Gut Reaction: Week 4 - Broncos vs Eagles

During the fourth quarter of the Broncos' 52-20 beatdown of the Eagles, I caught Broncos Ring of Famer Rod Smith on KOA's radio broadcast.

What Smith said was quite incredible.

When asked if the 1998 Broncos team—you know, the Super Bowl Champions—were as good as this year’s team, Smith quite simply said, “No.”

Right now, it's hard to argue with Rod. The Broncos just set a single-game franchise scoring record.

While it remains to be seen what this team will be after Week 17, they are, through four weeks, simply the best Broncos team we've ever seen.

The Positives

  1. How many TD passes will Peyton Manning end up with? I’m not good at math, but I think it’s something like twenty-five thousand. Did you notice what Manning was doing after his fourth touchdown? Looking at stills, of course.
  2. Covering Wes Welker is like trying to catch a greased pig. On pick routes, he’s a greased pig covered in Crisco for good measure.
  3. Damaris Johnson, meet Steven Johnson and Nate Irving, otherwise known as the Bash Brothers. Johnson, by the way, looked like David Bruton out there on special teams.
  4. Kicking to Trindon Holliday is insane under any circumstance, but it’s crazy pills to do it at SAF@MH, where even an average kicker puts the ball into the stands.
  5. The longer Chris Clark plays left tackle, the better he gets. In a few more weeks, he still won’t be Ryan Clady, but he’ll be better than good enough. When you get a chance, go back and watch Clark’s block on Demaryius Thomas’s second touchdown. The big guy can motor.
  6. Eric Decker whipped Cary Williams like he did last year when Williams was with the Ravens—no, not the playoff loss—the first game.
  7. I knew Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie could cover some, but I had no idea he was this good.
  8. Louis Vasquez and Manny Ramirez (yeah, that’s right) are playing at a Pro Bowl level.
  9. It’s good to see Shaun Phillips getting back on track after a couple weeks of feeling less than fresh.
  10. I don’t remember a game in which Robert Ayers played so well. His weakness has always been consistency, though, so let’s be cautiously optimistic for now.

Honorable Mention: Demaryius Thomas (should have made the list), Julius Thomas, Zane Beadles, Orlando Franklin, and Duke Ihenacho.

The Negatives

  1. As Eddie McCaffrey pointed out on the radio broadcast, the Broncos had some trouble with Philly’s receivers in the hook zone today.
  2. When you play a dual-threat QB like Michael Vick and the second-ranked offense in the league, you’re going to give up some plays. Still, it’s no excuse.
  3. Ronnie Hillman needs to pound some creatine laced with some creatine. Then he should wash it all down with—creatine.
  4. How many times does Peyton Manning need to tell the crowd to STFU when the Broncos are running fast on offense?
  5. Just in case you missed it, Sylvester Williams didn’t dress today. No, this doesn’t mean he’s a bad draft pick, but it’s something you can’t just sweep under the rug, either.
  6. Although the Broncos defense is going to get some grief for the number of rushing yards they gave up today, it’s not quite as bad as it seems. They have enough speed (Woodyard, Trevathan, Ihenacho) to keep from giving up any backbreakers. And I’ll take bend-but-don’t-break anyday with this offense.
  7. The only downside of Trindon Holliday scoring on a kickoff return? It probably takes away a wee bit of Peyton Manning’s rhythm. That’s not a negative, as much as it is a lamentation that Peyton could have thrown for five touchdowns, not four.
  8. In a search for meaningless negatives, I note that Peyton Manning missed a sure-fire 80-yard touchdown to Eric Decker on an overthrow.
  9. Steven Johnson, tuck the ball away.
  10. Philly was 8-for-16 on third downs, so if we’re going to nitpick, there’s always that.

The Who The Heck Knows

  1. It’s still too early to talk about going undefeated—oops. You see what I did there?
  2. Chip Kelly, welcome to high-tempo at altitude. You know, it’s just not that easy when you don’t live your life a mile high.
  3. You want proof Eric Decker is more than just a boy toy for Jessie James? Check out Decker’s foundation, Decker’s Dogs. As someone who has seen the effect service dogs have firsthand, I can’t praise Decker (and his hot wife) enough.
  4. I mentioned Eddie McCaffrey earlier, but I’d like to also note that as a color guy for KOA, he’s getting better and better each game. And on the radio, he doesn’t have to go over the middle, which is good at his age.
  5. The Chiefs won again. You scared yet?
  6. Why the Eagles were taking timeouts near the end of the game is anyone’s guess.
  7. No, Trindon Holliday isn’t Rick Upchurch, but he will break his Broncos records.
  8. Still not enough tape on Brock Osweiler to know how he’ll fare during a real Broncos horse battle.
  9. Champ Bailey, I’m starting to think of you less and less.
  10. I have no idea what goes through Von Miller’s brain on a daily basis, but now that the Broncos are 4-0, I wonder if one of those thoughts is: “Damn, I wish they needed me more.”

Lay it down, Broncos fans. Who made your list?

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

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