Denver Broncos take another step forward
Led by the precise passing of Peyton Manning, the Denver Broncos rolled over the Oakland Raiders yesterday at Mile High Stadium. The final score of 37-6 mirrored the one-sidedness of the game.
After losing their last two games to the still undefeated Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans, the Broncos faced a sense of urgency. Having lost to the Raiders the last four times they played at Mile High and having to face the dynamic Darren McFadden, Oakland’s premier running back, this was a game the Broncos desperately needed to win.
The Broncos didn’t disappoint. Manning ran the no-huddle offense with precision, slicing the Raiders’ defense for 338 yards and three touchdowns. Willis McGahee ran for another 112 yards and a touchdown. The offensive game plan was so successful that the Broncos never punted the ball. This is the type of offensive display that was expected once Manning decided to make Denver his new home.
But what has been truly remarkable is the continued play of the Bronco defense. This is the same defense that was repeatedly abused by McFadden’s running the last few years. He was held to a paltry 34 yards on thirteen carries. And the Oakland passing game was held to a mere 181 yards as pass rushers swarmed around Carson Palmer, sacking him three times and hitting him another eight times.
This was the formula John Elway and John Fox envisioned when they signed Manning to a lucrative five-year contract, get an early lead and let the defense create mayhem as teams tried to play catch-up. Today the Broncos sit at two wins and two losses and are improving with every game.
Next week at Foxboro the Broncos will have another stiff test against the New England Patriots, a team many have picked as a Super Bowl contender and a team that easily beat the Broncos twice last year. In addition, it will renew the modern-day version of the Hatfields and McCoys as Peyton Manning squares off once again against Tom Brady.
Stay tuned, the Broncos’ season is just beginning to get exciting.