Broncos 31 Seahawks 14
Woah! That was kind of fun! The Broncos actually looked good today! Thanks to an exceptionally sharp Kyle Orton and a turnover crazed Seattle team, today's game turned into a laugher. A team like the Broncos doesn't get to be involved in too many laughers, so enjoy it Denver. We may have to wait awhile before we are THAT comfortable in the 4th quarter again.
The day started out a little sketchy. The Seahawks took the opening drive and converted three third downs and basically ran the ball right down the Broncos throats. They even scored a touchdown that was nullified by penalty, and then Matt Hasselbeck began what would be his daylong "I'm making a terrible throw" virtuoso performance with Champ Bailey making an impressive leap to snag the ball and wrestle away the momentum Seattle was beginning to build. Hasselbeck had just an atrocious day, tossing three interceptions on amazingly off target tosses. The turnovers were a huge reason this game turned out to be so easy for Denver. In addition to the interceptions, the Broncos also had their first touchdown set up on a muffed punt. It was on that muffed punt that I learned that my team employed a player named "Cassius" which I thought was pretty swell. Cassius Vaughn was the recipient of a fortunate bounce in which he was able to recover the muff before tumbling out of bounds.
The Hawks never seemed to fully recover from the succession of mistakes that handed Denver a 17-0 Halftime lead. It seemed that the Broncos might be giving back the game at the start of the third quarter, but a quick Seahawk touchdown was quickly matched and exceeded, and it soon became apparent that this game belonged to Denver. The end result was a surprisingly easy 31-14 victory, and a reason to hold on to a little bit of hope as the schedule starts to get tougher.
We'll start with the negatives, because there just aren't too many that need mentioning when you win by seventeen, but there are a few concerns from this one.
Rushing defense: The Seahawks were averaging 5.5 yards per carry, and at times they seemed like a hot knife through butter. The Broncos were struggling getting off of the field on third down, especially at the beginning of the game. They are having trouble making stops that don't involve turnovers, which is a bad sign when Peyton Manning is up next on the schedule. The defense was not the reason the Broncos won this game, although when they really needed to make plays, they did. Of course, it didn't hurt that Matt Hasselbeck was throwing the ball right at them.
Special teams: The punt coverage team seemed a bit shaky thus far this season, and allowing Golden Tate to run back a punt 63 yards at the start of the third quarter helped Seattle get on the scoreboard. The return game can also use some fine tuning, as although Perrish Cox has shown some flashes of brilliance, running the ball out of the end zone can be dangerous...especially when you get tackled at the five.
Kyle Orton: Number 8 has been spectacular thus far this season. That's right, I said spectacular. Tim Tebow jerseys are proliferating at an alarming pace, and yet Orton has been giving us no reason to think that we will see #15 on the field any time soon. As long as Kyle is putting up numbers like 25-35 for 307 yards and 2 touchdowns with zero interceptions...let's hope Tebow develops splinters in his butt from all the pine he is riding. It's hard to have a quarterback controversy when it's so abundantly clear that Orton belongs at number 1. Here is to hoping this hot start continues.
Demaryius Thomas: The rookie played in his first NFL game today, but he looked like a rock solid veteran. Making big play after big clutch play, Thomas ended the day with eight catches for 97 yards and a touchdown. Needless to say, Denver took notice of the rookie. We hadn't seen him before today, but the reason that the Broncos picked him in the first round seemed abundantly clear today.
Knowshon Moreno: The second year running back is starting to blossom in Josh McDaniels' offense. Gaining 51 yards rushing and 67 recieving along with a touchdown, Moreno looks more confident and powerful than at any point during his rookie season last year. Some people were already starting to whisper the word "bust" around him, but I think he may just pan out to be okay. It'll be interesting to see how he deals with the competition from newly acquired Laurence Maroney...assuming that Maroney ever heals, that is.
Josh McDaniels: The team held composure very well throughout the game, looked tremendously prepared, and the decisions made by the coaching staff seemed very solid and smart. I go back and forth on how I feel about our boy wonder coach, but right now, it's hard to criticize his team.
Most important thing to note in this photo and something that made me tremendously happy today...The Broncos are once again using the exceptionally cool argyle end zone. (And there was much rejoicing in the Vertically Striped Socks offices!)
We still don't really know who this Broncos team is. We should know more in a week after facing off against the Colts. Thus far, The Jaguars have outlasted them, and they ran away from Seattle due to the fact that the Seahawks couldn't stop making crippling mistakes. We seem to have a team that will play smart football, and will play hard. Really, that's all I can ask for, and it's a pleasure thus far to cheer for this team. The schedule is about to ramp up dramatically in difficulty, so we'll see how McDaniels and company do against the varsity of the NFL. Thus far, I'm impressed with the efforts that the boys are giving on the field. We may be rebuilding, but the team looks like it is headed in the right direction, even if there are stumbles along the way this season.