Week 9: Denver Broncos 31 – Cincinnati Bengals 23: Good and Bad


Good:

1)      The Win. It was a must win for various reason. First of all to create some momentum on the schedule. After a miracle come back against the Chargers and a huge home win against a desperate not so bad team, this match up was against a rested not so bad AFC team. The Broncos had to win to go on with the progress they made through the season or better to confirm them. Denver won, and it’s all that matter at this point.

2)      Von Miller is the second most awesome player on Denver Roster, and he’s closing the gap to the most awesome player. Three sacks is a hell of a stat. Kudos to him and thanks to all the responsible of that 4-12 season two years ago. From time to time, a team has to have an awful season to get the chance to draft an incredible player. It looks like that Denver just did it in the right moment and was also lucky to get the 2ns overall pick. With Carolina taking off the board the best Qb (or supposed to be). Von Miller is one of the best defender in the game, and he could be this player for long time for the Broncos. Just great!!

3)      3 Passing TDs. I would have liked to see these three TDs more spread through the 4 quarters to see some consistency on offense, but I won’t complain too much. 3 TDs on the road against a good defense is always a pretty thing. I just think that the Broncos could use more TE confusion close to the goal line, but Decker made two hells of TDs.

4)      Peyton Manning is awesome. A little less than a week ago, but still Awesome. The way he bunch back from the two INTs with the two winning drives is amazing. I can’t even remember when this kind of confidence was around any Broncos Qb, maybe Elway, maybe.

5)      The 4th quarter running game. Or, better, Willis McGahee. Even thought that for three quarters Denver running game was inexistent,  McGahee was always willing to pound the ball even if just for two yards. Cincinnati front 7 was just solid and dominant against the run. I didn’t understand why Denver was trying and trying to run with so little results. The 4th quarter showed me why Denver coaches are professional coaches and I’m just a fan: keeps trying you maintain that defense playing and you’ll get your opportunity for some good gains. The good gains came and came in the most important moment: during the final offensive drive with McGahee braking tackles and moving the chains with a couple of unbelievable plays (a 1st -10 for 9 yards when he got tackled after 4 yards and pick 5 more being tackled by at least 3 defenders and a 3rd -1 from Cincinnati 17 yards line where he gained 12 yards). Those two were probably two of the three most important offensive plays for Denver because they helped moving the chains and at the same moment they gave confidence to the offense. McGahee played well the whole game and stepped up hugely in the 4th quarter. I will say it again: if you’re a Broncos Fan and Willis is not yet one of your favorite players at least of the past 10 years, he should become it now!!! Big Heart Willis!

6)      The 4th quarter defense. Ayers made the play that allowed Bailey to make The Play, intercepting Dalton on Cincinnati 46 yards line, with Denver up 4 points. Dumervil sacked (Wolfe just getting a faction of a second after him) Dalton to force the ultimate field goal with no time on the clock. Previous to that Wolfe had a huge stop on a 3rd-1 run that forced a 4th -1 for the Bengals. I know that than Cincy converted the 4th-1, but the clock was ticking and seeing a rookie (overdrafted in the most professional analysts’ opinions) it just makes Denver FO look like genius.  In the same Cincy drive that finished with Dumervil sack, Wolf even knocked down a pass on the line of scrimmage. I love it. Off course the whole defense was playing really good. It does not matter that the Bengals were anyhow gaining yards, they basically had the ball back with more than 3 minutes on the clock and they took 2 and a half minutes,, using their two last time outs and the two minutes waning and a spike to stop the clock to gain 57 yards and kick a field goal…..IMO that was great complementary football…..why in the world the Broncos offense should had had  the ball back to gain a first down (with turnover nightmare around the corner). Great calls and great executions by the defense in the 4th quarter.

7)      The 1st half defense. Again, during the first half the defense played really a solid match. Giving up two field goals to the home team is always a great showing, even better if the opponent misses one of the two field goals.

8)      Chris Harris and Tony Carter confirmed themselves, in a big way. I have counted 2 pass deflections for Carter and one for Harris. Plus Harris was terrific in man coverage. Huge, huge game again. Now let’s hope they’ll repeat over and over again….so that Omar Bolden could use this year and the next one to develop in the next Cham Bailey (or the closest thing….).

9)      Trindon Holliday KR for TD. It was a huge play. The only good Denver play in an horrible Broncos 3rd quarter. It’s a great thing that the offense is not the only responsible of the points on the scoreboard.

Bad:

1)      3rd quarter defense meltdown. I don’t know what happened, but after Trindon Holliday KR for TD and Payton Manning connecting with Dreessen for the final go-ahead TD, the defense allowed 17 points. I understand that in between there had been two Manning INTs, but still before and after this meltdown, Broncos Defense owned the Bengals…..something happened in between.

2)      3rd quarter offense mistakes. I understand that no-one is perfect, but still those two INTs came in the worst moment. The defense was not dominant anymore so the offense could have done a little bit good to the defense and not produce turnovers.  I especially didn’t like the first INT, because it really gave momentum to the Bengals. I guess that a more conservative play could have worked better for the game management, or, as I mentioned ahead, a more intense use of TEs, since Denver forgot that there were three TEs dressed on white that could have created nightmares near Cincy end-zone.

3)      Some sort of mental inconsistency, still both on offense and defense. Basically in the 3rd quarter as I already have mentioned. Denver is now a good team, not yet elite, because of these “mental lapses”.

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