Tuesday, August 14, 2007
It's tasteless, disgusting, and offensive. I love it.
Nice way to get into to the swing of things last night. All in all, it was a successful start to the season for the hometown heroes as the Broncos exacted a small measure of revenge (not really) for the New Year's Eve meltdown by beating the 49ers 17-13.
Don't get me wrong, this team still has serious problems on defense, but the game was a success nevertheless. Here's a few quick thoughts:
* No significant injuries. I cant stress enough how important this is. You see guys going down for the season with major injuries in meaningless preseason games all the time. No one wants that.
* Travis Henry is really hard to tackle. The starting O played one series and scored a touchdown in lickity split fashion. Henry busted out for 27yds on 5 carries, with probably half of those yds coming after contact. A couple times Henry was hit in the backfield and was able to squirt through for positive yardage, which is nice after watching Tatum Ball fall over after someone looked at him funny for two years.
* The first team O looked pretty frickin' good all around on that series. Cutler drilled a throw to Javon Walker for a 24yd gain and later in the drive stepped up in the pocket and scrambled for a 16yd gain. If Brandon Marshall can get healthy and step up his game, this offense will be significantly improved over last year. Cutler is going to be so good it'll be disgusting.
* No worries with whoever winds up starting at RG and RT. This team will run the ball well and pass protect effectively.
* I think Mike Bell solidified his spot as the #2 tailback. He just looks like he’s at full speed as soon as he touches the ball.
* On the other end of the spectrum is the D. I know it's early and it takes a few games to iron out the kinks, but the D looks like the same old story from last year. Only now, everyone is fatter. SF had big gains on 1st down, ran the ball at will, picked apart the secondary (yes even the first team), etc.
* The D-Line didn't look improved at all and none of the young guns really looked that great. Crowder was flying around a little bit and wound up getting nicked but I didn’t hear Marcus Thomas mentioned once.
* There was a noticeable lack of speed in the LB ranks (except for Nate Webster's helmet - seriously, somebody get that motherfucker a chin strap or at least a helmet that fits, he's going to get himself killed), misdirection and backside runs were WIDE open, and it didn’t look like an over-pursuit problem, it looked like they simply couldn’t catch up.
* Filling that starting Sam linebacker spot is going to be a problem. None of the candidates would likely be a starter for any other team in the league. My guess is whoever we start in Buffalo will not be the starter against Minnesota.
* Demetrian Veal and Kenard Lang are going to get cut and that sucks. Both were impressive last year, but aren’t fat enough to suit Jim Bates and were on the field late in the fourth with dudes that will be washing dishes in a couple of weeks.
* How did the D only give up 13 points? Failed 4th down attempts and red-zone takeaways. You cant survive like that. Eventually it will wind up killing you. It's still really early though. I think they'll get it together.
* Special teams was a mixed bag: Quincy Morgan looked good in the return game, but Elam pushed a 44 yarder right and Sauerdoughbrun did not impress with punts nor kickoffs.
So, the O looked good, but the D looked terrible. When it's this early, I'll take it.