Gut Reaction: Week 5 - Broncos vs Cardinals

Although the Cardinals have a good defense, they discovered one thing about playing the Denver Broncos.

Play man to man at your own risk.

Peyton Manning threw for the most yards in his career. Demaryius Thomas set a team single-game receiving record. And the Broncos nearly reached 600 yards in total offense.

This is what happens when you try and match talent with the Broncos. You find out what you knew all along.

You’re biting dust.

The Positives

  1. Congrats to Peyton Manning for eclipsing 500 TD passes in a career. It’s almost impossible to believe. Imagine throwing 31 touchdowns a year (something John Elway never did) for 16 straight years.
  2. It took Danny Trevathan exactly three plays to get a nice solo stop. The defense is better when he’s around. Trevathan led the team in tackles, which is what he was doing before he got injured. Now, let’s avoid injury again and we’ve got a defense that probably competes with anyone in the league.
  3. Good use of bunch formations by the Broncos to create space for Wes Welker.
  4. Emmanuel Sanders is setting himself up for a career year. He’s quick as a two-year old on a sugar binge. That’s why a Pro Bowl cornerback like Patrick Peterson has to hold.
  5. Like the one-night stand that won’t stop calling you, Von Miller gets more disruptive each and every day. That’s bad news for the rest of the AFC West. He’s a quarter spin move, wildcat, Gumby, and disco inferno. In short, he’s the dude you don’t want to face on third and long.
  6. Demaryius Thomas is so fast in space, he makes Speedy Gonzalez look like he’s on barbiturates. He makes the Road Runner look sedated.
  7. DeMarcus Ware is just a different cat in the second half. The primary reason? He saves up his best moves for critical situations.
  8. Yes, I’ve beaten on Ronnie Hillman excessively these last few years. And although I still don’t think he’s ready to run between the tackles, I’m proudly feasting on crow this evening. You know what? It takes like chicken.
  9. Terrance Knighton sure makes it tough sledding up the middle. It’s why you see the Broncos’ opponents consistently try and get their yards off tackle.
  10. If it’s in the zip code, there is a good chance Julius Thomas catches it.

The Negatives

  1. A team will always show you something you haven’t seen on film, so it’s not shocking the Cardinals moved the ball on the Broncos at the beginning of the game. It also didn’t hurt that Larry Fitzgerald talked the referees into a pass interference call.
  2. Twelve men on defense? Last time I checked, they only let the Raiders do that because they need the extra help.
  3. In order to get the running game going, perhaps moving Orlando Franklin back to right tackle is in order.
  4. The Broncos purged Matt Prater. Britton Colquitt should be next. He fails to do at altitude what others can do at sea level.
  5. How many pick-six interceptions did the Broncos drop today? Eventually it was a romp in the countryside, but let’s not forget, the Cardinals were within four points to begin the fourth quarter.
  6. Nate Irving, get your head turned around, little buddy!
  7. Aqib Talib didn’t play his best game, but that’s still better than three quarters of the cornerbacks in the league today.
  8. Bruce Arians thinks the so-called chop block that Julius Thomas and Ryan Clady executed in the game was the dirtiest play he’s ever seen as a coach. Look, it wasn’t good, but has he ever seen this play?
  9. Drew Stanton is a better quarterback than I anticipated—that is, until Von Miller nearly fragged him.
  10. Lost in the victory today was Andre Caldwell’s knee injury. Should know more tomorrow.

The Who The Heck Knows

  1. So far, Brandon McManus, so good. Even better? The price tag. Yes, McManus missed a 53-yard field goal, but I think he was a little amped up for that kick. He’ll come around. And if he doesn’t, there are a million kickers out on the market.
  2. What’s more hilarious? That Brett Favre gets mentioned in the same breath as Peyton Manning or that it took Manning 49 fewer games to get to 500 TDs?
  3. I was a little surprised to see the boo birds out at the end of the second quarter, but you can’t completely blame them. The Broncos basically ran out the clock with forty seconds to go.
  4. It was fun watching Demaryius Thomas and Antonio Cromartie go at it in man coverage, but Thomas is just too big, too fast, and too quick, even for a lengthy cat like Cromartie.
  5. Old friend Kyle Orton got the win for the Buffalo Bills earlier in the day. Say what you want about Orton, but he did put up 300 yards after a couple of years of riding pine.
  6. I’m glad the Chargers keep winning. It makes things a lot less boring. Also, it will make the tears Phil Rivers inevitably sheds taste that much saltier.
  7. Malik Jackson sounds a lot like Tone-Lōc in his interviews.
  8. Thanks to Ted Ginn Jr. for being Ted Ginn Jr. yet again. Two targets. Two targets slipping through his hands.
  9. Isaiah Burse provided flashes of the player the Broncos hope he can be. Stay tuned…
  10. Finally, I need to express my appreciation to our friend Ted Bartlett, who last week decided to stop writing about football. We’ll miss you, Ted.

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

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