Posted Sun Sep 12th by Monty
From start to finish, the Denver Broncos‘ 2010 season opener will be remembered as a game marred by miscues.
In the end, the mounting mistakes proved too much for McDaniels‘ men to overcome.
It began in the first half, when the Broncos twice drove down the length of the field only to fall short due to costly mistakes. Zane Beadles‘ untimely holding penalty ended the Broncos’ first scoring opportunity, while Correll Buckhalter‘s fumble netted the Broncos 0 points after an 80-yard drive. And while the defense held the Jacksonville Jaguars to no points through the first 29 minutes, it was only when they goofed, putting 10 men on the field with 0:58 left in the first half, that Jacksonville capitalized and scored the games’ first touchdown.
Had the Broncos corrected these mistakes, they might have come away with a victory today. But even a 33-minute lightning delay before the start of the fourth quarter couldn’t fix what ailed Denver, who continued their sloppy play through their last heartbreaking offensive snap, and the Jaguars (1-0) defeated the Broncos (0-1) 24-17 at EverBank Field.
It was a heartbreaking result because, at times, the Broncos showed they are capable of very competent football.
Kyle Orton was brilliant through three quarters, and Knowshon Moreno showed flashes of what made him the Broncos’ top draft pick in 2009, juking, leaping, and stiff-arming his way to60 yards on 15 carries (4.0 avg.) and a touchdown. The offensive line, which featured three different starters from 2009, held its own for the most part.
The defense was a mixed bag, playing well in the first half but really struggling in the second. Ryan McBean‘s two 15-yard facemask penalties set up the Jaguars’ game-winning drive, although by that time David Garrard was in an unstoppable rhythm. The Jags QB finished with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a career-high 138.9 passer rating — not a strong selling point for Don Martindale‘s defense.
In the end, the Broncos had two opportunities to tie the game, down seven, and the offense couldn’t capitalize. Brandon Lloyd‘s brilliance (five catches for 117 yards) fell just short as his left foot fell inches away from a game-tying touchdown, and Orton’s final throw was an interception to Daryl Smith that ended the Broncos’ comeback hopes.
And, for the record, Tim Tebow‘s pro debut was wholly unremarkable: two direct snap carries for two yards.
It’s hard to point your finger at any one aspect of today’s loss. The Broncos just didn’t execute consistently. They show promise, but they need to fix the mental mistakes and display more discipline to compete with the league’s best.