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Published on 11/04/2009 at Wed Nov 04 09:00.
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Kyle Orton #8 of the Denver Broncos looks for a receiver during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on November 1, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

Kyle Orton has been a stud through the first six weeks of the season. How did BT grade his performance in the loss? (Larry French/Getty Images)

When the Broncos win, the BT Staffers give out Game Balls. When the Broncos lose, we weep our pitiful lives away… and highlight some of the good and bad from Sunday’s 30-7 loss in our Studs and Duds.

Andra DavisStud: Andra Davis. Davis has gotten little respect over the course of the season, but is on pace for a hundred-tackle season with multiple sacks. Davis’ familiarity with the 3-4 has helped him excel in Nolan’s defense and he is by far one of the best acquisitions the Broncos were able to sign this off-season. Look forward to Davis continuing to make big plays against the pass and the run as the season progresses. – Christopher D. Hart

Ben HamiltonDud: Ben Hamilton. Ben is playing like a 32 year old chronically concussed, hamstring problem ridden lineman, that has played in a different blocking scheme his whole career up until this season. I’m afraid the writing is on the wall for our smaller lineman. The Ravens defensive line was producing all the push Sunday, allowing zero time for KO to distribute the ball. With the Steelers coming up, and Ryan Harris sidelined, our offensive line will have to play strong as a unit in order for the offense to regain some momentum. – J. Kenneth K.

Brian DawkinsStud: Brian Dawkins. Despite the loss, ‘Big D’ was still flying around leveling people. His excitement and passion for the game raise everyone’s level of play. Unfortunately for the Broncos defense they were worn down after spending nearly the whole second half of the game on the field as our offense couldn’t move the ball (let alone score points). I swore this seemed like our Conference Championship Game from 2005. A solid team with a very good QB throws all the pressure onto our defense and we lose the game cause our QB can’t pull off miracle comebacks. I know we’re still 6-1, but in 2005 we went 13-3. Records don’t matter in playoff games. Mark my words… Kyle Orton is NOT a bad QB. He’s just not a GREAT QB and until we have a great QB, we won’t be competing for a Super Bowl anytime soon. – Jonathan Douglas

Josh McDanielsDud: Josh McDaniels. Was this the same offensive coordinator who built the best offense ever to statistically attack the turf? I’m positive that Tom Brady threw for 50 touchdowns that weren’t all from five yards out. That being said I’m sure all of Brady’s passes weren’t screens. Either McDaniels doesn’t trust Orton with the playbook or he thinks the screen pass is the greatest thing ever to hit football. I’ll admit for that Orton’s protection was definitely sloppy, but 3 for 13 on third down? Offensive adjustments were needed throughout the game, but the plays still remained the stale broken ones that Baltimore saw right through. What is really disappointing is that McDaniels had two weeks to plan for this game and it looked like his worse yet. Josh needs to step his game plan up next week or Mike Tomlin and Dick Lebeau will eat that offense alive. – Mr. East

Kyle OrtonDud: Kyle Orton. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Orton this season, as I’m sure you all have, but Sunday, he was awful. Orton has excuses to fall back on from Sunday that have already been mentioned — the pass protection was the worst I’ve seen from Denver since 2007, and Josh McDaniels didn’t do him any favors with the play selection. But Orton was clearly indecisive, and watching his inability to stand firmly in the pocket was frustrating. Many focused on Orton’s arm as the weakness in his game when CutlerGate went down, but I’m plenty happy with his zip on the ball; it’s the lack of mobility or pocket presence that is beginning to become a frustration. And while he’s been masterful in the fourth quarter, the Broncos need him to score a bit more in the early goings. – Kyle

D.J. WilliamsStud: D.J. Williams. Man, how do I pick a stud when were so thoroughly beaten in all phases of the game? Yes, our defense did well in the first half, but when we’ve come to expect them to really clamp down, they gave up huge chunks of yardage pretty much anywhere Baltimore wanted to. Some of the plays were amazing reversals of the Immaculate Deflection (see: Flacco tossing the ball while Dawkins was pulling him down and the play turning into a 15 yard gain) but whatever it is that normally makes this defense work simply didn’t work against the Ravens.

The sad part is, I can’t just point to an aspect of our defense that got exposed and they were able to consistently take advantage. That wasn’t it. We would consistently have a play for negative yardage, and then Flacco would somehow find an open receiver and pick up 15 yards, making the negative plays moot. Or Ray Rice would pick up 8 on a play that looked for all like it should’ve been stopped for a loss.

I’m going to have to go with D.J. Williams. People talk about how he gets lost, but he had 8 tackles and 3 assists, once again leading the team in tackles. He is everywhere in the middle of the field. He knows where the ball is going and has the athletic ability to get there. He has speed and tackling ability. He’s smart and he directs the defense well. For a guy who has yet to play the same position year to year, he is amazing. I hope he gets to stay in one position for a few years, because he has the potential to once again be a star. – E. Halsey Miles

Correll BuckhalterDud: Correll Buckhalter. JKK stole mine, Hamilton played terrible yesterday. He has not had a good season. Ben used to be one of my more favorite Broncos but hasn’t looked the same since his concussion. At any rate, I’ll take Correll Buckhalter as my dud. Buck gave up way too many one on one blocking assignments and was a big part of the protection problem. The Broncos would’ve been much more successful against the Ravens’ blitz packages if this one facet had performed better. The most glaring play happened when CB Chris Carr comes on a blitz and there is little more than a shuffle and push for a blocking attempt leading to a big sack on third down. Inexcusable. – Josh Temple

Who were your studs and duds? Dish it out in the comments.

  • Andpark

    Dud: Berger. Way too many close calls. The game could have been a lot worse with a punt block or 2!

  • http://broncotalk.net Kyle

    Totally. Berger was a big disappointment.

  • mangeletti

    Good post…
    Your frustration with Orton – “lack of mobility or pocket presence…”
    Mine – “Lack of vision, needs to see the whole field.”

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  • herc_rock

    Yes. Berger was horrid. Is Dirk Johnson still playing? He'd kill to play for Denver.