Gut Reaction: Week 2 - Broncos @ Giants

Anyone can hang in the first half.

It’s how you play in the second half that matters.

Under Peyton Manning, it’s become a well-known story. The Broncos come out and see what the defense wants to do. They run, they pass, they do a little dance. They even score a few points.

In the second half, they release the Kraken.

Players, coaches, even little brothers—they all drown in the wake.

The Positives

  1. For as strange as the first half seemed, the Broncos defense never completely broke down. I don’t need to remind Broncos fans that the Giants could easily have scored 24 points.
  2. Peyton Manning is probably going to hit this list each and every week. This week, he makes the list for his elusiveness. In perhaps the play of the game, Manning escaped a sack on 3rd-and-8 and hit Eric Decker for a first down. The drive increased Denver’s lead to 24-16.
  3. Knowshon Moreno may not be the best runner of Denver’s backs, but he is absolutely the best blocker. His rushing yards are gravy. There was a lot of gravy today.
  4. If your house took on Orlando Franklin in an Oklahoma drill, I’m putting my money on Franklin.
  5. It won’t show up on the stat sheet, but Derek Wolfe blew up a handful of the Giants’ good intentions in this game.
  6. Sure, they made some mistakes, but both Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Run DRC) and Chris Harris played well in my book. Those wideouts for the Giants aren’t exactly average.
  7. One block like Virgil Green’s can be the difference between winning and losing.
  8. While John Fox has a reputation for being a passive guy, he did manage to spend thirty seconds screaming at the sideline referee in the third quarter—two inches from the ref’s face. Any guesses as to what he said?
  9. Knowshon is going to be touted as the answer at running back, but the real answer is the Broncos' offensive line. Go back and look at Moreno’s runs and you’ll see that Louis Vasquez and Orlando Franklin were killing dudes.
  10. Why can Manny Ramirez be an average backup guard, but an above average center? Center is all in the head, while guard is all in the power.

Honorable Mention: Zane Beadles, Robert Ayers, Ryan Clady, Kevin Vickerson, Wesley Woodyard, Rahim Moore, Terrance Knighton, and Eric Decker (post-mental fits).

The Negatives

  1. The Broncos had significantly more penalties than the Giants, by a 4-to-1 margin, but who’s complaining? Seriously, are we to believe the Broncos are this bad?
  2. You know how I’ve been touting Montee Ball all this time—screw that noise (at least for the moment).
  3. Chris Harris will get blamed for the long haul to Victor Cruz to start the Giants’ first drive, but he did what he was supposed to do. Why there was no safety is a mystery—likely (as Ted Bartlett just watched the replay) it was the play fake that sucked in Rahim Moore.
  4. Mental errors—none were as big as Duke Ihenacho’s second-quarter imitation of The Ultimate Warrior, taking away the Broncos’ fumble recovery.
  5. I don’t expect this to be a weekly thing, but fair is fair: Wes Welker was targeted eight times today. He came away with three catches.
  6. Britton Colquitt played well below average today—thankfully for him, he just signed a big contract.
  7. It’s always a negative when Duke Ihenacho goes down with an injury.
  8. Make that Ryan Clady.
  9. What happened to Shaun Phillips?
  10. The answer to that question still comes back to Von Miller. Can the Broncos beat anyone in the league without him? Probably. Would it be a whole hell of a lot easier with him rushing the passer with a lead? Absolutely.

The Who The Heck Knows

  1. Many astute fans rightly pointed out the Broncos' continued MO—probe and prod the opponent’s defense in the first half. In the second, adjust and explode. You didn’t think a Cover 2 was going to hold Peyton Manning back forever, did you?
  2. Is it just me, or does Tom Coughlin give Mike Shanahan a run for his money in the category of America's Most Weathered?
  3. Yes, Jim Nantz, we get it—Phil Simms is your favorite quarterback in the whole wide world. For most of America, though, he’s just another guy who played with Lawrence Taylor. I rather like to think of him as the guy who said Tim Tebow’s throwing motion was the same as Tom Brady’s.
  4. If you watched the Chargers play the Eagles in the early game today, you know the Chargers—should they stay healthy—are for real. The only problem was the Chargers' inability to hold onto the ball in the red zone. The other problem, of course, is staying healthy. Here’s hoping former Wyoming Cowboy great Malcom Floyd gets back onto the field soon after being carted off in the first half.
  5. The last quarterback standing of the Josh McDaniels era. Alex, that would be, Who is Kyle Orton?
  6. Trindon Holiday is the Jekyll and Hyde of return men, but we already knew that. As Dave Logan (and everyone else who has watched Holiday) noted, every time he’s back for a return, everyone holds their breath.
  7. Don’t look now, but the Chiefs are 2-0. Bring it, Chiefs fans. You’re still going to finish third in the AFC West.
  8. Luck, as always, is a significant factor in the NFL. Just ask Tony Carter’s heel.
  9. Those rumors of Champ Bailey moving to safety? My sources say: no. Who are my sources? My Magic 8-Ball, of course.
  10. Tony Carter was both great and terrible during the game—in other words, he was a typical NFL cornerback.

Lay it down, Broncos fans.  Give me your list(s).

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

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