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Old 11-11-2009, 05:25 AM   #1
Bronco Rob
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Default Washington Post : Broncos' gallop slows to a trot

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Broncos' gallop slows to a trot


After 6-0 start, Denver comes to FedEx having been outscored, 58-17in past two.

By Mark Maske
Wednesday, November 11, 2009



For six games, the Denver Broncos were the NFL's most surprising success story as a rookie head coach and an underappreciated quarterback strung together victories against the backdrop of an offseason filled with negative headlines and turbulence.

But the storyline has changed considerably over the last week and a half, and now it's unclear which version of the Broncos -- the one that beat three division leaders en route to the 6-0 start or the one that has failed to keep things from unraveling in consecutive lopsided defeats -- will play the Washington Redskins on Sunday at FedEx Field.

"We have to go back to work," linebacker Andra Davis said after the first of the Broncos' losses 10 days ago in Baltimore. "Who said we'd go 16-0?"

Few observers, it seemed, expected the Broncos to be even competitive, much less unbeaten through October, when the season began. The Broncos' offseason melodrama began when owner Pat Bowlen ousted his two-time Super Bowl-winning coach, Mike Shanahan, and replaced him with Josh McDaniels, the boyish-looking offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots who, at 33, is the league's second-youngest head coach.

McDaniels didn't exactly get a chance to ease into the job, quickly finding himself in the middle of a clash with quarterback Jay Cutler that led to Cutler being traded to the Chicago Bears, and later being involved in more controversy with wide receiver Brandon Marshall during the preseason. Despite all that, McDaniels and the Broncos thrived and beat the Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys and the Patriots -- all of them now in or tied for first place in their divisions -- during the six-game opening run.

That has given way to defeats to the Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers by a combined margin of 58-17, and now McDaniels faces the task of trying to find a way to recapture the early-season magic.


"You can find out just as much about one another and your team and your staff through the adversity of a loss as you can through six wins," McDaniels said in Baltimore after the 30-7 defeat to the Ravens. "We're going to find out how we respond. . . . This is always one of those things where you face a little adversity with a loss and then you realize that maybe some of the things that you thought were good enough just aren't good enough.

"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 are good at and what you're not good at. Some of the things that you think that you're pretty strong in those areas, you need to address those and become stronger. . . . What matters the most is how you're playing at the end of the season, not in September. We've got a lot of work to do, and we can get better."

The winning formula for the Broncos early on included dominating play by a defense overseen by Mike Nolan, the former head coach of the San Francisco 49ers and former defensive coordinator of the Redskins and Ravens. Outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil had 10 sacks during the 6-0 start, and the secondary, rebuilt in the offseason with the addition of cornerback Andre Goodman and safeties Brian Dawkins and Renaldo Hill to go with holdover cornerback Champ Bailey, was more than doing its part.

On offense, the Broncos were getting steady play from Kyle Orton, the unheralded quarterback obtained from the Bears in the Cutler trade. Marshall was highly productive after returning from a preseason suspension imposed by McDaniels and the Broncos for conduct detrimental to the team. That was precipitated by a practice-field episode in which Marshall was reported to have performed lackadaisically in drills and punted the ball away following one drill.

The fast start had Bowlen talking publicly about Marshall being rewarded at some point with the sort of lucrative new contract that the wide receiver had been seeking during the offseason and preseason, when Marshall reportedly asked to be traded if a new deal was not forthcoming. The Broncos were running the ball well enough with their two new tailbacks, rookie first-round draft pick Knowshon Moreno and free agent addition Correll Buckhalter, to keep opposing defenses honest.

But then came the loss in Baltimore and Monday night's 28-10 defeat at home to the Steelers, and suddenly the Broncos have issues to be addressed. The Denver defense, still ranked third in the league, allowed Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco to match a single-game team record by completing 80 percent of his passes in a 20-for-25 clinic, then permitted Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to throw three second-half touchdown passes Monday.

Dumervil has managed only half a sack in the two losses, and the offense has been far from imposing. Orton hasn't managed a touchdown pass in either of the past two games and threw three interceptions against the Steelers, one of which was returned for a touchdown. The running game has all but disappeared lately, and the Broncos have been left searching for answers.

"Offensively everybody has to play better, myself included," Orton said in Baltimore. "I'm the leader of this offense and when it doesn't go right, it's on me. So we'll go back to work and make sure we get things fixed."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...ports/redskins



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Old 11-11-2009, 07:32 AM   #2
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It won't matter. We [Redskins] suck. Our OL is the worst OL in the NFL. Don't have a NFL QB. Our WRs can't catch the H1N1 flu. And one of our DBs would rather fight a coach on the sideline than tackle someone.

If you're looking to get your season back on track, it's a great time to play my Redskins.

I'd go ahead and chalk this one up to a 21 point win. Easily.

Mike.
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Old 11-11-2009, 07:52 AM   #3
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It won't matter. We [Redskins] suck. Our OL is the worst OL in the NFL. Don't have a NFL QB. Our WRs can't catch the H1N1 flu. And one of our DBs would rather fight a coach on the sideline than tackle someone.

If you're looking to get your season back on track, it's a great time to play my Redskins.

I'd go ahead and chalk this one up to a 21 point win. Easily.

Mike.
Somehow I remember Denver getting owned in KC last year after starting 3-0.

I don't assume any game is going to be a blowout... and with as bad as our offense has been, lets not forget Washington actually has a solid front 7. Our offense plays into Washington's defensive strength given we can't throw the long ball for ****.

That said, I see our defense destroying Washington's O.

We SHOULD win this... but again nothing is ever given.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:00 AM   #4
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Skins defense is overrated.

They padded their stats against St Louis, Detroit, TB and KC. It's not a coincidence that they got lit up by Philly, Atlanta, Carolina and the Giants.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:06 AM   #5
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Skins defense is overrated.

They padded their stats against St Louis, Detroit, TB and KC. It's not a coincidence that they got lit up by Philly, Atlanta, Carolina and the Giants.
Is our offense really more the latter group than it is the former? Im concerned that Washingtons defense is good enough and Im also worried that this game could easily turn on a couple of turnovers.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:15 AM   #6
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Is our offense really more the latter group than it is the former? Im concerned that Washingtons defense is good enough and Im also worried that this game could easily turn on a couple of turnovers.
Broncos offense is ranked 22nd in scoring, after facing two of the top defenses in the league. Washington's opponents which they had some success against? 32nd (St. Louis), 27th (KC), 26th (Det), and 25th (TB). It's not a coincidence.

Denver is better than these guys.

Denver may shade closer to this group than the other group that lit Washington up, but the combo of Denver's defense (still among the tops in league in pts scored against) vs Washington's offense (29th in league in scoring WITH Portis) should make this a fairly lop-sided affair.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:22 AM   #7
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Broncos offense is ranked 22nd in scoring, after facing two of the top defenses in the league. Washington's opponents which they had some success against? 32nd (St. Louis), 27th (KC), 26th (Det), and 25th (TB). It's not a coincidence.

Denver is better than these guys.

Denver may shade closer to this group than the other group that lit Washington up, but the combo of Denver's defense (still among the tops in league in pts scored against) vs Washington's offense (29th in league in scoring WITH Portis) should make this a fairly lop-sided affair.
Unless Orton continues throwing INTs and/or the RB puts the ball on the ground. This is also an east coast game which historically presented a challenge on its own.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:31 AM   #8
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Unless Orton continues throwing INTs and/or the RB puts the ball on the ground. This is also an east coast game which historically presented a challenge on its own.
Orton's interceptions probably are more of an aberration than a trend considering he's had one bad game (turnover wise) in 8. But yeah, sure if the broncos play horribly, then it'll be a challenge. You're not exactly enlightening anything here.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:43 AM   #9
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Orton's interceptions probably are more of an aberration than a trend considering he's had one bad game (turnover wise) in 8. But yeah, sure if the broncos play horribly, then it'll be a challenge. You're not exactly enlightening anything here.
Prior to this past game Orton had 1 INT on the season. 1 INT in 7 games is a pace for, what, 2 INTs over a whole season. Do you honestly believe that Orton is a 2 INT guy? Is there any history to support this? Or maybe, at some point the law of averages will catch up to him. Its also worth pointing out that even in the first 7 games there was more than one occasion of narrowly escaping being intercepted.

Its funny that you call out someone for not being enlightened, yet you clearly thought 2 INTs in a season was possible. . Maybe you should stick to reciting Bill Simmons.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:57 AM   #10
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1 garbage time TD for BAL
1 garbage time TD for PIT

all of the sudden, games that were hard fought and close through 3 quarters have all of the sudden become lopsided routs.

sports journalism fail.
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:02 AM   #11
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1 garbage time TD for BAL PLUS ONE SPECIAL TEAMS TD

1 garbage time TD for PIT PLUS ONE DEFENSE TD

all of the sudden, games that were hard fought and close through 3 quarters have all of the sudden become lopsided routs.

sports journalism fail.
Fixed it......yes, 28 points against us were either not on the defense, or in "garbage time"....our defense is fine.....clearly.
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:06 AM   #12
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Prior to this past game Orton had 1 INT on the season. 1 INT in 7 games is a pace for, what, 2 INTs over a whole season. Do you honestly believe that Orton is a 2 INT guy? Is there any history to support this? Or maybe, at some point the law of averages will catch up to him. Its also worth pointing out that even in the first 7 games there was more than one occasion of narrowly escaping being intercepted.

Its funny that you call out someone for not being enlightened, yet you clearly thought 2 INTs in a season was possible. . Maybe you should stick to reciting Bill Simmons.

h, has their been any indication that he's turnover prone in his entire career?

I love how i "clearly" thought 2 ints was possible. When did I say this? Your comment made it seem like he was this interception machine ready to explode for 4 every game. My point was that of Orton's shortcomings, this is lower on my list of concerns.

Nice try though. And I still don't understand why you think I love Bill Simmons so much, but I know its your go-to "insult" that completely makes no sense.

Whatever makes you feel better about your miserable life though..
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:15 AM   #13
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Fixed it......yes, 28 points against us were either not on the defense, or in "garbage time"....our defense is fine.....clearly.
the Broncos were beaten. not routed in those games. a little bit of accuracy and honesty is all i'm asking of the sports media.

at the start of the 4th quarters, the scores were 16-7 and 14-10.

the defense did as much as could be expected until they wore out. not that the defense is perfect or doesn't have problems to fix, but we aren't exactly the Browns or Titans out there either.
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Old 11-11-2009, 07:19 PM   #14
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1 garbage time TD for BAL
1 garbage time TD for PIT

all of the sudden, games that were hard fought and close through 3 quarters have all of the sudden become lopsided routs.

sports journalism fail.

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Old 11-11-2009, 07:56 PM   #15
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Skins defense is overrated.

They padded their stats against St Louis, Detroit, TB and KC. It's not a coincidence that they got lit up by Philly, Atlanta, Carolina and the Giants.
Yep. The man speaks the truth. Our defense is not a top 10 defense. Heck, I doubt if we're a top 25 defense right now. We have a stud DE in Orakpo. But...instead of having him at DE, our defensive brain trust put him at LBer where he has to cover a TE. Something he's awful at. In the meantime, he's leading the NFL in sacks for rookies. Go figure.

OMT, your defense will kill our offense. The Skins haven't put up more than 17 points this year. All you need to do is blitz on every down and you'll get to Campbell 75% of the time. On the other 25% of his passes he'll be off target cause he's not comfortable in the pocket.
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