Sunday, August 22, 2010

Broncos Gameday Recap: Preseason Game 2 - vs Lions

Lions 25 Broncos 20

Game 2 of the NFL preseason and it's already getting hard to care about it. The NFL needs to seriously do something about this...we don't need 4 or 5 games of this dreck per team. I propose two dress-rehersal games, and then let's get it on! September can't come quick enough.

Anyway, there wasn't much compelling about this game. The fans with tickets to the game had to be disappointed that Tim Tebow was on the sidelines, still nursing a rib injury incurred on the final play last week when Tebow with the clock winding down decided to crash into a defender so that the Broncos only lost a meaningless game by nine instead of sixteen, so at least THAT was a good decision...

Without Tebow, this clash of the Titans (Yes, that is sarcasm) was not exactly a scintillating affair. Kyle Orton, fresh off his one year extension this week, still looked solid, but not as good as he looked in the first preseason match with the Bengals. He went 16-22 for 177 yards, and looked pretty good doing it. He had one interception to old friend Dre Bly, but that was a result of Lance Ball having difficulties with a pass that hit him directly in the hands. So don't blame that one on the quarterback. Orton looks to be firmly entrenched at number one behind center, and any thoughts that Tebow might challenge for the starting position seem to have been laid to rest with a combination of Orton's contract extension, Tebow watching in civilian clothes on Saturday, and the fact that Orton appears VERY in control with McDaniel's offense.

Brady Quinn still looked bad, but not as bad as he looked in his previous outing where he appeared to have all the poise and confidence of a bologna sandwich. He wasn't a complete dumpster fire this week, but he still looks hesitant. He holds the ball far too long, a flaw which ended any chance of the Broncos getting a chance to win this game, as he was stripped deep in Lions territory as he was trying to lead Denver to a come from behind 4th quarter win. His fumble was recovered by the Lions, and that was it. Lions 25 Broncos 20.

If you're a Broncos fan, the Broncos gave you many reasons to be concerned on Saturday night. The running game looks dreadful. Granted, both Buckhalter and Moreno have yet to play, but the offensive line looks over matched and problematic. The O-Line even looks sketchy in pass protection, which is not a good development The first team defense showed some signs of life in the red zone, only allowing the Lions to get into the end zone once, but the Lions still managed to score on every one of their first half possessions, which is not a good thing. So, apart from being unable to run the ball, and being less than mediocre on defense, the Broncos should be just fine...Those things aren't important, are they?

If you're looking for positives, Jabar Gaffney appears to be quickly becoming Kyle Orton's favorite target, hooking up for nearly 1oo yards in a half with the starter. With Brandon Marshall going to Miami, it looks like Gaffney's role will be much increased. Eric Decker also made his Broncos debut, and looked very solid, which is encouraging...The Broncos may not be as bad at wideout as was feared during the offseason.

Other random thoughts:

Calvin Johnson is really good. Like, amazingly incredible. Matthew Stafford obviously is a big fan of him, throwing the ball to him in very difficult spots, and Johnson comes through. Those two may have a very solid season together. The Lions are going to be a lot better than they have been the past few years...Seeing as how they have lost 37 of their past 40 regular season games, that is hardly a bold prediction.

Those uniforms the Broncos wore on Saturday night should become their permanent ones...The Broncos should wear orange, they just should. I know I've gone on and on about this in the past, but those uniforms just feel more "Broncoey"

The preseason is dreadful, and I just can't talk any more about this game. The Broncos lost, but it totally doesn't matter. The year the Lions went 0-16 they were undefeated in the preseason. I don't feel like giving up hope on them before the games actually start meaning something, and there were certainly positive signs, but everything about this season screams rebuilding year for the Broncos. I'm curious to see how McDaniels deals with this team he has put together. My hopes are high, and my expectations are low. The season will probably fall somewhere in the middle. About a month ago I was saying 3-13...Now I'm more thinking 7-9...It's still not good, but it's better than I was thinking. Go Broncos!

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