Gut Reaction: Week 5 - Broncos @ Cowboys

Come on, now. You didn’t expect them to walk through every game, did you?

Today’s 51-48 win was just what the Broncos needed.

They were tested, but remained undefeated. Peyton Manning stayed on pace for the record books. And the Broncos remembered they’ve got to play at least a little defense to win.

What should we remember? A team scored 48 points and they still couldn't beat your Denver Broncos.

The Positives

  1. Today Knowshon Moreno played like the guy Josh McDaniels drafted. I admit, I didn’t think Moreno would even crack the lineup this year. And yet, he’s killing it like Kowalski.
  2. As much as I get after Ronnie Hillman, he did play well today, flashing that trademark speed.
  3. Peyton Manning still maintained before the game that his familiarity with the Tampa-2 would not help him against the Cowboys because “personnel are always different.” Uh-huh. Manning dissected the Cowboys like a high school biology teacher with no life outside of frog and knives.
  4. I got a woody watching Julius Thomas run a slant route for a touchdown. The Broncos are going to be able to get some mileage out of that route in a lot of different situations this year. Good luck to any cornerback trying to go through Thomas to disrupt that route.
  5. Adam Gase is a part of this unstoppable force otherwise known as the Denver Broncos offense. If we assume he had something to do with the play Peyton Manning ran in for a touchdown, we’ve got to hand it to Gase. No one—not even the cameraman—saw that coming.
  6. The Broncos defensive line continues to stone anyone who tries to run against them. Kevin Vickerson, Mitch Unrein, Robert Ayers, Terrance Knighton—all of them continue plugging away.
  7. Matt Prater made some big kicks today. So what there was no wind—when the game was on the line, Prater’s leg was on display.
  8. John Fox went conservative at exactly the right time, taking a knee to run the clock down for a Prater chip-shot winner.
  9. Danny Trevathan played average for the most part, but when he needed to make a play, he made one that was as athletic as you’ll ever see. Make sure to watch that replay again and again—and again.
  10. John Fox said before the game that Tony Romo has cut down his decision errors this year—well at least coming into today. In this game, he was right, except in the one drive that mattered most.

Honorable Mention: Any damn person who took an offensive snap.

The Negatives

  1. Despite my contention that Denver would still kick ass without Von Miller, they could have used him today—big time. If you didn’t notice, Tony Romo threw for more yards in one game than most quarterbacks do in two. I will guarantee one thing, though: when Miller comes back, no quarterback is going to throw for 500 yards. And no team is going to score 48 points.
  2. Let’s face it—Jack Del Rio sat back today and didn’t bring a lot of pressure until the fourth quarter. And it took him too long to abandon the zone for the second straight game. I doubt he makes the same mistake again.
  3. Perhaps Del Rio knew going to man coverage would expose Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to the wrath of Dez Bryant. DRC has played so well this year, so I think I should probably give him a pass for one bad game. Still, the one bad game was a stink bomb.
  4. Several of the Cowboys' touchdowns came down to poor tackling. The good news? It can be fixed.
  5. It goes without saying that Eric Decker’s fumble was a real bitch—with real teeth.
  6. Rahim Moore was playing so deep in the first half, it’s like he was expecting the Cowboys to take a shot downfield on every drive. In truth, he was on to something, wasn’t he?
  7. Don’t blame Tony Carter on the touchdown he gave away (unless you bitch about his tackling). That’s all on Duke Ihenacho as our own Ted Bartlett noted in his Live Blog.
  8. The only things that stop the Broncos' offensive drives are penalties and mental errors. Just ask my good friend, Manny Ramirez (on an otherwise good day).
  9. Speaking of mental errors, Peyton Manning’s first interception of the year was one of the worst underthrows you’ll ever see.
  10. Duke Ihenacho can have a bad game every now and again. This was one of games. Bad angles, poor tackling, average coverage—a Jedi does not these things.

The Who The Heck Knows

  1. I watched the Chiefs and Titans play the early game. After seeing the Chiefs’ secondary shrink wrap the Titan’s receivers, I was salivating at the prospect of the Broncos’ receiving corps going up against them. It’s going to be fun seeing if the Chiefs can play their tight man coverage against the Thomas brothers, Decker, and Welker, play after play after play.
  2. Another thought from the Chiefs’ game: I don’t think Alex Smith makes it through the year injury-free.
  3. I expected that Champ Bailey would be out a few weeks, but I never expected he would come back only a week ahead of Von Miller—if that.
  4. The Broncos did today what they rarely do—which is to say, they settled for field goals in critical situations.
  5. Chris Harris is as valuable as any member of the Broncos. Let’s hope that concussion is nothing more than a one-week deal.
  6. Speaking of injuries, once Wesley Woodyard and Harris went out, things started to go downhill pretty fast. That tells you something about the Broncos’ defense without them.
  7. Jeff Legwold believed the Cowboys would do the most damage against the Broncos via the run of any team they have faced. Further, he thought the Cowboys might force the Broncos into a physical slugout-type of game. That prediction couldn’t have been more wrong. In fact, it looks like the only way to stay with the Broncos this year is to try and beat them in a shootout.
  8. I’m not sure, but I think I heard Phil Simms try to make a case for the Cowboys to decline the holding penalty on the Broncos when they were in the red zone. A second later, I think I heard him disagree with himself. That’s called Schizophrenia.
  9. I’m sure Rob Lowe kills it during family touch each year, but I don’t think anyone cares enough to make a commercial about it.
  10. I’d say the exact opposite about Ron Burgundy.

Give us your list, Broncos fans, after the big win!

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

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