Week 13: Tampa Bay 23 – Denver Broncos 31: Good and Bad


Good:

1)      Payton Manning is awesome. Love the first Demariyous Thomas TD throw; love the second Demariyous Thomas TD throw. What about the 3rd down conversion to a lying on his back Knowshon Moreno? Awesome!

2)      Demariyous Thomas. If you, Bronco Fan, have not yet voted for him in the pro-ball poll, do it now. He’s playing incredible football. His two TDs are pieces of beauty and his rout running could not get much better than this.

3)      Von Miller is the second most awesome player on Denver roster. Getting closer to Manning. He is everywhere and could still improve a bit. The pick 6 sailed the game and the AFC West, thought he should thanks Mitch Unrein a lot for that throw. Still he picked up the ball like a receiver.

4)      The pass rush didn’t create many sacks (one by Miller) but all linemen created havoc and pressure constantly. It really was impressive. I don’t know how many pressure Dumervil had….5? 6? What about Unrein on the Miller pick 6? Wolfe is getting there too, usually half a second after Miller.

5)      Denver defense, especially in the 3rd quarter was as dominant as it can be:

  • 1st Tampa Bay drive in the 3rd quarter (as for NFL.com):
    • 1-10-TB 8(11:45) 22-D.Martin left guard to TB 10 for 2 yards (58-V.Miller).
    • 2-8-TB 10(11:04) 5-J.Freeman pass incomplete short right to 19-M.Williams (25-C.Harris).
    • 3-8-TB 10(11:00) (Shotgun) 5-J.Freeman pass incomplete short right to 11-T.Underwood.
  • 2nd Tampa Bay drive in the 3rd quarter (as for NFL.com):
    • 1-10-TB 20(9:21) 5-J.Freeman pass incomplete short left to 22-D.Martin.
    • 2-10-TB 20(9:14) (Shotgun) 22-D.Martin up the middle to TB 26 for 6 yards (55-D.Williams). PENALTY on TB-69-D.Dotson, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at TB 20 – No Play.
    • 2-20-TB 10(8:56) 5-J.Freeman pass incomplete deep right to 19-M.Williams (25-C.Harris).
    • 3-20-TB 10(8:50) (Shotgun) 28-D.Ware right guard to TB 18 for 8 yards (36-J.Leonhard).
  • 3rd Tampa Bay drive in the 3rd quarter (as NFL.com):
    • 5-M.Prater kicks 65 yards from DEN 35 to end zone, Touchback.
    • 1-10-TB 20(4:39) 22-D.Martin right guard to TB 22 for 2 yards (99-K.Vickerson).
    • 2-8-TB 22(4:04) 5-J.Freeman pass short right intended for 83-V.Jackson INTERCEPTED by 58-V.Miller [96-M.Unrein] at TB 26. 58-V.Miller for 26 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

The result before these 3 Tampa Bay drives? Denver 7 – Tampa Bay 10.

After these three defensive drives? Denver 28 – Tampa Bay 10. Game and AFC West on the record books already.

 

6)      Trindon Holliday production on returns was amazing.  He amassed 121 yards between 4 punt returns (17, 21, 12 and 45 yards) and 1 kick return of 26 yards. Especially the punt return numbers are incredible and created great field position to the offense in the third quarter (Denver scored starting from its own 48 and 43 yards; Manning throw the interceptions right after Holliday best punt return that gave the ball to the offense at Tampa Bay 40 yards, with Denver up 28 – 10). Amazing.

7)      Britton Colquitt and the punt coverage special team had a fantastic day too.

Colquitt punts sequence:

  • 46 yards to Tampa Bay 30 yards line (out of bounds);
  • 38 yards to Tampa Bay 8 yards line (fair catch);
  • 40 yards to Tampa Bay 4 yards line (Downed by Nate Irving);
  • 55 yards to Tampa Bay 8 yards line (fair catch);
  • 45 yards to Tampa Bay 38 yards line (returned 15 yards).

I don’t know how it could have been any better.

8)      While in the 3rd quarter the offense was rolling, Denver didn’t need a 3rd down conversion. Astonishing

9)      Denver run defense was really sound in the first half. In the second half Tampa didn’t have a shot at running the ball because Denver offense did its homework and Denver was up by 11 points in a span of 5 minutes. The defense completed the job adding 7 more point and when it’s 28 -10 you’re not going to run the ball even with the best running game ever. Being this said, still it remains a Denver run defense remarkable performance in the first half when the game was close.

 

Bad:

1)      Matt Prater missed another field goal. I understand that he’s more of a clutch player and rarely misses a field goal when it really counts for the team. Still if he’s able to score the 47 yarder, Denver is up 34 – 13 and there’s no chance in the world for the Buccaneers the have a shot.

2)      The offense really seems to struggle in the first half to set its rhythm. A TD in the first drive and then mental errors and penalties. These self-inflicted wounds kept the game close.

3)      As I said before, too many penalties really hurt Denver in the first two quarter: during the second offensive drive Franklin committed a face mask that killed the drive at its beginning. In the third drive Kuper committed holding for 10 yards that most probably quitted 3 Broncos points (at least) from the board. I know that it isn’t a big deal, but some bad points have to be found here and there.

4)      Again, like against San Diego at home, Denver let the already defeated opponent to get close enough in the score late and try an onside kick…

5)      Wesley Woodyard injury. Let’s hope he could recover immediately. He has played at Pro bowl level the whole season and he is one of the most important weapon on defense for the Broncos.

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