Gut Reaction: Week 6 - Broncos vs Jaguars

The Broncos delivered an easy victory, 35-19. They held their opponent scoreless in the first and fourth quarters. They allowed fewer than a hundred rushing yards yet again.

Oh, did I mention they are 6-0?

Then why does this win feel like a loss?

I guess that’s what happens when expectations are set as high as the Rocky Mountains, when your team is setting scoring records, and finally, when fans want the sun, moon, and the Super Bowl.

We should probably get used to it.

The Positives

  1. Malik Jackson channeled his inner Reggie White for three consecutive plays in the third quarter. Whatever he did to enter that state, he needs to do again--and again.
  2. Thankfully, the Jaguars went for a fake punt and had a bone-headed personal foul in the first half. The way the Broncos were playing, the Broncos would have lost this game without them.
  3. Knowshon Moreno continued where he left off last week—long, strong, and ready to get the friction on.
  4. When do you run a fake punt? How about near midfield when the expected value is much higher—a lesson the Jaguars have not yet learned. David Bruton said after the game that he’d been waiting for that opportunity for “years.” Also, the Broncos noticed the Jags stunted inside on film, so that’s great work by the Broncos coaching staff.
  5. Question posed by our own Doc Bear on the Broncos' first touchdown: “How do you lose track of a tight end that large?” Doc, I don’t have a clue, but even worse—Julius Thomas was dressed like he was going hunting.
  6. Wes Welker’s 800th career reception was a touchdown, and he did it in true Welker fashion—sneaking through the holes in a Cover 2 zone.
  7. Kevin Vickerson did a lot more than just plug the middle in this game. He brought pressure, batted some balls (saving a touchdown), and soloed some snack-sized running backs.
  8. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie returned to form. And that’s good enough for me.
  9. We can debate the merits of a conservative John Fox, but give Fox credit for being a great coach in one respect: he doesn’t throw players into the doghouse for physical mistakes. If he did, Ronnie Hillman wouldn’t see the field.
  10. What do you do when you lose your starting right tackle? Louis Vasquez, that’s what. Vasquez did a great job filling in for Orlando Franklin. And let’s not forget about Chris Kuper doing his thing again at guard. Still, I have to ask the question: How many more tackles can the Broncos lose before they start losing?

Honorable Mention: Shaun Phillips, Demaryius Thomas, Ronnie Hillman, Derrick Wolfe, Julius Thomas, Kayvon Webster, and David Bruton.

The Negatives

  1. What’s the best way to lose to an infinitely inferior team? Turn the ball over at critical times. Consider the Broncos well-school after this game.
  2. If we’re honest, let’s admit Champ Bailey was completely rusty in his return. I can forgive him for the coverage, but the missed tackles? That’s not the Champ we’ve come to know and love.
  3. The normally sure-tackling Duke Ihenacho was anything but sure today.
  4. Anyone who watched this game quickly realized that part of Jacksonville’s strategy today was to give Peyton Manning some hard shots while making him show patience on long drives. And it almost worked. I swear, I thought, for the briefest of moments, that I was watching an old Patriots-Colts game.
  5. After today’s game, expect future opponents to attack the Broncos with quick-hitters to the outside. I don’t think it will work, but the Jaguars used it effectively on numerous occasions.
  6. Paris Lenon is not Wesley Woodyard—we’ll just leave it at that. Actually, we won’t. Woodyard is infinitely quicker and has better instincts for the ball.
  7. None of us were too excited about John Fox’s challenge flag in the first quarter. First, it wasn’t a critical play. At question was seven measly yards. Second, the replay, which Fox’s booth coaches would have noticed, was pretty clearly in favor of the Jaguars. I guess we’ll chalk this up to Fox wanting to put a boot in Jacksonville’s ass.
  8. Well, there goes my streak of not screaming at Manny Ramirez. The last time Ramirez snapped the ball this poorly, he was playing guard.
  9. If you’re Jack Del Rio, when do you simply double Justin Blackmon? I mean, the guy was targeted 20 times in the game. That’s not just a trend. It’s a strategy.
  10. Von Miller, I hope your mind is right.

The Who The Heck Knows

  1. I’ve not had a chance to weigh in on the Deion Sanders choking and slamming controversy, but for what it’s worth, I side with Sanders. If you watched Sanders play in the NFL, you know the guy never got physical with anyone. I do, however, appreciate Sanders getting physical with The Devil. The horns alone give me pause—especially around playground equipment.
  2. I watched and listened to the Chiefs earlier in the day, and allow me to point out the obvious: Arrowhead Stadium was loud, proud, and already plowed before game time. I can’t wait to see if Peyton Manning and the Broncos can shut those fans up.
  3. Shannon Sharpe did a great job as an analyst in today’s game, and I’m not just saying that because I’m still pissed off Mike Shanahan let him become a Baltimore Raven in 2000. Can you still believe it? That’s how much hubris little Mike had. He let go a great tight end while he was in his prime, under the mistaken belief that his system was bigger than the players. Always remember, there is no system bigger than the players.
  4. Say what you want about Eric Decker’s hands, but without his muscling of Ronnie Hillman’s fumble, this game could have turned out a lot differently. See, playing grab ass with Jessie James comes in handy on occasion.
  5. It’s been a few games since Trindon Holiday has returned a punt or kick for a touchdown. How damn boring of him.
  6. Have you ever seen an easier pass dropped than the floater that Montee Ball let slip through his hands near the end of the game?
  7. Guess who leads the Broncos in interceptions? Of course, you knew it was Danny Trevathan, right?
  8. If the Broncos play anything like they did this week again this season, they will get beat, it’s just that simple. They happened to time their worst performance against the league's worst team.
  9. I hope you’re ready for the Andrew Luck-Peyton Manning media frenzy next week. It’s going to get old really fast.
  10. While I don’t care about Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne, there is no way Gabbert plays half as good as Henne played today. Still, I sort of wished the Jags had brought in Tim Tebow. This game would have been a lot more fun.

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

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