Gut Reaction: Preseason Week 3 - Broncos vs Rams

Hey, you want in on a little secret?

Come closer. No, closer. Close enough so you can’t feel the spittle from Dan Dierdorf’s lips.

That’s better. Okay, here it is: the Broncos have exactly zero takeaways over their past two games, yet they’ve given the ball away eight times.

If it wasn’t the preseason, and if Peyton Manning wasn’t a Golden God, I’d probably be worried.

So for now, let’s just keep this between the two of us.

The Positives

  1. Until Peyton Manning trips over his dog and injures himself for six games, no one is going to convince me this team is in trouble. Just in case you missed the news: Manning is stronger than he was last year. The touchdown to Demaryius Thomas was a good example. He put twice as much heat on that pass (on the run) as he could have last year. Put another way--the Broncos can outscore Bill Belichick at a conference for almost-divorced women.
  2. Ryan Clady isn’t quite himself yet, but that's still better than any alternative. Two weeks from now, he’s going to be just fine.
  3. Once again, John Fox went for it on fourth down. Forget the results for a moment (touchdown); Fox has either learned his lesson, or he just doesn’t care because it’s preseason.
  4. You can’t stop Mitch Unrein. You can only hope to contain Mitch Unrein.
  5. Eric Decker was on fire tonight. His play on the field was decent as well. Have I mentioned his girlfriend is hotter than anything you’ll ever encounter in your life? That includes all those strip clubs you hit when you’re in Vegas at the annual tradeshow.
  6. When Brock Osweiler gets some time, he can do some damage (unless of course, he fumbles).  So can the Broncos' starters against the Rams’ second unit. I don’t think we’ll ever truly know what Osweiler can really do until he’s driving the car out of the driveway. Of course, that’s the case with any young quarterback—except Tim Tebow. All he does is win games.1
  7. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Run DRC) didn’t disappoint. It looks like his man coverage skills are as good as advertised.
  8. I completely underestimated the speed of Shaun Phillips and didn’t think too much of his signing at the time. But the guy can really get off when needed.
  9. I’m telling you, Manny Ramirez is picking up this whole center thing. Last week I compared him to a Frosty and a french fry. This week I’m upgrading him to nachos and a Mountain Dew.
  10. Overall, the Broncos’ offense ran at a perfect pace. With Clady’s return, Ramirez gelling at center, Welker in good health, and Julius Thomas emerging as a secret weapon, I see no reason why the Broncos can’t torch the Ravens in Week 1.

Honorable Mention: Bubba Caldwell, Louis Vasquez, Malik Jackson, Rahim Moore, Zane Beadles, Knowshon Moreno, Orlando Franklin, Lance Ball, Nate Irving, and Wesley Woodyard. 

The Negatives

  1. Danny Trevathan displayed some ragged coverage skills on the Rams’ first touchdown—so ragged in fact, that I’m tempted to simply dismiss the play as an outlier.
  2. In all fairness, Manning did have a few bad throws on his first series of the game (disclaimer: I only wrote this so I could claim I wasn’t a homer).
  3. Julius Thomas is a monster as a pass catcher (see point #6 in the Positives), but the blocked field goal was all on him. Even Dan Dierdorf caught it.
  4. Yes, I received your emails in the first quarter letting me know how great Ronnie Hillman ran the ball tonight. I’ve got two words for you, my friends: ball security. By the way, Hillman should be grateful he doesn’t play for Mike Shanahan. If he did, he’d have a doghouse with his name on it. Hillman would be sitting on the bench hoping for someone, anyone, even Greek, to stop and say “Howdy.”
  5. Von Miller was a knife yet again. Unfortunately for the Broncos, it doesn’t matter for six games that actually matter. Yes, the NFL’s policy on marijuana is beyond ridiculous, but you have to wonder if Miller understands he’s one mistake away from messing up his chance at a multi-generational cash pile. In other news, multi-generational cash piles don’t make you happy, but they do buy a whole shitload of weed after the playing days are done.
  6. Tony Carter got spun and run, but if a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one there to catch the touchdown pass, then did the tree really ever fall?
  7. As Doug pointed out during our in-game chat, special teams coach Jeff Rodgers has been crafting some real junk so far this preseason. If he was a pitcher, he’d be 0-3 with an ERA of 8.45. Where did I get that number? I just thought of the Colorado Rockies pitching staff.
  8. Montee Ball could have played better—at least that’s what the stats tell us. There, I said it. Don’t expect me to say it again.
  9. Trindon Holliday—the adventure continues. That being said, his upside is worth it. Besides, don’t you like some adventure on fourth down? As I wrote this, Holliday ran a lazy-ass route leading to a Brock Osweiler interception.
  10. The fourth quarter is a requirement, even in the preseason. It’s even worse when you’ve got to listen to Dan Dierdorf. Feel free to tell me what happened (Lerentee McCray) in the comment section.

The Who The Heck Knows

  1. Remember, the Rams played their starters the length of this song’s shelf life. In other words, don’t get too excited about a preseason win.
  2. Cortland Finnegan is still as much of an annoying ass as he’s ever been. The good news? His coverage skills aren’t quite as annoying.
  3. Remember when there was a certain idiot blogger who advised the Broncos to draft Alec Ogletree? Maybe that guy wasn’t so dumb after all.
  4. If you don’t think Dan Dierdorf purposely tossed John Elway a softball question about “leaks” during their halftime interview, you’re a Raiders fan. I can smell Jim Saccomano’s stench from here. At this point, I’m not convinced the Broncos themselves weren’t leaking information about the Miller story.
  5. Oh, and another thing: the Broncos don’t care about Von Miller The Person. They only care about Von Miler The Person to the extent that he affects wins and the salary cap. If Miller was a practice-squad player, he’d be just another dope smoker Elway and his Republican buddies bitch about during Cohiba hour at Elway’s steakhouse. Anytime management talks about The Person, you know that’s the last thing on their minds.  It’s like starting a sentence with the phrase, “With all due respect….”2
  6. This really isn’t the time, but part of me still wishes Jeff Fisher was the Broncos coach. I think it’s the beard.
  7. Listening to Dierdorf whine about roughing calls is always funny, given that he played with Conrad Dobler.
  8. Speaking of Dierdorf, he wants to know what the odds are that one team would have two running backs with the last name of “Ball.” Well Dan, let me tell you—wait, what the f#$@ does that have to do with football? Dierdorf is John Madden if John Madden took himself seriously.
  9. Peyton Manning passing with a glove in the rain during the fourth quarter? It’s called work. Tim Tebow would have been working on his kneel.3
  10. Quentin Jammer—there’s a story somewhere, but by the end of next week, it won’t matter.  He’ll be gone.  

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I’m glad we had this talk.  Now, vaya con Dios, Brah.

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