Thursday, November 26, 2009

Broncos Gameday Recap: Game #11 - vs Giants

Knowshon and the Broncos run to victory Thanksgiving night against the Giants

Now that's more like it! I can definitely give thanks for a performance like that from the Broncos. Two days after the Broncos had a players-only meeting behind closed doors, they came out on Thanksgiving night and acted like the fantastic team that won their first six games of the year rather than the joke of a team that had dropped four straight.

Although, something has to be done about those pants...the all blue look is seriously awful. Denver looks so much better in white pants, although, if they're going to play like they did tonight, I can look past it. The Broncos walloped a New York team that looked hapless this evening by an impressive final score of 26-6.

Brandon Stokley found the end zone to help seal the Broncos win.

The Broncos established the run game and kept with it. That opened up Kyle Orton and the passing game. Brandon Marshall brought his A game, Knowshon Moreno had perhaps his finest day as a pro, the defense was stifling, Elvis was in the building and terrorizing Eli, Brian Dawkins was flying around the turf and tossing his body around like man possessed, Matt Prater was perfect 4-4 on Field Goals and launching touchback after touchback on kickoffs, Correll Buckhalter was a great change up to Knowshon, the Broncos dominated time of possession, and even Mitch Berger punted well.

Seriously, did you SEE some of the catches that Marshall made against New York?

The short week seemed to agree with the Broncos, who had the look of a team that wants to keep fighting this season. It felt like they knew that most pundits were starting to throw dirt on them and kind of resented it. This was the kind of effort that hopefully they can build upon.

Eli Manning is probably going to have nightmares about the number 92.

However, as solid as the Broncos looked, it's important to note that the Giants looked absolutely worthless. Eli Manning looked scared, their offensive line was a joke, they couldn't get any pressure on Orton, they never really got their running game going against a Broncos team that couldn't stop anyone over the past month. (Seriously, Ladell Betts went nuts against Denver a couple of weeks ago. LADELL BETTS!)

The Giants are very good at complaining!

The Giants were complaining to the league office about having to travel two time zones on short rest to play the Broncos, and their players were playing with all the intensity of a box of macaroni. Considering the Giants are hovering right on the edge of not making the playoffs, one would think they'd play a much better game tonight, but it was obvious from the very beginning that this game was going to belong to the Broncos.

Positives from the game:

Knowshon played like a superstar against the Giants.

Knowshon Moreno: For the first time all season, Knowshon was running like a running back that could become a superstar. He was patient in looking for holes, his field vision was outstanding, and when a hole opened up, he attacked it. He was everything you want in your top running back, and his determined running was a huge reason that the Broncos won the game.

The Offensive line: These guys were spectacular this evening in all facets of the game. They opened up fantastic running lanes, they gave Kyle Orton a ton of protection, and they only gave up one sack. They were the most physical unit on the field tonight at Invesco Field, and they deserve notice for doing a great job.

The Defensive secondary: Even when Eli had time to find a receiver, there were not very many open. There were several times where the Giants gave Manning plenty of time, but because of the fantastic coverage there was no one open to whom he could throw the ball. They also tackled spectacularly against the Giants, keeping any of the Giants players from breaking off long plays once they got past the front seven. Terrific job back there tonight.

There are few players as fun to watch as Brandon Marshall.

Brandon Marshall: When he is playing at his best, there are few wide receivers in the game in Marshall's class. He made two one-hand catches this evening that were nothing short of spectacular. With 6 catches for 86 yards, Brandon Marshall definitely did his job this evening as the biggest play maker on the Broncos offense.

Elvis Dumerville is blossoming into a dominating defensive performer.

Elvis Dumerville: Considering the guy is well below six feet tall playing a position dominated by 6'6 guys, it is nothing short of amazing how well he is able to rush the quarterback. He added two more sacks to his league leading total which is now up to 14 sacks this season. Some of the quick moves that he makes to put himself in position to get to the quarterback are just plain amazing, and he had another great evening tonight pressuring Manning into all sorts of hurried throws in addition to the sacks.

Brian Dawkins: Even if you knew nothing about the Broncos, you wouldn't need to watch them play for very long before you'd realize who was leading this team on the defensive side of the ball. Dawkins leads by example playing with total abandon and disregard for his body, but he also plays smart too. He's a stud of a football player, and it's nice that he's wearing orange and blue this year. On a running play in the first half it appeared that Danny Ware was about to break off a huge run when suddenly Dawkins flew into him and made a horribly awkward jarring tackle that kept Ware from gaining another twenty or thirty yards.

Negatives from the game:

Orton played okay against the Giants, but there is room for him to improve.

Kyle Orton: Kyle played pretty darn well this evening, however he was bailed out several times by his wideouts making fantastic adjustments on balls that were not ideally thrown, and he also threw a horrible interception on one bad throw. Not a terrible night from Kyle, but he has played better games. Still, I don't want to complain too much, because he played exactly how the Broncos need him to play in order to win.

Penalties: Way too much yellow laundry thrown on the field against the Broncos this evening. 8 Yellow flags which cost the Broncos 61 yards of field position. The Broncos need to be less careless, as some of those flags cost the Broncos points.

Red Zone Offense: The Broncos had to settle for field goals way too much this evening. Since their defense was stifling Eli and the Giants offense, it didn't matter as the Broncos still won easily, but Denver continued it's season long trend of starting to sputter once the move the ball inside the 20.

Great job by Coach Potty-mouth this evening.

NFL Network's Television coverage: Specifically when they showed Josh McDaniels on the sidelines yelling at his team, and they aired a rather non-television friendly word from the coach. I found the accidental F-bomb to be rather humorous, although I imagine our friends over at the FCC might be less enthused about it.

Final Thought:

The Broncos are going to win a lot of games when they only allow six points. Fantastic defensive effort from the boys this evening.

If the Broncos are going to make the playoffs, they will need to play the way they did against the Giants over the final five games in order to get in. It was good to see an energized Broncos team playing with passion and energy, as it had been over a month since last we saw this version of the know, the good version. This has the potential to be a season changing game. I really wasn't expecting the Broncos to do much more than keep it close, yet they came out and dominated the contest. They are in decent position to make the playoffs right now at 7-4, so hopefully this domination wasn't an isolated effort, but rather the start of something big. Go Broncos!

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