Sunday, November 15, 2009

Broncos Gameday Recap: Game #9 - at Redskins

Redskin uprising in DC, Broncos fall for the third straight time.

Sound the alert! It's officially time to panic. The Broncos just lost to the hapless and hopeless Redskins. Perhaps that 6-0 start was a mirage. The way they've looked in the past three games is more of what I expected for the entire season. I got my hopes up after the hot start, but I'm less optimistic now. They've still overachieved this year, as I was expecting 4-12, but I started thinking playoffs, but now that seems to be quickly slipping away. The game against the Chargers next week now looms gigantic, the Broncos MUST win if they want to keep their hopes alive.

The game today started out well. The Broncos connected on two ridiculously long touchdown passes from Orton to Marshall, and they almost hit on another one to Eddie Royal. The Redskins looked confused and pathetic in the defensive secondary in the first half, and it appeared the Broncos would take care of business fairly easily. However, they allowed the Redskins to hang around, allowing one great drive and one embarrassing touchdown pass from a punter on a fake field goal attempt.

Chris Simms was pretty pathetic, as evidenced by his 7.5 Passer rating.

Right at the end of the half, Kyle Orton scrambled inside the red zone and twisted up his legs getting tackled. He hurt his left ankle, and was out for the second half. That was not good. The Broncos led 17-14 at the half, but Chris Simms was useless in the second half. Completely useless. The Redskins got their running game rolling, and the offense couldn't keep the Broncos defense on the sidelines for very long. The defensive line just wore down, and when they got to the point where they really needed a stop, they couldn't get one. All in all the 27-17 loss was the hardest loss to take of the season so far, as the Redskins are a dreadful team...they lost to the Lions for heavens sake. Welcome back to earth Broncos fans.

Positives from the game:

Kyle had a great first half, but then sadly had to go due to an ankle injury.

Kyle Orton: Kyle looked much better than he had in the past two games. He was efficiently moving the ball down the field, but sadly he was only able to play the first half, as the ankle injury kept him out of action down the stretch.

The Redskins were burned twice in the first quarter by Brandon Marshall going deep.

Brandon Marshall: Number Fifteen was stretching the field, and getting wide open deep. He finished with five catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Granted, much of that yardage was due to defensive error, but still...that's a good day.

Knowshon Moreno: Knowshon had a very solid day, finishing three yards shy of a hundred yard game. However, in the second half, when it became obvious that the Broncos were going to keep it very conservative offensively, the Redskins started focusing on the run.

Negatives from the game:

Ladell Betts rumbles in for the go ahead touchdown against the Broncos.

The run defense: 174 yards for the Redskins on the ground. Jason Campbell threw for as many yards the whole game as Kyle Orton did in the first half, but the passing game was just a small part of the offense for the Skins; Washinton won this game on the ground. (As an aside, Jason Campbell is a terrible quarterback. His accuracy is suspect to say the least, and he doesn't do touch passes very well at all. He has a strong arm, and he throws it hard all the time, several passes bounced off the arms of their intended receivers when if he took a little off of it, he might have better results.)

Mike Sellers falls into the end zone for a touchdown on a successful fake field goal attempt.

Special teams: Even when the Broncos were winning, the special teams were a weakness. Today, they were abysmal. Mitch Berger's punting was a little better, and the coverage teams were okay, but the worst play of the game happened on a fake field goal for the Redskins. They came out in kick formation and then shifted out of it to show a fake, Washington didn't like something they saw, so they called timeout. After the timeout, they did the exact same thing, and even though the Skins had shown they might do something tricky, the Broncos were not prepared for it. Hunter Smith, the Redskins punter, tossed a high arcing rainbow of a pass to fullback Mike Sellers who rumbled in from 35 yards out to tie the game at 14 in the second quarter. Embarrassing.

Good plan: Do the opposite of whatever Woody Paige says.

Chris Simms: Woody Paige wrote a
column this week saying that Chris Simms should get the start in Washington. Due to Orton's injury, Paige sorta got his wish, as Simms started the second half and we got another reminder of why Woody Paige is an idiot.

Deangelo Hall reels in a terribly thrown ball from Chris Simms for an interception.

Simms looked dreadful, is there a word worse than dreadful? Craptastic? Inept? I consulted, and the best words I could find were: Distressing, Grievous, Horrific, Shuddersome, and Appalling. Needless to say, when I have to consult a thesaurus for your performance, that's probably a sign you didn't have a great day. His numbers? 3 for 13 for thirteen yards and one interception. His passer rating? Seven point five! He couldn't even get to double figures for his rating. That's dreadful...or any of the other words the thesaurus found. I'm not feeling good about having Chris Simms behind center, hopefully Orton's ankle is okay.

Final Thought:

I was concerned when the Broncos lost back to back games to the Ravens and Steelers, but I consoled myself by knowing that there is no shame in losing to either of those teams. Those are good teams, and you're not going to win them all. However, losing to the Redskins severely shakes my faith in this Broncos team. This was a game the Broncos really needed, and Denver's confidence has to be at a season low right now. They need to recapture some of that early season magic and quick, or what started as a special season will continue to crumble and they'll lose an amazing opportunity that their start afforded them.

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