Good Morning, Broncos fans! Last night's 23-20 victory (box score) over Seattle was about two things - the exceptional pass-rushing duo of Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil, and Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow's strengths and weaknesses encapsulated. The two defenders put on quite a show, combining for 3.5 sacks, six QB hits and three tackles for loss in just over two quarters of football as the defense held the Seahawks to 39 yards of total offense in the first half and just 183 yards overall. The extent of Von and Doom's dominance was likely magnified by the awful play of Seattle's starting tackles Tyler Polumbus and James Carpenter, but it's still cause for excitement.
As for the QB duo, Orton was terrific when given time and space (which was often) but rather poor when under duress - nothing new in either instance. With the support of a solid running game, Orton was also his typical excellent self in the play-action game and handed off to Tebow with a 17-3 Denver lead. As for Tebow, we saw precisely what he is - a young QB with plenty of work to do (and farther away from being starter-worthy than we may have thought a few weeks ago) but nothing close to the embarrassment to the position that Merril Hoge and Boomer Esiason would have us believe.
Rather, Tebow is a QB who can be a bit overanxious and quick to tuck and run, but also makes some excellent plays outside the pocket and in avoiding pressure within it. So while it's now clear that Orton is the right player to be starting this year (the Broncos can be a winning team with Orton and this defense), it's also plainly obvious that Tebow brings elements to the game Orton never could, and there's no reason to think he won't take over the team in due time - next season if he progresses as he should over the next year.
D.J. Williams dislocated his elbow last night, while Brodrick Bunkley was thankfully walking without a noticeable limp and said he'd be okay after taking a cut block from Robert Gallery. According to Klis, Williams will be out 3-4 weeks with his injury and he may miss the first two games of the regular season.
Andrew Mason's observations: the pass rush, evaluating Tebow's play, and the strong kicking of Matt Prater. Plus, he shares the reactions of Kevin Vickerson, Joy Mays and Gallery to the latter's cut blocks.
Kiszla is excited about the Denver pass rush and thinks Doom will be the NFL's Comeback POY and Miller will be the Defensive ROY.
LJ on the league's prioritization of player safety as evidenced by the new kickoff rules and protection of "defenseless receivers."
FWIW, Klis thinks that Bill Walsh would have loved Tebow.
Video of John Fox, Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow and several others speaking after the game, plus first half and second half blog notes from Max Henson and articles on the defense's performance from Gray Caldwell and Kenny Legan.
Contrary to earlier reports, the Commish has decided against suspending Aqib Talib and Kenny Britt. Perhaps he smelled a fresh lawsuit against the NFL...
San Diego needed a late 90-yard drive directed by Billy Volek to beat the Cardinals last night 34-31.
The Raiders don't want Terrelle Pryor wearing #2 so soon after JaMarcus the Hutt soiled the jersey.
Cincy waived QB Jordan Palmer, freeing themselves entirely of the Palmer family - for now.
Steelers backup QB Byron Leftwich broke his left arm last night and is likely done for the year.
In his Sunday column, Dan Pompei considers the lasting influence of Bill Walsh on today's NFL, plus he notes that our old friend Clinton Portis is offering teams to pay his own way to visit them for tryouts.
Buck Brooks reacts to Friday's games, including noting that Matt Cassel is a shell of his 2010 self behind the Chiefs' awful line play.
Mike Tanier sees bargains on the NFL scrap heap.
Not only is Alex Gibbs teaching the Florida staff his zone blocking system, but here are hours of video of him doing so. How cool is that?!
Jonathan Comey analyzes the AFC North teams' over/under figures.