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Old 11-04-2009, 07:58 AM   #1
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Default Sporting News: Don't expect Broncos to start buckling after first loss

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Don't expect Broncos to start buckling after first loss


Vinnie Iyer
Nov. 4, 2009 - 9:18 a.m. ET



It's hard to believe the Broncos team that took the field for Sunday's 30-7 loss at Baltimore was the same one that had dispatched Dallas, New England and San Diego in the previous three games to build a 6-0 record.


WR Eddie Royal and the Broncos got away from their winning formula in Sunday's 30-7 loss to Baltimore.Everything the Broncos had done well — protect the ball, move it efficiently, play strong second-half defense, win the battles on special teams — unraveled over four brutal quarters against the Ravens.

One of the reasons rookie coach Josh McDaniels had such a good start to the season is that he didn't get caught up in the unbeaten record, regarding each victory as just one step toward a bigger goal. Now he'll have the task of making sure Denver's first loss doesn't lead to bigger problems.

"Even the things that you feel like you're doing well, after a loss become more glaring, and you really take the time to evaluate what you're good at and what you're not good at," McDaniels said. "Some of the things that you think you're pretty strong in, you need to address those and become stronger."

So what lessons should Denver have learned from Week 8? Here's what the Broncos, who have a two-game lead over San Diego in the AFC West, need to do to avoid a free fall out of the playoff picture:

1.) Don't take it with you. The Broncos can't afford to hang their heads after the loss because the reigning Super Bowl champion Steelers are coming to Colorado for a Monday night showdown. That's just the start to a daunting second half schedule that includes the Chargers, Giants, Colts and Eagles.

Coming off the loss at Baltimore, it may be in the Broncos' best interest to play an equally tough AFC North opponent rather than face the potential for a letdown against a lesser opponent. Like the Ravens, the Steelers feature a physical 3-4 defense and a versatile offense.

"They're coming off a bye, so they'll be well-prepared," Broncos wide receiver Jabar Gaffney said. "We're coming off a big loss, a very bad loss, and we don't want to feel like this again." Being at home, in front of an electric prime-time crowd, will provide a necessary boost.

2.) Don't go changing. Under McDaniels, the Broncos have stuck with a simple yet effective blueprint to win games. Offensively, it's about balance and ball security. Defensively, they have been able to win the battles up front -- both against the run and the pass.

Despite the lopsided score in Baltimore, some of the formula was executed. The defense did its part, putting up two sacks and holding the Ravens to 3.6 yards per rushing attempt.

The offense was able to slug it out for some tough rushing yards but lacked punch in the passing game. By losing a first quarter fumble and struggling on third down (converting 3-of-13 plays), the offense put too much burden on the defense. The Ravens also used a no-huddle approach to further tire out Denver's D in the second half.

With the Broncos unable to consistently move the chains like they had in previous games, everything was thrown off.

"We have to play complementary football," running back Correll Buckhalter said. "The offense has to help out the defense, and the defense has to help out the offense."

3.) Don't think about last year. Although the Broncos have many holdovers from the 2008 team that tumbled out of the playoffs down the stretch, they had enough of an offseason personnel overhaul to prevent the memory of last year becoming an issue.

Most important, they have a new leadership structure, from McDaniels and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan on the sideline to former Eagles safety Brian Dawkins, the defensive captain, on the field. The individual accountability is there, which will help them regroup as a unit.

"You always hear players say, 'We'll have to look at the film,' but most of us know where he messed up," Dawkins said after the Ravens game. "Now we just go back to practice and work on correcting our mistakes."

NFL Network analyst Matt Millen, who will be part of the broadcast team when Denver hosts the Giants on Thanksgiving night, thinks this version of the Broncos won't meet the fate of the '08 team, which lost its final three games.

"They've created an atmosphere where they believe in each other," Millen said. "The key to a winning season is confidence."


http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/arti...ter-first-loss



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Old 11-04-2009, 08:18 AM   #2
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The fact that Matt Millen believes in us is a bit disheartening.
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Old 11-04-2009, 08:21 AM   #3
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The fact that Matt Millen believes in us is a bit disheartening.


Take solace in the fact that John Clayton & Kevin Blackistone do not.




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Old 11-04-2009, 09:04 AM   #4
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Wow you mean someone actually understands that we don't need to overhaul our gameplan? Shocking!
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:10 AM   #5
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Wow you mean someone actually understands that we don't need to overhaul our gameplan? Shocking!



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Old 11-04-2009, 11:14 AM   #6
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Wow you mean someone actually understands that we don't need to overhaul our gameplan? Shocking!
Doesn't matter what the gameplan is if the players don't execute it. The OL blocking was so bad it didn't matter what Denver tried to do.
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:48 AM   #7
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Doesn't matter what the gameplan is if the players don't execute it. The OL blocking was so bad it didn't matter what Denver tried to do.
Exactly.Everyone is running around like chicken with thei heads cut off squaking that we need to throw deep.it starts up front.
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:07 PM   #8
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Exactly.Everyone is running around like chicken with thei heads cut off squaking that we need to throw deep.it starts up front.
exactly, Orton, Cutler, Manning, Brady, any QB in the league is not going to get a deep ball off with 3 defenders in his face almost the moment the ball is snapped. a QB needs time to survey the field, make a good read and allow his receivers routes to develop.
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:52 PM   #9
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The fact that Matt Millen believes in us is a bit disheartening.
Matt Millen was an excellent player who won a few SB rings, and was an up and coming announcer/analyst prior to becoming the Lions GM. Just because he sucks at one thing doesn't mean he sucks at everything.
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Old 11-04-2009, 04:50 PM   #10
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exactly, Orton, Cutler, Manning, Brady, any QB in the league is not going to get a deep ball off with 3 defenders in his face almost the moment the ball is snapped. a QB needs time to survey the field, make a good read and allow his receivers routes to develop.
Didn't seem like we threw down field much even when the protection was there...it just doesn't seem like something Orton is good at!
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:25 PM   #11
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Didn't seem like we threw down field much even when the protection was there...it just doesn't seem like something Orton is good at!
He had a dinged hand the first four weeks. We tried it some then anyway. It will come back. He can throw it.
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:16 PM   #12
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Well, while I appreciate the pop psychology, I think the players will prepare and stay on schedule like they normally do. Now if they go on a two or three game slide, eh. But the Squealers will be overblown as usual.

Matt Millen? UGH. Just looking at him annoys me.
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:18 PM   #13
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exactly, Orton, Cutler, Manning, Brady, any QB in the league is not going to get a deep ball off with 3 defenders in his face almost the moment the ball is snapped. a QB needs time to survey the field, make a good read and allow his receivers routes to develop.
yah, the great Brady looked so mediocre lying on his backside in the Bowl...couldn't run, couldn't hide, couldn't count to twenty between throws.


Brady and the like = ordinary without time and protection
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:19 PM   #14
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He had a dinged hand the first four weeks. We tried it some then anyway. It will come back. He can throw it.
His deep ball accuracy has always been poor. It was poor in Chicago, and all of the scouting reports of him coming out of college said he had a really poor deep ball. He has the arm strength, he just doesn't have the accuracy.

I am an Orton supporter btw.
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:38 PM   #15
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His deep ball accuracy has always been poor. It was poor in Chicago, and all of the scouting reports of him coming out of college said he had a really poor deep ball. He has the arm strength, he just doesn't have the accuracy.

I am an Orton supporter btw.
He can throw it though and that's really all that's necessary. Very few QB's are terribly accurate with the long ball. People pimp Cutlers arm but that is a guy who couldn't hit a deep receiver for ****. I don't think he hit one single long ball last year. Certainly never in stride. It had three outcomes. It was either overthrown badly, under thrown, or picked. But people still viewed it as a threat.
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:43 PM   #16
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He can throw it though and that's really all that's necessary. Very few QB's are terribly accurate with the long ball. People pimp Cutlers arm but that is a guy who couldn't hit a deep receiver for ****. I don't think he hit one single long ball last year. Certainly never in stride. It had three outcomes. It was either overthrown badly, under thrown, or picked. But people still viewed it as a threat.
The only 2 i can think of are the one to Royal last year and the one to Walker his rookie year..which is still one of the best throws i've ever seen.
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Old 11-04-2009, 08:37 PM   #17
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The only 2 i can think of are the one to Royal last year and the one to Walker his rookie year..which is still one of the best throws i've ever seen.
I was just about to look for that video after reading his post. It was one hell of a play
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Old 11-04-2009, 08:58 PM   #18
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The only 2 i can think of are the one to Royal last year and the one to Walker his rookie year..which is still one of the best throws i've ever seen.
Marshall against Chicago 2 years ago and those are the only throws he hit and the one to Royal really wasn't that long.
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:00 PM   #19
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The only 2 i can think of are the one to Royal last year and the one to Walker his rookie year..which is still one of the best throws i've ever seen.
How many did we attempt?
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:53 AM   #20
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How many did we attempt?


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Old 11-05-2009, 09:22 AM   #21
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How many did we attempt?
It didn't matter with Cutler, as he usually forced the issue at 20-25 yards down the field, so teams had to respect the long ball because of his 'super-duper' arm.

I was really bumbed when we got Orton, but I have grown to love him, as he doesn't but the fear of God in your heart(good or bad), as Cutler would make some absolutely amazing plays, and then turn around and make some absolutely HORRIBLE plays---Orton doesn't do that, and I must say, it makes it almost more enjoyable!
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Old 11-05-2009, 09:38 AM   #22
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How many did we attempt?
It didn't matter with Cutler, as he usually forced the issue at 20-25 yards down the field, so teams had to respect the long ball because of his 'super-duper' arm.

I was really bumbed when we got Orton, but I have grown to love him, as he doesn't but the fear of God in your heart(good or bad), as Cutler would make some absolutely amazing plays, and then turn around and make some absolutely HORRIBLE plays---Orton doesn't do that, and I must say, it makes it almost more enjoyable!
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Old 11-05-2009, 01:43 PM   #23
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It didn't matter with Cutler, as he usually forced the issue at 20-25 yards down the field, so teams had to respect the long ball because of his 'super-duper' arm.

I was really bumbed when we got Orton, but I have grown to love him, as he doesn't but the fear of God in your heart(good or bad), as Cutler would make some absolutely amazing plays, and then turn around and make some absolutely HORRIBLE plays---Orton doesn't do that, and I must say, it makes it almost more enjoyable!
He forced the issue. The impact of his arm was really not much of a factor other than him thinking he could do it all the time.

We could easily game plan to have Orton force it down field. If it's not open just throw it down field out of bounds. People want to throw down field. Well we can and will. Will it be successful? Maybe, maybe not. But it won't be any worse than the long ball we've had the past three years and teams will have to respect the threat of it working.

Honestly I trust Orton with the long ball more than Cutler because I know it won't be coming down in triple coverage. I say throw one or two more per game. Let's give it a shot.
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