What is becoming the norm, a tale of 2 halves
In the first half, the Colts were a no-show, couldn't play much worse than that, ineffective on offense and really didn't even slow down the Broncos offense, not really sure why this is becoming commonplace, kinda defies logic, one of of my favorite phrases, since many things in the NFL-defy logic. then for whatever the reason- I have heard they played better- I agree-but why?
Offense: It was great see Reggie back, who led the receivers (9-98) Allen had a big game (including a TD) Nicks was productive ( also with a TD) and Moncreif got a few reps and his first NFL reception. Hilton wasn't much of a factor. The biggest question mark ( the O-line) played decent, about on par with the recent past, the difference being, this group can and will get better, there was alot of new guys on that unit, who will get better, with each game and the line always gets better, in time, after they have had time to gel. Hard to really judge the running game when you are playing from behind, there were flashes (the norm) but flashes are not going to be good enough. Pretty good job on the outside ( Costonzo and Cherlius) going against 2 very productive players ( Miller and Ware). Fleener has got to figure out how to avoid the drops, there were several of those, but he seems to do it ...too much. Luck- showed part of what makes him special, no matter the score, this team, will always have a chance
Defense: totally different unit the second half, really held the Broncos in check and allowed the offense to finally get going and make a game out of it. The highly touted D-line was good and should/hopefully continue to improve. The inside LB duo had a nice game ( Freemen-Jackson) but I expected a little better performance from them.I thought McNary had a really good game, when he filled in for the injured Freemen and that is really what I expected to see from him this year and why I wasn't that excited about Jackson's signing, he can be a big addition, but I really would like to see young players, get the reps , as opposed to bringing free agents in. Werner and Walden were adequate, which is not going to be good enough either, there was very little pressure and when there was , it was from blitzes. Davis was on his game and just like the last meeting, he pretty much shutdown his guy, Toler had a rough game, with several costly penalties. I wouldn't go as far as to say Landry was the enforcer he needs to be, but was good and better than last year, Butler had some really big plays and like any DB, there are going to be times when they get beat
Special teams: were pretty solid, I would like to see someone else get some reps on the punt returns, Whalen is sure handed, which is a plus and his never-say-die attitude helps, but a returner has to be explosive and that is one thing he lacks, Purifoy looked good in the pre season, I expect to see him in there, sooner, than later
The bottom line is we went against, the best team in the AFC, maybe in the NFL (yet to be determined) at their house, which has some factors that makes it a very tough place to win and played 30-35 minutes of football, gave them a commanding lead, doing that without the 1 true difference maker we have on defense and came very close to tieing the game, and who knows.....I know the deal, ain't no moral victories, but that was a very good sign, it always sucks to lose, but to play that team, that close , with all of those factors.....
Next up, another potent offense in the Eagles and another prime time game.....should be a fun year