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Published on 08/11/2011 at Thu Aug 11 21:56.
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Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos is sacked by Jason Hatcher #97 of the Dallas Cowboys during a preseason game at Cowboys Stadium on August 11, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos is sacked by Jason Hatcher #97 of the Dallas Cowboys during a preseason game at Cowboys Stadium on August 11, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

It wasn’t Tim Tebow Time, and it wasn’t Kyle Orton Hour either. No, the other prominent Broncos QB stole the show Thursday night in Dallas — Brady Quinn, who led the Broncos to their only two touchdowns of Thursday’s thrilling preseason opener.

Orton finished 2 of 6 for 37 yards in one series, leading the first team offense to a field goal. Tebow then engineered four drives for two field goals, finishing 6 of 7 for 91 yards. Quinn played the entire second half of four drives that netted two touchdowns. One score was executed by Quinn himself, a bullet to Eron Riley who made the leaping grab in the back of the end zone before impressively bringing both feet down. Quinn finished 8 of 14 for 120 yards. No Broncos quarterback threw an interception.

Other performance worth noting include RB Jeremiah Johnson, who scored Denver’s only other TD and averaged 7.0 yards per carry on four attempts. The offensive line, led by healthy-again Ryan Clady, controlled the Dallas defense in the running game. Defensively, safety Kyle McCarthy and Jason Hunter made big plays, especially in blitzing and pass rush.

It wasn’t all great today though (as it shouldn’t be, given it’s the first preseason game of the year). On the other end of the spectrum, the Broncos need to sharpen their focus in the penalty department (they surrendered 85 yards on 10 penalties); the backup secondary needs to tighten up against the big play, and CB Nate Jones would best forget this game ever took place.

“Preseason thriller” – is that an oxymoron? Maybe, but it was the most enjoyable preseason game we’ve watched in some time, even with the Cowboys edging out the Broncos 24-23 with a successful two-point conversion (mercifully avoiding a game-tying, overtime-forcing PAT) in the games’ final seconds. Several lead changes and late game big plays made for enjoyable, if ultimately meaningless, sports drama.

We’ll have much more on tonight’s game as we dig into the full game tape but would love to hear your thoughts on the 2011 Broncos in the comments. GO BRONCOS!

  • http://Facebook.com/BroncosZone Jon

    Can't wait until the Bills come to Denver next Saturday!

  • Big_Pete

    Know what I really DON'T look forward to tomorrow morning? The radio/journalist talking heads who will tote the company line and say that Orton had complete control of the offense, while Tebow was erratic.

    Orton was 2-6 and missed 3 wide open completion attempts in the red zone (1 of which he should have just ran for the TD). Tebow was 6 for 6 for 91 yards and only underthrew while running on an out pattern to the TE, yet he'll be called inaccurate and erratic while finishing 6 of 7 for 91 yards. 

    In essence, they'll say that a 33% completion percentage Orton was “accurate”, while an 84% completion rate Tebow was erratic. PLUS, Tebow ran for a TD that got called back, even though the penalty didn't help him score. 

    Tebow completely outplayed Orton, yet that won't be how it's spun. Also, our starting D gave up way too many plays, just like last year. I know it's only the first preseason game, but our defense desperately needs to learn gap control and how to tackle or it's gonna be a long season regardless of who's under center.

  • Dirk

    The Tebow/Orton saga continues:  Orton was borderline atrocious in the red zone, Tebow had moments of brilliance (great long throw, great run) and cover-your-eyes rough spots (muffed snap exchange, not taking the time to do his check-downs and just generally looking antsy in the pocket).  So we're right where we were last year.

    Quinn looked fairly sharp–certainly not the starter, but in control and accurate.

  • http://broncotalk.net Kyle

    This isn't company line, strictly my opinion: there was not nearly enough tape to make any kind of decision tonight, even for just Preseason Game 2. Quinn had the best night but no movement in the QB depth chart is merited.

  • http://twitter.com/d_o_beatz Dominick AKA BIG D O

    yeah, but Orton only played for 1 drive while Tebow played 2 quarters or something… to compare their numbers is a lil' silly… 

    overall i feel you though, I def. didn't like how Orton was lookin out there… 

    we need to find a way to work out that deal with Miami… fast..

  • Kellyleephipps

    All I know is that when I get Madden 12 and stick it in the x-box, my first move is download the current rosters, and my second move is to trade Kyle Orton…to whoever wants him at whatever compensation.  My third move is to start Tebow…and utilize his talents the way he needs to be used, not make him conform to the ideal of an NFL Pocket Passer…he is no Manning or Brady, he is more like a Michael Vick, but built like a linebacker…

    No more Red zone crashes with wimpy Orton at the helm…

  • VinceMarine

    I've said it once and I'll say it again….Nate Jones is GARBAGE! Why we gave him any type of contract is beyond me. We need serious CB help!

  • http://thingsatrexdoes.tumblr.com Mike Birtwistle

    “CB Nate Jones would best forget this game ever took place”

    If Nate Jones forgot every Broncos game he played badly in, he'd think he was still a Jet.

    I'll watch the game when I'm home from work tonight but felt the need to throw in a sarcastic comment.

  • Delucat31

    Kyle; I agree that there wasn't quite enough tape to compare tebow and Orton. I will say, the play where Denver got three penalties in one play; tebow stiff-armed a DB and scrambled all over the place was more exciting then anything I've seen Orton do in a broncos uniform since the stokely game winner a couple years ago.(Mind you, that ball was a tipped pass and really no credit to the pass from Orton)

    We know what Kyle gives us. It's boring. Don't give me the argument that it wins games. It didn't. And yes, the defense was terrible last year. BUt every denver fan knows that it wasn't the defense that made our red zone offense so pathetic last year. Sure; you could blame it on play calling… but how many more excuses do we give Orton… til we finally accept that he's just not that good.

    Thought the O-line looked great first drive. The run game could be exciting as well. Overall, just pumped that football is here!

  • http://Facebook.com/BroncosZone Jon

    What do you do when Tebow breaks his neck in Week Eight? Start Quinn? Trade for Orton?

  • MrEast

    I'm still scratching my head over that one.

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

    In my case I picked up Jordan Palmer and rode him to the Super Bowl.  Most underrated “56″ QB ever!

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

    I would've loved to be a first string o-lineman last night.  Easiest day of work they'll ever see.

  • King

    It's not silly.  Orton DID miss 3 wide open receivers.  This is why he was 2/6.  Pathetic.

    Orton is a choke factory and Tebow isn't.  It's as simple as that.

  • Big_Pete

    Actually, Orton played 1st quarter (minus a few minutes at the end) and Tebow played the 2nd quarter. Quinn played the entire 2nd half, so I think their stats are comparable, even though Tebow had 3 drives vs Orton's 1. They just let Orton throw more, which wasn't necessarily a good thing. I mean, the majority of his yards were the 29 yard pass to Decker which was really a 6+ yard pass to Decker that he ran for an additional 20. At least the 43 yard pass that Tebow had was all air, not some dump off that got taken for 40.

    Overall, I was really impressed with Tebow, and I HOPE that the coaches were as well. While no change in the depth chart is warranted after game 1, I do think that Tebow proved that he deserves a shot at being the starter, and should get some “in game experience” with the starters in game 2.

  • Big_Pete

    Can you imagine how good Tebow might be standing behind that O-Line and throwing to Lloyd, Royal, Decker, Willis and handing off to Moreno/McGahee? Orton should hang his head down in shame at his red zone play last night!

    Remember, last year, we averaged 14 points with Orton as QB and 20 points with Tebow as QB. That's equivalent to +1 TD/game more with Tebow. 

    Look, Orton is a good QB, he really is, but there is a ceiling on him, which wouldn't be bad except that he's already playing at that ceiling. Tebow has a ceiling as well; however, he is nowhere near that ceiling, AND he produces more points on average than Orton.

    I fail to see how the coaches could overlook that. I hope they give him more 1st string reps in  camp and games. If he proved anything, it's that he plays in games infinitely better than he practices. Coaches need to understand that, accept it, and make roster adjustments accordingly.

  • Just being honest…

    Tebow is like going all-in on a 6 and 7 of the same suit.  I mean you might win it all.  It can be a big hand.  Odds are an easy pair is going to beat you and you are done.  The whole time you are sitting there praying for the right card but it probably won't happen.

    Orton is like calling on a pair of 4s.  Sure you might win a hand or two.  You are betting it all.  You probably will lose most hands.

    Quinn is like betting the pot on a 3 of clubs and 9 of diamonds.  You don't really understand the game and if you win it is just by luck.

    All these hands suck.  Lets go find some aces.

  • td30ismpv

    Willis had better make this team, this is two years in a row he has shown his stuff.  McGahee looked good and Knowshon escaping that tackle in the backfield was glorious to see.  No injuries, best news yet.

  • td30ismpv

    Dude!!!  I was sitting there saying “East is spitting nails” after about the 5th pass over and around Jones.  Vaughn was getting picked on too though.

  • herc_rock

    Let's all make crazy snap judgments!

  • herc_rock

    Orlando Franklin got abused on a couple of plays.

  • Big_Pete

    And do what? Trade for the un-tradable Peyton Manning?
    Don't give me the “suck for Luck” talk either, because as long as a “once in a generation talent” can be an absolute bust like Ryan Leaf, I refuse to jeopardize a season and a player to in your poker terms, go all in BEFORE the hand is even dealt. Sure you might win the pot, but chances are you have a 2 9 off suit.

    I think we need to give Tebow every opportunity to play this year, because guess what? Next year we will be right back here again. Orton is gone after this season, so is Quinn. Who would be left? An unproven Tebow? At least let him prove himself this season so we aren't going into next season blind at QB.

  • BroncoMan24

    Agreed that he sucks.  I don't necessarily think we need CB help though.  I think Goody and Champ are good enough for now and between Vaughn, Cox (if not suspended) and Thompson we can make due.  As for Jones, we need to cut him now.

  • areferee

    Most of the comments and observations made here are valid and astute.  The difference will be how the new coaching staff disseminates each  performance and makes its decisions on who stays and who goes, who sits and who plays, based on that assessment.

    The REAL test of the progress the team has made will be in those decisions.  Although I am hopeful, we will be left to speculate, ruminate and cogitate in this forum for weeks to come before it becomes clear whether or not we have made any substantive progress toward post-season play.

    Isn't that the real beauty of the game? 

    (Aside from the Cheerleaders and beer, of course!)

  • Noeluscali

    orton was playing like he was done competing for the starting job(he feels he has got it won). Tebow played like a warrior and put up good numbers. Brady played well against the third string cowboys. Nate jones was not solid AT ALL

  • Rcsodak

    Tebow sucks ass…..worse than last year.
    I listened to dallas' commentators….so no horse in the race, and they were talking of how. They'd never seen a qb, let alone an nfl qb, be so innaccurate, in warmups.
    He freaks if #1 isn't there.
    He never sets his feet, thus the innaccuracy issue.
    He still can't take a snap cleanly.

    TRADE TT FOR A 4th BEFORE HE HURTS HIS STOCK FURTHER!

  • Teebow for a 4th!

    Why did mccoy feel the need to run the ball until they got to the redzone, and then pass 3 times? Isn't thzt why they got mcgahee? White?

    I think keeping him was a major mistake.

  • crazykid

    lol

  • MrEast

    Hahaha yeah I was not happy with his performance.

    I can forgive Vaughn because he's young and a great special teams contributor, but Jones needs to go.

  • http://thingsatrexdoes.tumblr.com Mike Birtwistle

    having watched the game now, the one thing that really stood out for me was the punt coverage.  A net of minus 1 yard all night.  Dare I say that, for the first time in a long while, special teams may not suck

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

    He's going to find out what's it's like to start at tackle in the NFL.  At least we don't play the Colts this year with a good starting Left Defensive end.  *looks at schedule*  Oh sh….  The Packers.

  • WhidbeyBronco

    I don't look forward to the nonsense like “three wide open completion attemps in the endzone”

    You're right, it's a conspiracy against Tebow! THAT makes sense. We don't want the best QB to be our starter…

    Sillyness.

  • Ikus

    your an idiot, and those commentators were more retarded than you. tebow is a gamer. who the hell cares about warm ups. so was that 40 yard pass tebow threw in the game “inaccurate”?

  • Dickyking75

    how can anyone in their right say that , his completion rate just over 50%

  • Reverendofrock

    Because he led drives that resulted in TD's, not field goals.  Quinn looked very comfortable on the field.  More so than either Orton or Tebow.

    Tebow looked like a kid playing street football.  Very erratic.  I started watching the replay last night, but got interrupted.  I did, however, see an incomplete pass thrown by Tebow that was negated by a penalty.  Don't remember if there were any more than that.  Other than his one big pass down the middle of the field, he looked a little out of sorts.

    Orton didn't play long enough to judge.  I do know that he had one perfect pass that was dropped by the tight end. 

    There are so many things to look at besides stats.  But Quinn was clearly the dominant QB wearing Orange and Blue.

  • Reverendofrock

    Actually, the commentators were merely stating what they saw at the moment.  While Tebow was playing, they continued to make comments about his play, and those comment were generally not good.  If it was a Raider commentator, then I might be inclined to say that they were biased, but they didn't seem to be biased one way or the other.

  • WhidbeyBronco

    Vaughn looks like our starting nickle. SURE LOOKS FAST.

    Hopefully we pick up a couple off the waiver wire next week.

  • Ikus

    Nate Jones needs to be fired. after seeing that game fox needs to kick his ass out and tell him not to even think about playing for the broncos again.

  • Ikus

    Nate Jones needs to be fired. after seeing that game fox needs to kick his ass out and tell him not to even think about playing for the broncos again.