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Published on 11/10/2009 at Tue Nov 10 11:20.
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Broncos 10, Steelers 28. Alright, gentlemen, who ya got?

Josh McDanielsDud: Coaching Staff/Inability to make the right half-time adjustments
What concerned me the most out of this game was not Ben Hamilton’s continued struggles, or Kyle Orton’s under-pressure interceptions or even our lack of a running game… It was the stark difference between our half-time adjustments and the Steeler’s adjustments. In the first half we completely dominated all the stats (except score). Most important, we had Time of Posession., 3rd Down Conversions and Offensive Yardage by more than double the Steelers. However, after the ‘NFL’s Fastest 3 Minutes’ the tables turned and it was the Steelers that completely dominated the last two quarters of the game. They whipped us in all three of the above categories and that killed our chance to stay 2 games ahead of the Chargers. So, I feel like the must egregious dud this week is our coaching staff’s inability to make the proper adjustments at half-time. – Jonathan Douglas

MarshallStud: Brandon Marshall
You want a stud? I can easily give you two. Brandon Marshall is my first choice (and the guy who plays across from him is my other choice). 9 catches for 112 yards in a game where we scored only 3 offensive points? (And yes, those points did smell kind of offensive). The old Brandon is back in a big way. He catches the ball and he makes space. His route running still isn’t fantastic, but he and Orton have developed a pretty good rapport, and he’s got skills. I was a little worried that he’d gotten a little overrated, last year, because of Jay Cutler’s willingness to make throws he probably shouldn’t have that would result in receptions. But Marshall tore up the field tonight. But we needed more than that — particularly from the running game — to keep the offense moving. – E. Halsey Miles

BergerDud: Mitch Berger
I want Brett Kern back. Kern’s punts may have been easy to return but at least he didn’t look like a freaking statue in the backfield. How many punts has Berger almost had blocked in his first two games? Berger’s brillance also produced two punts shorter than 30 yards. Say what you want about Kern but he was young and had potential, Berger’s flame is flickering. – Mr. East

WoodyardStud: Wesley Woodyard
As ugly as the final score of this game looks, I still have to give a lot of credit to our defense all the way around. Those guys played with heart and kept this game a lot closer than it looks up in lights. You can’t pitch a shutout when your offense can’t get past midfield. With that said, my stud is Wesley Woodyard. He stepped up and played like a starter should tonight. 6 tackles and 1 assist. Doesn’t really say much does it? But each and every one of those tackles were in your face shut down plays. But what really impressed me was his coverage over the tight end. Wesley’s past experience as a safety showed in his pass defense skills. By keeping Heath Miller under wraps for all but one play it allowed Denver to bring pressure from all of the other linebacker positions. Something this defense can build on. – Josh Temple

Knowshon MorenoDud: Knowshon Moreno
This is being submitted with 6 minutes left in the 4th Q of the game, but guess what, there’s no chance we’re winning. And if we do, and I am stupid, good, I don’t mind looking stupid. Kno-Mo was sad. He was awful. The entire running game was. Kyle wasn’t great, but a one dimensional offense isn’t great. Knowshon didn’t display the toughness we needed against Pittsburgh, neither in the running game or in pass protection, and his weakness cost the Broncos dearly. – J. Kenneth K.

Kenny PetersonStud: Kenny Peterson
I’ve been riding the Kenny Peterson bandwagon for awhile now, and have been convinced he was our best defensive lineman since training camp. Last night, KP proved me right. For some reason — and if time allots, I’d like to devote an article wholly to this phenomena — Elvis Dumervil played very little in the second half last night. Peterson was a source of consistent pressure against the Steelers’ left tackle and forced the fumble on Big Ben that was returned for a touchdown. If you watched the drive, you could see it coming, too — Peterson was getting good push there. The Broncos needed a more complete pass rush to beat Big Ben — they needed more Doom and company — but Kenny did his part. – Kyle

WiegmannDud: Offensive Line
The Offensive Line should just be given the whole “dud” award. No running lanes, relatively poor pass protection. Just god awful. – Christopher D. Hart

Your studs and duds in the comments.

  • herc_rock

    Doesn't it seem like Berger takes an extra step on every kick?

    Ben Hamilton is finished. He's clearly not the same player he was pre-concussion.

  • Donk fan one

    Bronco's just got out played and coached…… way overrated.. Rattle Orton and hes done……….. Defensive backfield way too old……… Big Ben had his way…… if it was for the strip, Denver probably wouldn't have scored………

  • http://www.broncotalk.net Josh Temple

    Also, give some love to Ayers on that fumble return for a TD. It's one of the easiest looking plays to make when you're watching it, but NFL vets will tell you picking up a fumbled ball and taking off in smooth motion while there is a frantic scramble behind you is one of the hardest things to do in the game. Pros make it look easy.

  • kerry

    yeah ive got a dud for ya. THE ENTIRE offense from the coach down. i mean how many screen plays is this jagoff gonna call when they CLEARLY NEVER work. didnt McDaniels say, and i quote, “WE ARE GONNA DO THINGS ON OFFENSE THAT NOBODY HAS EVER SEEN” well im still waiting to see these things. everybody and their mother has seen the bubble screen, the 5 yard hitch, the wildcat and the stack formation with hochstein as an eligable receiver. Charlie Weis and Bill Belichick invented all of that nearly a decade ago!!!

    and seriously, who in their right mind runs a power running scheme when we have O-linemen built for the ZBS??!! i mean who does that stupid S**T??!! coach of the year my ass!! this college style-gone pro offense is absurd. i can watch Notre Dame or Oregon run the exact same style of the spread offense. New England seems to be moving along just fine offensively without McDaniels yet we slumber with an offense that cant score points. well unless we play bad defensive teams like the Chargers and the Browns. um are Tony Scheffler and Peyton Hillis on a milk carton somewhere?? this is absurd. this dink and dunk shit isnt gonna work. and yet again no deep throws. i could have swore i was bashed last week for saying that this system doesnt require the deep throw, yet again the team doesnt go deep.

  • http://twitter.com/jdbridgman Jeremy Bridgman

    Definitely agree with Jonathan that the coaching staff was the biggest DUD. The Broncos made 6-0 happen due to smart halftime adjustments that paid off with big D, enough offense and important wins. In Baltimore and last night, the team played only the first half, showing no sense of urgency or flexibility that *was* the hallmark of our season — just ask any of our pre-bye-week opponents. The only way we're going to remain atop the AFC West is if we do it in practice and at halftime. Bring back the McGenius!

  • Gary_in_SD

    Hopefully playing what looks to be the worst team in the NFL (the Redskins) will help the Broncos get back the swagger they left in Baltimore. Orton looked very confident against SD and everyone was in love with the guy. Last night he looked scared to death. Maybe expectations grew a little high during the season, personally at this point I just hope we can go to the playoffs and keep the statics out.

  • JACK VENOM

    im from ny currently residing in fl,and have been bronco fan all my life. In short the team will never go far because other teams realized to shorten the field and make orton beat you deep, They play their entire defense 20 yards at a time. And the broncos offense doesnt look anyfurther than 10. Like or not you have to spread the field,and its obvious orton cant do it.. The jig is up. Anyway give em hell broncos!

  • jonkrause

    Easy Studs, Brandon Marshall, and Eddie Royal, they were amazing. 16 catches among them, and 186 yards. It's a big shame they didn't score, they were playing like last year when we played the Browns, in that game they both scored and were amazing, but because of a Dud QB and Line they have have good yards.

  • jonkrause

    Kerry, (I think this is a first)
    I totally agree with you. Watching the game I looked at my brother and said: “I woulda thought MCD would never do a WR screen again after the Ravens game” Yet we did the same exact plays. I REALLY REALLY wanna see Peyton Hillis used more. Was a sad sad game. I hope we can turn things around in D.C.

  • Socal Den Fan

    I have to agree with Kerry something has to give this offense has been exposed and teams have found out how to beat them. Why not give Simms a chance he has the arm and can move better than orton.And where is shef and hillis? Someone send out a search party.This was supposed to be the new england style offense but where are those 70 yd throws Brady makes. Come on man find a way to fix this NOW or this will be last year all over again.

  • http://ehalseymiles.com E. Halsey Miles

    Yeah, we missed the Ayers pickup. I totally agree that he should be in there with a stud. That was a pro play by the rookie lineman, getting that ball before anyone else noticed it, in the heat of the moment. I hope we year Ayer's name more this year.

  • ted

    I hope to see Orton on a short leash and if he throws one ugly int against the Skins lets see Simms or even Tater since both have bigger arms the Orton.

  • http://twitter.com/KMA55 Kevin Allen

    Lets give a little mention about the D coaches as DUDS to a small degree, how many times did the Linebackers put 8 up in the box to rush Big Ben, to have him hand off to Mendenhall on the right side for 8-10 yards? then the 1 time they drop into coverage Ben can't find anyone to throw to, and gets sacked. But they go right back to rushing LB's again only to get burned on the right side.
    Lots to work on, if it helps to cope, I had to remind myself this morning when i was feeling pretty crappy, that this was a 3 to 8 win team according to most. We started off strong, I still think 10 wins is almost a given. Heads up Broncos fans we'll get there!!

  • Darwin

    Time to open up the playback and go downfield with a pass now and then. Brees, Manning, Palmer, Rivers, Rothlesberger, and Warner all air it out a few times a game. Great example was the pass to Santonio Holmes over Champ. Beautiful throw and great adjustment by the receiver to catch it. Has Orton thrown a pass over someone all season. All he throws are screens, slants, and the occasional out pattern where we all hold our breath.
    McDaniels has brought Orton up a level but now we see the peak of his capabilities. Let's see what Bandstater can do. He has had some time to learn and grow. Right now I do not see Orton flipping a switch and learning from these last two games. He is a good guy but not the leader the Broncs need-neither was Cutler!
    If Bandstater does not look like starter material then target a QB in the draft or free agency.
    But I trust McDaniels to make the big decisions. He has done a great job this year and he will pull the trigger when the time is right.
    I still see the Broncs going 11-5 or 12-4 this year and that should be enough to beat out the Chargers. Put McDaniels with the Chargers and they would be 7-1 right now. He is that good!

  • http://twitter.com/dbroncos78087 Alex B

    Huge Woodyard fan, glad to see him on this list. He had better not be one of these casualties of purging people from Shanahan.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/G7FB3LT24J67IY3KS5CHKIHRP4 Penn Furum

    Totally right. He was patient with that fumble, slowed down and picked it up carefully.

  • klund

    I guess you didn't see the first half, where they were playing a Guard at Tight end, they were very effective. Then a new wrinkle on the Wild Horses (Wildcat) we didn't see before. They threw a lot in there in the first half, but for some reason didn't keep the pressure on them after they couldn't convert that first drive for 6 and settled for 3.

  • kerry

    um yeah i saw the entire first half. and here is what i saw, we came out with some good play action, then just stopped all of sudden. wanna know why they were playing a guard at TE?? to help with protection because it was Polumbus's first game starting so Hochstein was in there for max protection and declared as an eligible receiver. believe me that isnt anything new. and the new wrinkle in the wild horses? (that is such a stupid name) was that the INT Orton threw to the other team for a TD? that wrinkle?

  • kerry

    lets all be reminded that the Redskins have the 3rd overall pass defense and the 6th overall defense. this isnt gonna be some walk over game for us.

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  • MrEast

    Exactly.

    A loss to this team would be devastating… for me.

    I live in Virginia… I just couldn't handle it…

  • monto

    I think Orton deserves a bit more of a chance before we start thinking about bringing someone else in, he got the job done the first 6 weeks and Marshall & Royal were able to put up some decent numbers this week. Whats not helping him is
    a) the offensive line, hasn't looked anywhere near its best and is allowing too much pressure.
    b) the running game, we got tackled for loss way too often and it killed our drives

    Simms had a good game against SF in the preseason but he wasn't great against the Seahawks. Brandstater played well against Arizona but that was against their back-ups. I think Brandstater could be our future starter (unless we get a shot at some of the QBs coming through in 2010) but for now we should stick with Orton.

    The real dud has to be Berger, he's made one decent punt in two games and I don't care what his long career record says, two punts < 30 yards in a game when we needed all the field position we could get just isn't acceptable

  • MrEast

    Exactly.

    A loss to this team would be devastating… for me.

    I live in Virginia… I just couldn't handle it…

  • monto

    I think Orton deserves a bit more of a chance before we start thinking about bringing someone else in, he got the job done the first 6 weeks and Marshall & Royal were able to put up some decent numbers this week. Whats not helping him is

    a) the offensive line, hasn't looked anywhere near its best and is allowing too much pressure.

    b) the running game, we got tackled for loss way too often and it killed our drives

    Simms had a good game against SF in the preseason but he wasn't great against the Seahawks. Brandstater played well against Arizona but that was against their back-ups. I think Brandstater could be our future starter (unless we get a shot at some of the QBs coming through in 2010) but for now we should stick with Orton.

    The real dud has to be Berger, he's made one decent punt in two games and I don't care what his long career record says, two punts < 30 yards in a game when we needed all the field position we could get just isn't acceptable

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