Broncos Report Card vs. Tennessee

Glenn Martinez's 80-yard touchdown on a punt return gave the Denver Broncos a 14-0 lead over the Tennessee Titans. That was Denver's first punt return for a touchdown since 2003.


PASSING OFFENSE: A -- Jay Cutler threw two touchdown passes of 40 or more yards, the first time that has happened for the Broncos since John Elway in 1995. Along with the big plays, Cutler didn't make many bad plays. He completed 16 of 21 passes and didn't throw an interception against a tough defense. Cutler is getting good contributions from all of his receivers, and is learning to play under control.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B -- Selvin Young didn't have a great game against a strong run defense, never gaining more than nine yards on a carry. But the Broncos kept at it, and in the fourth quarter Andre Hall broke a 62-yard touchdown run that put the game away. Hall's long run was more evidence that the Broncos' system can stick anyone into the tailback position and get results.

PASS DEFENSE: C -- Vince Young had more than 300 yards, and it could have been many more if it weren't for three bad drops on long passes. But the Broncos did limit Tennessee's big plays. Interceptions by Dre Bly and Ian Gold late in the game sealed the win.

RUSH DEFENSE: B -- Young got 74 yards rushing, which frustrated the Broncos. But Denver won't face anyone else like Young this year. Against tailback LenDale White, the Broncos played well. White had 42 yards and averaged 3.2 yards per carry. Deploying a safety in the box on most plays has keyed Denver's improvement on run defense.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- Glenn Martinez's 80-yard touchdown on a punt return gave the Broncos a 14-0 lead. That was Denver's first punt return for a touchdown since 2003. Martinez did have a muffed punt in the third quarter that helped the Titans get back in the game, so his big play from the first half was downgraded a bit. But overall, the Broncos put in another good special teams performance after struggling badly for the first month of the season.

COACHING: A -- The Broncos took some shots downfield, which was the right call against a tough Titans defense. Offensively, the Broncos were efficient the entire game. Defensively, the Broncos did allow some yards to Vince Young, but contained the Titans' conventional running game and that was a big key in the win. The Broncos have rebounded nicely after a 3-5 start, and the coaches deserve a lot of credit for not allowing the players to give up prematurely on the season.

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