we could only package Orton and Tebow together, we'd have Aaron Rodgers. They use more 1-back sets with Tim, and I'm glad - it's more like the packages he used in college in the gun
Doug: I like that Tebow threw that instead of running, even if it was a poor throw
TJ: I also must say this - I wish the Broncos would use this package if/when Tebow ever comes into start.
Doug: Not a very good throw by Tebow, it was out of bounds - and Larsen was open deep middle. I think so far we've seen the whole picture of Tebow tonight - some very nice plays when out of the pocket or in avoiding pressure, but also some anxiousness within the pocket at times, and some iffy throws
TJ: Yeah, pretty much describes it all in a nutshell
Doug: Some more sloppy special teams play - 2 muffs and a KR TD so far. Another tuck and run by Tebow - should have thrown it away
TJ: Yeah, I think it would be hard for anyone not to accept the weaknesses in Tebow and Orton at this point. So what about Quinn/Tebow now? You still keep Quinn #2, or let them go halves in the last game for the honor?
Doug: I would say yes, let them each take a half
After Seattle ties the game with a FG, Denver drives down the field and wins the game on a 51-yard FG by Steven Hauschka at the gun
TJ: Tebow with 1:16 left - let's hope he takes em down
Doug: Now, that's a nice run from Tebow - and another typically nice screen pass to Ball. People are going to say this drive was about Tebow showing heart, but this is about his skills being highlighted on the possession. Skills there, not heart.