Gut Reaction: Texans @ Broncos, Preseason Game 3

Tonight in Denver, fall was in the air.

For the first time, it felt like football.

For the first time, I got antsy for the preseason to end.

Or maybe it was just the thought of Wes Welker headed to the locker room with a possible concussion.

As least Welker will have another week to heal. Otherwise, I’d say let’s skip Dallas and get right to the Colts.

The Positives

  1. Well that didn’t take long. Five plays, five touches by Montee Ball. He looked a little rusty in reading his blocks, but out of the backfield catching passes, he was as good as he’s ever been. As Ted said in our in-game chat, there’s nothing like a little immersion training to teach you the native language.
  2. With Ball back in the saddle (hell, why not get the horse metaphors out of the way now?), the Broncos were able to play to Ronnie Hillman’s strength as a change-of-pace back.
  3. Peyton Manning was rather pedestrian until the latter part of the first half. I was a little worried I’d have to put him as a negative for the first time in—well, forever.
  4. Julius Thomas—too big for a defensive back, too fast for a linebacker. Too deadly for the AFC West.
  5. Bradley Roby is the real deal, friends. You can teach cover skills, but only a natural breaks on the ball the way Bradley does.
  6. Emmanuel Sanders has some serious speed. I’m not saying he’s going to replace Eric Decker just yet, but he brings another gear that Decker never did. It certainly won’t allow defenses to clog the middle of the field on the Broncos’ crossing routes.
  7. Seeing Peyton Manning taunt his opponent makes me as giddy as the time I was sixteen and my friends and I successfully rented porn from the local video store. And yeah, if you were wondering, it was on VHS.
  8. Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d write: the Broncos’ defensive line is as deep this year as it’s been in two decades.
  9. Quanterus Smith and Marvin Austin played like they should be running with the first team. Both guys have an incredible first step.
  10. Juwan Thompson continues to intrigue me. Ultimately, I think I’m getting a B-movie, but the trailer looks hella-good.

The Negatives

  1. By far the worse news of the night is the possibility that Wes Welker has a concussion. In other news, D.J. Swearinger can go #@!$ himself.
  2. It’s been awhile since I saw the Broncos offensive line get beat by a simple stunt the way they were on the first series.
  3. Thankfully it’s preseason. Manning’s interception was as bad as it’s ever going to get. John Lynch’s excuse was that the Broncos were simply going to force the ball to Sanders no matter what in this game, so the interception could be attributed to that. I’m not so sure I agree. Manning has always been more sapioexual than that.
  4. Brandon Marshall took a few steps backwards tonight—no really, he literally took too many steps backwards tonight.
  5. After a week of progress, the Broncos were back to their old habits of taking too many penalties. But hey, at least they didn’t take up chewing tobacco.
  6. Matt Prater’s first field goal attempt was everything but beautiful. His second wasn’t even three points. His extra point? Barely through. Christ, Prater. Go get a lap dance (or two) and get your head right. And take Mitch Ewald with you.
  7. Lynch is right; Andre Caldwell needs to step up. Otherwise, he’ll get about ten total balls all season.
  8. Brock Osweiler is better than he showed tonight, isn’t he? In his defense, he’s never played with the first-team offense.
  9. Wish we could have seen more of Cody Latimer in this game.
  10. Duke Ihenacho is headed for the scrap heap.

The Who The Heck Knows

  1. Hard to get a read on Von Miller’s play. He was in for one series. And while he looked great in coverage, he dropped a surefire pick-six.
  2. Just a reminder: this defense isn’t even close to being at full strength. Wait until they get a load of Chris Harris with this defensive pressure.
  3. Ron Zappolo: "Britton Colquitt, one of the NFL's best punters." Somewhere, Doug Lee’s head explodes.
  4. If I have to watch another lame Sonic commercial tonight, I’m going to start a letter writing campaign. Actually, I’m too lazy for that, so the better option would be to go and crush a couple of Cheesy Bread Dogs.
  5. Ryan Fitzpatrick is my favorite Leprechaun of all time, no matter how hard he tries to grow his beard out to prove that he is a man.
  6. Hard to imagine a better set of corners in the league right now than Talib, Harris, Roby, Webster, and Bolden.
  7. John Elway says he’s proud of Osweiler’s play so far in the preseason, but what else would we expect him to say? The only thing that could possibly tarnish Elway’s front office work would be a busted pick at quarterback in the second round. Truth be known, even that wouldn’t damage his reputation in these parts.
  8. Michael Sam recorded the second and third sacks of his career tonight on Johnny Manziel, and I noticed something. The internet didn’t break. And no one turned gay because of it.
  9. Is Isaiah Burse the answer or the question?
  10. I’m not so sure I like Emmanuel Sanders knowing his stats so well in a post-game interview. Put the smartphone in your locker, dude.

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

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