Posted Sat Aug 20th by Monty
Is your glass half empty or half full?
The Glass Half Empty Fan will keep the Denver Broncos‘ 24-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills Saturday night in context. It was the second week of the preseason. It was against one of the league’s basement-dwellers, playing against a terrible offensive line and possibly worse quarterback situation.
The Glass Half Full Fan will remind himself that, despite the current status of the Broncos’ opponent, Denver was technically dwelling deeper in the basement than Buffalo a few short months ago. Strength of schedule tiebreaker slotted the 4-12 Broncos to draft before the 4-12 Bills in April, meaning the Bills were technically the better team.
What a difference an offseason makes. The Broncos blew past the Bills in nearly every facet and on nearly every level Saturday night, beginning with impressive defensive performances by Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil and complemented by excellent quarterback play by Kyle Orton and backup Brady Quinn.
Defensively, the Broncos were relentless in their pursuit of Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick was sacked by Miller once and hurried several other times, completing 6 of 16 passes for 44 yards, no touchdowns and an interception.
They were stout, if uneven, against the run, allowing Fred Jackson 34 yards on four carries but holding C.J. Spiller to 10 yards on 6.
(Interestingly, Spiller had a long run of 14 yards, which indicates he tallied -4 yards in his five other runs).
Miller was particularly exciting to watch tonight, starting at defensive end but frequently moving to linebacker. He displayed quickness and tenacity in both positions, consistently getting after Fitzpatrick and often making his blocker look silly when lined at end and standing up a running back with notable power at linebacker. Dumervil was also a consistent threat in the Bills’ backfield.
On offense, Orton was excellent, completing 10 of 13 for for 135 yards and a touchdown. Quinn, who surpassed Tebow on the depth chart, at least for one night, was also impressive, completing 10 of 16 for 130 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Tebow completed one out of his two passes in limited fourth quarter work and added a seven yard bootleg run.
Other notable performers tonight include RT Orlando Franklin (some tremendous blocks), RB Willis McGahee (two touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving), WR Eric Decker (clutch catches to move the chains), DT Brodrick Bunkley (some good pressure), CB Cassius Vaughn (near interception as well as several nice plays against the screen), LB D.J. Williams (interception), and rookie LB Mike Mohamed (Bill Romanowski impressions).
While a healthy dose of perspective is always a worthwhile companion, there are reasons to be excited after tonight’s game. The Bills may be awful in a lot of areas, but the Broncos were too just a few short months ago. The difference is that the Broncos have clearly made strides to get themselves out of the basement. They demonstrated that tonight.