Good Morning/Afternoon, Broncos fans! If you happened to watch last night's 30-10 loss to the Seahawks (BTV, NFLN) in its entirety, or if you saw none of it and instead just checked the box score, it would be quite easy to be discouraged by Denver's performance.
The closing half was so boring and lopsided that it made the fine play of Peyton Manning and the Broncos defense in the first 30 minutes almost fade from memory, and, well, there's that score.
Yet in the same way that last week's 31-3 win over the Bears didn't engender Super Bowl predictions, last night should be no cause for great concern.
Indeed, there were the three turnovers - each a terrible mistake by Zane Beadles, Manning, and Lance Ball - while purported PMFM security blanket Jacob Tamme dropped a pair of passes, including an easy would-be touchdown pass. Brock Osweiler and the second-team offense failed to move the ball (37 net yards and a lonely one first down), and the second- and third-team defenses gave up big play after big play to Russell Wilson and Co.
Once again, the Peyton of old was present in the form of his decisiveness, quick release, footwork, decision-making, and poise. He even forced the Seahawks into a wasted timeout with his patented hurry-up, a welcome contrast to the frequent delay-of-game penalties taken by Denver's offense last season. And after a few loose spirals early on, with the exception of the (overthrown, wobbling) interception intended for Joel Dreessen, Manning's throws were on target and showed plenty of zip - displaying progress already from what had been an encouraging debut in Chicago.
Until Tamme's big drop, another one by Eric Decker, and the bogus unnecessary roughness penalty on J.D. Walton that preceded them both, Peyton was flawless running the two-minute offense.
The pass rush was relentless for three quarters, and were it not for the incompetence of the replacement officials, Elvis Dumervil would have drawn four or five holding penalties on Seattle's hapless tackles. Ty Warren offered a glimpse of the dominance he exhibited routinely in New England, Derek Wolfe again impressed, and Champ Bailey was Champ Bailey. In the first half, Seattle's offense managed just six first downs on 103 net yards, and converted only two of eight third-down attempts.
David Bruton was a special-teams dynamo - making three huge plays, including two partial punt blocks - and likely extinguishing any doubts he'll make the 53-man roster.
Manny Ramirez, Mitch Unrein, and Wolfe all fared well in playing expanded roles dictated by team injuries.
The DWAI conviction of D.J. Williams marked an extremely rare loss for Harvey Steinberg while representing Broncos in court.
Woody Paige says the Broncos offense will be very much like what the Colts ran with Peyton, in case you've been living under a rock.
Leave it to Mark Kiszla to sing the praises of Xavier Omon, and to only now refer to Tim Tebow as a "novelty act." Oh, and if you want to do his writing for him, he'll bring you to the Houston game to see Rod Smith immortalized in the Ring of Fame.
The excellent play by Russell Wilson, and the team's investment in Matt Flynn means the Seahawks will trade Tarvaris Jackson.
Chargers WR Vincent Brown broke an ankle and will be out for quite a while; a foot injury to Raiders WR Jacoby Ford might delay the start of his season; New Orleans LB Chris Chamberlain is done for the year with a knee injury.
Russ Lande looks ahead to top linebacker prospects for the 2013 Draft, which should be of particular interest for Broncos fans.
Chase Stuart's trivia for the day is a tough one that covers Pro Bowl appearances.