Good Morning, Broncos fans! The Broncos beat the Titans yesterday 26-20 on a late TD pass from Kyle Orton to Correll Buckhalter. It was far from a perfect game for Denver, but any road win is a good one. Titans KR Marc Mariani was both a hero and a goat, first scoring on a 98-yard return in the third quarter to give his team the lead. But after the Broncos took the lead on Buckhalter’s TD reception, Mariani fumbled Matt Prater’s short kickoff. Prater’s ensuing FG essentially put the game away, and the Broncos had their upset victory. While the absence of Wesley Woodyard and Spencer Larsen likely cost Denver in kick coverage, it wasn’t all bad on special teams, as Prater went 4-for-4 (plus a re-kick after a Titans penalty) and the Broncos may have finally discovered a KR in Demaryius Thomas, who racked up a 36-yd avg on 3 kicks with a long return of 65. His big return was an important answer to Mariani’s TD gallop.
Once again, Denver’s running game was nonexistent, while Orton and the passing attack were very good on first- and second- and poor on third downs - Brandon Lloyd and Eddie Royal each topped the 100-yard mark, while the offense was just 3-for-15 on third downs. Orton racked up 341 yards and 2 TDs despite getting sacked six times. The stars of the game were the Broncos’ defenders, who collectively held the Titans to 13 first downs on 288 yards, successfully containing both QB Vince Young (173 yds, 1TD) and RB Chris Johnson (53 yds, 0 TD). Their only gaffe was allowing Javon Ringer to rip off a 54-yard run that set up the Titans’ lone offensive TD. On the injury front, Andre’ Goodman was a surprising late scratch, while David Bruton suffered a leg injury during the game.
Here’s the box score from yesterday’s win.
LJ checks out the offensive line’s rough day as they allowed Orton to get sacked six times.
Legwold examines how the Broncos bottled up Chris Johnson.
Kent Babb on the success of the Chefs’ rookies.
Matt Bowen continues to praise the play of Kyle Orton.
Jonathan Comey thinks the Broncos did quite well in the Cutler/Orton trade. Anyone still think Orton was a toss-in?
Mike Silver wraps up the day’s games.
Don Banks thinks Kyle Orton needs better protection from an actual running game and can’t believe the Browns got Peyton Hillis for Brady Quinn. So what happens if Orton gets hurt and Quinn is successful? Will we then hear about how important a backup QB is?
Peter King dares to suggest that Orton may be better than the beat-up Cutler, as if last night was Jay’s fault? But he does go into more detail on the second page. Reeks of overcompensating to me, but still fun to read. Kyle even makes it onto PK’s MVP watch, in fact. He then compensates for his overcompensation by ripping Laurence Maroney (no mention of the O-Line’s awful play).
Here’s what Pat Kirwan thought of yesterday’s games.