Monday, September 24, 2007

Out Of Luck

Yesterday marked the first egg of the year laid by the Denver Broncos. They were uninspired on defense and their offense never really “got on track.” Unfortunately for Jay Cutler and the Bronco offense, the defense just spent way too much time on the field. 39 of the game’s 60 minutes were controlled by the Jaguars, leaving just a measly 21 minutes that the Broncos actually held possession. Despite all of the 4th quarter dramatics (and I do believe there were some) the game might have been determined during Jacksonville’s 11 minute-plus scoring drive that spanned the first and second quarters. The drive not only kept the Denver offense from being able to work their magic, but maybe more importantly, gave our defense little rest.

In the second half, when the defense needed to get stops, they couldn’t. The HUGE fumble aside (which the Broncos did nothing with), I really was disappointed with the defense’s ability to stop someone who I openly felt was a sub-par quarterback, in David Gerrard. The dude killed the Broncos with big 3rd down completions, not to mention his 52 yards on the ground.

My main issue, however, was with the coach, Mike Shanahan. Just one week removed from a win that could largely be attributed to some savvy coaching moves, Shanny suffered several brain farts. The decision to go for it TWICE on fourth down turned out to be monumental gaffes. The first one seemed innocent enough, until it became apparent, that if they had just kicked the field goal instead, it would have continued to be a one-possession game. The second attempt (inside our own ten) was punctuated by Daniel Graham’s apparent drop, but again gave the Broncos no chance to come back in the game.

To be honest, I am usually for going for it on fourth-down. I would even somewhat love to see the punters done away with, completely. In this spot, however, I hate them both. I do realize that the second one was probably necessitated by the first one’s failure, but not punting with over four minutes left in the game (yes, they had already wasted all of their timeouts, two on that first attempt at 4th down, ironically enough) is inexcusable.

Yes, it shows how little trust Shanny has in his defense. Yes, it shows tremendous, if not a little premature and maybe misguided, faith in his young quarterback. What team will this become? How closely are they to being a 0-3 team traveling to Indianapolis? Either way, it was a bad home, conference loss. One of those games they might look back at the end of the year and wish they could have back.

War Terrell Davis.


TroutDog said...

The line play on both offense and defense was not good. We were dominated. I'm usually all for going for it on 4th and short that close to the end zone, but given the scoreboard and our lack of ability to run the ball all day, the move was very questionable. Obvi, it became magnified later in the game.

By my count, that's 6 quarters in a row of below-average to awful Broncos play at home. The season is young and Cutler had a pretty good game actually, but this team is starting to look more like a work in progress than a contender.

Hopefully Lynch's injury is not severe.

Wait, are we still in first place in the AFC West? What's with all of the comotion??

Sammy Winder said...

Out Of Luck, indeed.
pretty succinct breakdown of a lackluster performance from the broncos (tilting more to the defense on the lackluster definition)

even though they in a way dominated stats in the first two games, they required "lucky" events to transpire to secure wins. this third game was a flat out bed-shitter, even though they still had a chance to win the game with some better decision-making, a defensive stop on third down once in a while, and maybe even a little bit of that aforementioned "luck"...
not to be however.
i've got some pretty major fears that this team is little more than 8-8 NFLgrade after the first 3 games.

Gsquints7 said...

Looking back on it, going for it on 4th down was probably not the right call, but during the game I was all for it. I thought the play call with the Cutler sneak was ridiculous. That play in a nutshell encompassed the whole game with us being dominated on the offensive and defensive lines.
We aren't even talking about the 2nd failed conversion if Graham holds onto the damn ball, great throw by Cutler and in inexcusable drop by the TE. As a matter a fact we are maybe talking about another come from behind victory!! I liked the call considering the amount of time the defense had already been on the field and the fact we had 0 timeouts left which forced that decision to begin with. No doubt we are a work in progress but I am still pretty optimistic about what this team can become as the year moves along. The next 4 weeks will say a lot about this team. Until then I am all about the Rockies...can I still order MLB ticket for the last week, SUPPLA!