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What We Learned About The Denver Broncos



The Broncos put the NFL on notice last night. Good luck stoppin' them.
Last night, the Denver Broncos defeated the Baltimore Ravens 49-27. The game started out very competitive, as Peyton Manning and the offense struggled to find their groove. The defense had a tough time putting pressure on Joe Flacco early on.

The 1st half reminded me of the Broncos of the early 2012 season. Slow starts. Dumb mistakes. Flukey plays. And then the Broncos put the entire NFL on notice in the 2nd half, as Peyton Manning put on a clinic, tossing 5 TDs. He ended the game by tying an NFL record that has stood for 44 years, tossing 7 TD passes.
Here’s what we learned about the 2013 Denver Broncos:

Peyton Manning
I think that Peyton Manning is going to have an unbelievable statistical season. He has a very good shot of breaking Tom Brady’s single season TD record of 50. In 2004, Peyton set the NFL record for TD passes, by passing Dan Marino’s record of 48 TDs. Peyton tossed 49. That record stood for 3 years, and then Brady broke it.

I think Peyton eclipses the 5,000 yard mark for the first time in his career. There are just too many weapons. If Defenses want to double his outside receivers, Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, then Peyton will find the inside guys, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas. Welker and Thomas each scored 2 TDs last night. It was unreal. I can’t wait to see what Peyton accomplishes in 2013.

Knowshon Moreno

What have I been saying since day 1? I’ve been saying that when the chips go down and the games matter, it’ll be Moreno in with the first team. And last night proved me right. He can pass protect, he can rush, and he’s one of the best RBs in the NFL at catching passes out of the backfield.
However, when the Broncos tried to ice the game by running the ball and killing the clock, they gave the rock to Montee Ball. I think each week, Ball will have an increased role. But for now, Moreno is the man.

Wes Welker and Julius Thomas

It is going to be impossible to stop the Broncos’ passing attack. Wes Welker had a bit of an off night, muffing a punt in the 2nd quarter, which gave the Ravens the ball on the 1 yard line. But in the passing game, he and Manning had a full on mind meld going on. 9 receptions, 67 yards, 2 TD.
Julius Thomas exploded onto the NFL scene last night. And it’s been a long time coming. He made a HUGE difference for the Broncos’ Offense. He’s tough to cover. He’s too fast for Linebackers, and too big and physical for Corner Backs. 5 receptions, 110 yards, 2 TD.

Shaun Philips & Robert Ayers

The Broncos pass rush started off slow. Joe Flacco had plenty of time to throw in the 1st half and he took advantage of it, picking the Broncos apart. But when the Broncos’ Offense exploded in the 2nd Half and took a multiple TD lead, it gave the Defense the opportunity to pin their ears back and go after Flacco. Shaun Phillips came up huge with 2.5 sacks. Ayers clocked 1 sack.
The benefit of playing with a lead is going to pay dividends for the Broncos’ pass rush. Right now, John Elway looks like a genius for passing on the big dollar pass rushers like Freeney and Abraham, and going with Shaun Phillips.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

DRC pitched a shut out last night. He had an unbelievable game. He shut down Torrey Smith. I shudder to think of the possibilities when Champ Bailey returns to the field. DRC & Champ on the outside and Harris (who had a very good game) on the inside, promises to be one of the best CB triumvirates in the NFL. DRC is fast, he’s long, he’s tough, and in Jack Del Rio’s system, he could have an ALL-PRO level year.

Duke Ihenacho

Ihenacho was flying all over the field last night. He empitomizes the word “explosive”. He has elite closing speed. And he just pops off the screen when you watch the Broncos play. It seemed like he had his nose in 80% of the Broncos’ tackles last night and the stats agree. He led the Broncos with 12 tackles. I can’t wait to see what he accomplishes when he really settles into his position on the first team.

Follow ProFootballSpot on Twitter @pfspot and follow me @CJ_BroncosPFS for continuing coverage of the Denver Broncos



14 Comments

also,

 

 

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    • Seth Keysor likes this
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Chad Jensen
Sep 06 2013 03:17 PM

Dropped it on the 1. SMH. 

I learned they are even better than I thought atleast. This offense is going to be special as we saw last night, and the defense I think will be fine too, especially when they get Von Miller and Champ Bailey back. Offensively this team is probably going to be unstoppable, I wouldn't be shocked if Manning throws 50 touchdowns this season. Kind of like that New England offense did I believe in 2008? Not sure on that. But this team has even better play makers at WR then that team did.

I think D. Thomas is a very good receiver and is going to have a very good year, but let's not over-hype this game from him.  78 yards and 1 TD were a result of one play that was defensed horribly.

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Chad Jensen
Sep 06 2013 05:38 PM

I learned they are even better than I thought atleast. This offense is going to be special as we saw last night, and the defense I think will be fine too, especially when they get Von Miller and Champ Bailey back. Offensively this team is probably going to be unstoppable, I wouldn't be shocked if Manning throws 50 touchdowns this season. Kind of like that New England offense did I believe in 2008? Not sure on that. But this team has even better play makers at WR then that team did.

I agree. But if they can get their ground game going, watch out. 

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Chad Jensen
Sep 06 2013 05:40 PM

I think D. Thomas is a very good receiver and is going to have a very good year, but let's not over-hype this game from him.  78 yards and 1 TD were a result of one play that was defensed horribly.

 You could point out something like that on almost every scoring play in the NFL. When a team scores, it's usually at the expense, or exploitation of the defending teams mistakes, or lack of execution

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Seth Keysor
Sep 06 2013 08:26 PM

Dropped it on the 1. SMH. 

 

Yeah, that's pretty bad.  But in the grand scheme of things it barely registers after a game like that.

 

Are you a little concerned with how the Ravens were able to hang (and even control) for a half?  For some asinine reason, they decided to start blitzing the daylights out of Manning...

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William Watts
Sep 06 2013 08:55 PM

The Ravens looked great on the first drive.

 

For awhile, it seemed like the Broncos were going to lose and then Manning went all... Manning on them.

 

Crazy game.

not to sound like a wet blanket, but is 65 yards total rushing something to be concerned about?

 

i know Manning was on fire and taking what BAL gave him, but Moreno and Ball barely averaged 3 yards per touch.

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Chad Jensen
Sep 06 2013 09:00 PM

Yeah, that's pretty bad.  But in the grand scheme of things it barely registers after a game like that.

 

Are you a little concerned with how the Ravens were able to hang (and even control) for a half?  For some asinine reason, they decided to start blitzing the daylights out of Manning...

I'm not concerned. Under Manning, the Broncos have traditionally been very slow starters. They adjust at halftime and come out swinging in the 2nd half. And the haymakers connect. I WISH they'd be more consistent in the 1st half. If they were, Manning would be on the bench to start the 4th quarter every game. 

 

I was pleasantly surprised at how well the defense played last night without Miller or Champ. I think it's a good sign. DRC is looking like a true shutdown artist. Hopefully he can carry it forward through the season. 

 

Phillips & Ayers (and hopefully Wolfe) i think are going to have much larger impacts than many pundits realized. 

    • Lucas Polglaze likes this
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William Watts
Sep 06 2013 09:10 PM

not to sound like a wet blanket, but is 65 yards total rushing something to be concerned about?

 

i know Manning was on fire and taking what BAL gave him, but Moreno and Ball barely averaged 3 yards per touch.

 

Hope so.

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Chad Jensen
Sep 06 2013 09:34 PM

not to sound like a wet blanket, but is 65 yards total rushing something to be concerned about?

 

i know Manning was on fire and taking what BAL gave him, but Moreno and Ball barely averaged 3 yards per touch.

It's a concern. Ball will eventually break through and be the guy. But until then, Moreno will hold down the fort and keep Manning upright from those blitzers wanting to give him his 5th neck surgery

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Lucas Polglaze
Sep 06 2013 10:42 PM

not to sound like a wet blanket, but is 65 yards total rushing something to be concerned about?

 

i know Manning was on fire and taking what BAL gave him, but Moreno and Ball barely averaged 3 yards per touch.

 

Yes, I am concerned. With Willis McGahee, even when he got hit, he was good for at least four yards. We don't have that kind of back on the roster right now. However, this team is going to pass to set up the run.

 


It is going to be impossible to stop the Broncos’ passing attack.

 

 

Not strictly true. You could always drop eleven into coverage. Forget the dime package, or the quarter package...the HUNDRED DOLLAR package. 11 DBs. Boom. That's how you stop Manning through the air.

    • Chad Jensen likes this

as a Chiefs fan, the Broncos are scary good, and this is just the beginning ... yeah, I can see Manning have a beast of a season, along with all his weapons

 

some things in life simply are NOT fair, and this one of them ... but then, the Enn Eff Ell, like Life, isn't fair ... but for football fans in general, the Air Manning Show should be fun to see

    • Chad Jensen and Lucas Polglaze like this

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