Posted Sun Aug 30th by Ian Henson
When Brandon Marshall was suspended earlier this week, it came to me as a bit of a relief. Like the most annoying guy at a party just got had to leave. So that’s one good thing, there are several good things about tonight though. Amongst them is that Jay Cutler will be returning to Denver (booh!), and for maybe the first time in… Well, ever, a preseason game will have meaning on many levels.
It’s not Christmas just yet, but it is important to be grateful and appreciative of what we have (or may not have, just yet).
- Brian Dawkins– suiting up for the first time in a Broncos uniform, his presence alone in the pregame speech will improve the first team offense. Plus we’ll get to see that fabled Broncos secondary against one of the best quarterbacks in the league for nearly three quarters.
- The retooled Broncos secondary– like I said, this will be the first time that Denver will have all of their chess pieces in place so to speak. Which should allow for a legitimate push from Denver’s front seven. However, Cutler embarrassed a very strong New York Giants defense last weekend looking just as good as he ever did in a Broncos uniform. So we shall see, big test tonight.
- OLB’s in coverage– One of the reasons Mike Shanahan picked up Boss Bailey last offseason was because of his success in pass coverage against all time greats like Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates. Well, Gonzalez is out of our conference, but we get Gates twice a season still. Well, the Chicago Bears do not have an overwhelming amount of talent at wide receiver, but they don’t need it, they have tight ends Greg Olson and Desmond Clark, along with Sophomore phenom Matt Forte. It’s make it or break it time and Cutler and co. have an opportunity to really embarrass Denver and expose the weakest link on our defense. We’ll see how Josh McDaniels and Mike Nolan game planned for this.
- The Orange Crunch– Three running backs down, it’s not even the third preseason game yet. Here we go again, I have absolutely no problem saying that Denver has much more talented depth this season than last season. With people like Correll Buckhalter, Peyton Hillis and Darius Walker sitting in our top three spots, I really like our depth. Not that I’m not looking forward to the return of the chosen one Knowshown ‘The One’ Moreno. Also, if you see Marcus Thomas (the other Marcus Thomas) in there at running back, look for him to possible gain a roster spot on the 53 man roster. If not at least the practice squad. We’ll also want to pay attention to our YPR average as Chicago’s defense is no joke.
- No Brandon Marshall– Last time Denver played Chicago Marshall had as many as eight dropped passes (by my count, officially it may have been higher) and although he wasn’t responsible for the two Devin Hester touchdowns, had those passes been caught, the score board would have been a little more lenient on Denver (and I won’t get into it here, but we may have made the playoffs- just kidding). So Denver is down their best receiver against one of the best secondaries in the NFL, we’ve got Kyle Orton at a double disadvantage, a team that knows him all to well and he is without his best receiver. I expect McDaniels to attack this, not plan around it, it’s the preseason and there’s no better time to show the NFL what you’ve got. Of the offensive plays in the first three quarters, look for passing to account for about a third of them. Regardless of Marshall’s absence Denver is still blessed with talent at wide receiver.
- The return of Tom Brandstater– Not what you were thinking? I’m looking forward to watching the young gun play again. He can only get better with more playing time and we’re going to possibly see him the whole time in game four.
That’s not all Nation, stay here, we’ve got the best most fan based game coverage (and not to mention the greatest Bronco community on the internet). What did I miss? What are some other things that we’re looking forward to?