The O'Reilly Report

Dan O'Reilly believes the Jets game came at a perfect time for the Denver Broncos. Read his complete report as he grades the 27-0 shutout of New York.

I think this was the perfect game to play if with the short week coming up before the Dallas game. Regardless of the pre-game pundits cautioning against the Jets as a "dangerous team", I suspect that both the players and coaches spent as much time looking at the Dallas game films as they did the Jets game films. I think that was also reflected in the way the game was played. This could have easily been a 45-0 game, but the Broncos seemed like they throttled back after the half. Still, there are no asterisks beside the "W" in the record book, and 8-2 is a record the Broncos will take any day.

Offense: B+
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Again, a second-half letdown. But this time, I think it was different in that the letdown was more of a "throttle back", as I mentioned before. The offensive line did a good job of protecting quarterback Jake Plummer, the three sacks notwithstanding. For yet another game, Plummer was mistake-free and efficient. The running game is just thundering along, and I think this pays off dividends in the long run because more and more defensive coordinators are going to be paying more attention the the run and less to Plummer - and that's when Plummer will hit them with a 300-yard game.

I noticed again today that George Foster and Cornell Green were again splitting playing time. I have a feeling this is a coach Mike Shanahan tool to motivate Foster a bit. It does worry me, though, that Shanahan feels the platooning is necessary (he's already says it's not injury-related).

Defense: A-
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It was almost as if the defense was toying with the Jets offense. The defensive backs were almost daring Jets quarterbacks Brooks Bollinger and Vinny Testaverde to throw. Running back Curtis Martin was a non-factor in the game (7 yeards, 22 yards total team rushing). And five takeaways (net four after Plummer's fumble) is a great stat to have, along with the four sacks.

Special Teams: A
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Punter Todd Sauerbrun continues to impress. Kicker Jason Elam worries me a bit, as they kept talking about him being dinged up before the game, and I suspect that's why they didn't kick field goals when normally they might have. Punt returner Darrent Williams still has that tendency to dance sideline-to-sideline instead of heading north-south as he should. He's already proven that as a north-south returner, he's very dangerous.

Coaching: A
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Solid game plan, well managed by the coaches. I'm really anxious to see what Shanahan will have up his sleeve against Bill Parcells and the Dallas Cowboys. I think quarterback Bledsoe is a QB who can be rushed effectively.



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