Denver Broncos Report Card vs Jaguars

Knowshon Moreno showed some pep in his step after missing the entire preseason and should be better moving forward now that he's taken a few knocks.

REPORT CARD VS. JAGUARS

PASSING OFFENSE: B -- QB Kyle Orton was under duress with three sacks and several other pressures but had a few well-timed scrambles, spread to eight different targets and did manage to push the field some to the outside, particularly to Brandon Lloyd. Orton's final throw was forced to Eddie Royal and intercepted with Denver driving by linebacker Daryl Smith while trying to step up against outside heat from his right.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C-minus -- Knowshon Moreno showed some pep in his step after missing the entire preseason and should be better moving forward now that he's taken a few knocks. But the Broncos still couldn't set up optimal short-yardage situations with consistent success running on early downs and the inexperienced offensive line couldn't push the pile enough. Correll Buckhalter converted a fourth-and-1, then promptly fumbled in Jaguars territory.

PASS DEFENSE: D-plus -- It was a strange day, as the Jaguars' No. 1 WR Mike Sims-Walker was held without a catch, yet David Garrard tossed three TDs and had his highest single-game passer rating in his career. The biggest issue came in the middle of the field, where tight end Mercedes Lewis victimized Denver's safeties and Mike Thomas worked the underneath routes. The Broncos also had just one sack.

RUSH DEFENSE: B-minus -- The team did a credible job on Maurice Jones-Drew (28-93-0), particular on first down. But the Jaguars at times had some success pounding the ball against Denver's nickel personnel. And a second facemask penalty on defensive end Ryan McBean on Jones-Drew in the fourth quarter was key to Jacksonville's game-winning drive.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D-minus -- Matt Prater nailed a 54-yard field goal through the rain and new punter Britton Colquitt was fine (43.0 gross). But the coverage teams put Denver in horrible situations all day, yielding kickoff returns of 46 and 43 yards and a 17-yard punt return.

COACHING: C -- The decision to shoehorn Tim Tebow into the early game plan simply to run into the line when the Broncos were driving on the first series was head-scratching. Coach Josh McDaniels' decision to throw to the end zone on a critical fourth-and-3 call with a suspect short-yardage rushing attack, on the other hand, demonstrated a perfectly acceptable killer instinct, despite just missing a TD -- particularly with a suspect short-yardage running game.



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