Gut Reaction: Week 3 - Broncos @ Seahawks

You’ll be tempted to look at the final score today and feel some sort of moral victory.

You’ll hear all the pundits next week. It will go something like this. The Broncos had to show they could hang with Seattle, they’ll say. And they did.

The Broncos never quit, they’ll say. They can build on this.

As Marcellus Wallace might say, that’s just pride f#$king with you.

Resist that urge. The final score was a façade.

Different team. Same result.

The Broncos spent millions and millions of dollars recreating a bolder, tougher defense. There were even whispers of The Orange Crush circulating through training camp. Combine that with more offensive power than a Wyoming fireworks store, and you had predictions of NFL glory.

But there’s also the truth: even though the Broncos made it look like a real game, and even though they are more stout on defense, the Broncos aren’t stout enough to beat the Seahawks when it counts—on the road, on a neutral field, and although it doesn’t matter at this point, probably at home.

At best, the Broncos are going to finish kings of the AFC. At worst?

We’ll have thirteen more games to find out.

The Positives

  1. Okay, now that I’ve got that out of my system, it’s worth noting that the Broncos held their own against the best team in the league and in possibly the toughest stadium in the history of the NFL. It was so loud in CenturyLink Field, some guy in Fairbanks thinks the Russians nuked Anchorage off the map. Seriously, every time the Seahawks play a home game, Mount Saint Helens gets a little jealous.
  2. And yes, the Broncos didn’t quit in this game, that’s true. Feel better? I don’t. You know why? Because at the end of the day, the Seahawks are still physically better than this Broncos team. The Broncos will never be able to run against this defensive line unless they change the rules and allow the Broncos twelve men.
  3. I’m trying to be more positive, I swear. I did like how the Broncos started in press man coverage on their first defensive series. They at least tried to make it look like they were going to play the part of bully.
  4. Terrance Knighton and Sylvester Williams held the point. Nate Irving (mentioned again below) wasn't too bad either. It’s going to be tough for any team to run the ball consistently up the middle against the Broncos defense.
  5. I’m not sure I’m a fan of DeMarcus Ware saving his best pass rush moves until the second half, but he does know how to make things dramatic.
  6. Peyton Manning barely got it going in the pass until the last part of the fourth quarter, but don't blame Chris Clark. Clark played about as well as he could against the pass rush. He’s no Ryan Clady, but he was never beaten outright. Color Me Badd Shocked.
  7. Nate Irving’s perfect form tackle on Marshawn Lynch on third and goal was exactly what the Broncos needed to deflate the Seattle crowd. Sure, Seattle went up 3-0, but everyone in the stadium knew it should have been more. It also set the kind of tone the Broncos were looking for.
  8. For a guy recovering from ACL and hamstring injuries, Von Miller worked his ass off. He had nothing left in the tank in overtime, though, and it showed.
  9. Looks like this Emmanuel Sanders guy is going to stick around. I wish the Broncos would have tested Richard Sherman with Sanders more often. By the way, how priceless was the look on Sherman's face when the Broncos tied the score? Sherman looked like he needed a laxative.
  10. Thanks to Pete Carroll for trying to get cute up 17-5. It led to a nice little interception for the Broncos and got them back into the contest.

The Negatives

  1. The worst part about this whole game?  Watching the Broncos helplessly trying to stop the Seahawks in overtime as Russell Wilson ran around them again and again. The little guy is no bigger than Warwick Davis, and yet, no one could catch him. Would someone please steal that fu#$er's gold already?
  2. Marshawn Lynch is the reason I will no longer eat Skittles, but Pete Carroll is the reason I continue to eat crow. I never thought his rah-rah stuff would work in the NFL.
  3. I’m no expert, but did the Broncos purposely try to avoid getting the ball to Julius Thomas today in the first three quarters? It’s like they wanted to ensure Antonio Gates makes the Pro Bowl.
  4. Manny Ramirez, Louis Vasquez, and Orlando Franklin were absolutely dominated by the Seahawks defensive line. No--not that kind of domination. Get your mind out of the gutter.
  5. I can’t remember a game in which Demaryius Thomas did less, at least for the first three quarters.
  6. I’m usually a big booster of Montee Ball, but when he fumbled on the first play of the game, I’ll admit, I wanted his ass chained to a booster seat on the sideline.
  7. I get that the Broncos respect the Seahawks’ zone coverage, but a Virgil Green draw on third and nine isn’t my idea of a chance.
  8. Speaking of Green, when he went out with a concussion, John Fox was right. It took away Denver’s ability to run out of two tight ends—not that they were running particularly well to begin with. The Broncos running game was about as successful as a stripper pole in your community library. Unless, of course, you live in Oakland.
  9. Yes, Aqib Talib gave up a touchdown, but his technique couldn’t have been better. The Seahawks could have thrown that route another five times and Talib would have broken it up every time. But that’s why you’ve got to go deep in a game like this. The Broncos should have tried it a few more times themselves.
  10. You know how pissed off you were when you figured out a meth lab had moved in next door? That's how pissed off I was at Talib when he drew a personal foul with the game on the line. 

The Who The Heck Knows

  1. Russell Wilson is no John Elway (he already has Super Bowl in his third season), but it sure seemed like it in overtime.
  2. As much as I love watching the Broncos carve up other teams with pick routes, I have to tell you, I saw red when the Seahawks were doing it to the Broncos.
  3. How the referees missed an offside call on the Seahawks midway through the third quarter is beyond my mental capacity. For the record, I do have the mental capacity of a six-year old.
  4. Life’s a bitch and then you die—unless, of course, you’re an Oakland Raiders fan. Then you just want to die while bitching. Seriously, how can you lose on a Vince Wilfork interception? The guy closes down a Golden Corral buffet before each game.
  5. As shitty as Britton Colquitt has been kicking all season, he managed to get back in the groove today. Yes, I just praised a punter.
  6. Hand it to the Seahawks. Lining up Marshawn Lynch on the outside against Brandon Marshall was a clever move.
  7. Aqib Talib is a clinic when it comes to playing off man coverage. His feel for the receiver as he stares into the backfield to read the quarterback is as good as there is in the league.
  8. If you really want a stat that tells the story of this game it’s this: the Seahawks ran for seven of their first downs. The Broncos? Just one. The Broncos got one dimensional real fast.
  9. Lucky for Roger Goodell, a lot of people will be talking about this game well into the night.
  10. Unfortunately, Goodell needs about ten news cycles for people to forget he’s an arrogant asshole who licks the lollipop of nepotism like he’s a sugar addict.

Sound off, Broncos fans. I was way too tough, but they call it a gut reaction for a reason.

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

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