The Denver Broncos are undefeated!
Well, 1-0. But at this point, it’s football. Can’t complain.
They took down the Indianapolis Colts 31-24 in Denver, in an effort that saw them need a last-minute fourth-down defensive stop from rookie CB Bradley Roby. It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but a victory is a victory. Here’s who I think contributed the most to the win.
In Moore’s first NFL season game since the Lateral Compartment Syndrome episode that he suffered late last season, Rahim came up big. He intercepted two tipped Andrew Luck passes at crucial times. (Kudos to Aqib Talib for playing a part in one of them.) He looked very good playing centerfield behind standout SS T.J. Ward. If Moore can develop into an above average ballhawk at free safety, this Broncos defense would certainly improve.
WR/RS Isaiah Burse
The Broncos kept undrafted free agent Burse around for effectively one reason. To return punts. Any offensive output that they got from him was just a bonus. Against the Colts, he had 3 returns for 4 yards, one of which he muffed. No catches on offense. Burse is here to return punts, and he did a bad job of that. With Week 1 in the books, don’t be surprised if the Broncos scour the league for a veteran free agent now that the vets’ salaries are no longer guaranteed.
Ware was a relentless force at RDE. He notched 1.5 sacks and a TFL working against LT Anthony Castanzo. He was quick off the snap and disruptive in the backfield. A great free agent signing, Ware is going to be fun to watch all season.
Yes, Caldwell was johnny-on-the-spot recovering Julius Thomas’s fumble. But he also missed a key block at the line of scrimmage on that same play. His stat sheet was only 2 receptions for 16 yards…despite 5 targets. On a night when Cody Latimer didn’t catch a pass, Caldwell needed to step up in Wes Welker’s absence. And he didn’t.
CB Bradley Roby
Alright, we knew him getting named to this list was coming ever since this happened.
Roby played a great game against future Hall of Fame WR Reggie Wayne. He had 3 passes defensed, 7 tackles, 1 fumble recovered (Burse’s muffed punt) and that fourth-down knockdown. The Broncos look to have tremendous faith in their first-round pick, and he has done much to deserve that.
I was excited to see Demaryius Thomas make an impact in an NFL game this season – I couldn’t wait!
I’m still waiting.
Thomas was targeted ELEVEN times, making 4 catches for 48 yards. This was not Thomas’ finest night. He was lackluster in the passing game. The other receivers certainly showed up, but don’t make a habit of this, Demaryius.
Up: TE Julius Thomas, LB Nate Irving
Thomas did have a tremendous game. Three TDs counts for a lot. But a fumble lost and lost onside kick drop him out of the Ups. Irving also played a great game, notching a sack and 2 TFL from the MIKE LB position.
Down: Tackling, Missed AssignmentsThe Broncos missed far too many tackles for my liking. This was especially apparent on the Dwayne Allen TD. Even Bradley Roby got involved in the mischief. The Broncos also blew too many coverages. They allowed Ahmad Bradshaw to come out of the backfield unattended on a big fourth down and allowed the conversion.
Did the Broncos play a great game? You bet. Do they have room for improvement? Absolutely. With the Kansas City Chiefs coming to town on Sunday, let’s see them do it.
Luc Polglaze is the Editor-in-Chief for MileHighHuddle.com. Find him on Twitter at @mhsradio.