Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 11/17/14

Peyton Manning barking orders to the O-Line in the 2012 preseason victory over the Chicago Bears

The Broncos weren’t kidding when they said they were only going to give Peyton Manning 10-12 snaps. But after 60 minutes of preseason football, 10-12 snaps of those going to Manning, the Broncos walked away from Soldier Field victors. After a bludgeoning 31-3 victory over the Chicago Bears, the Broncos coaching staff have a lot of film to watch. Plenty of players on the Denver roster gave reason to be kept around and be given potential jobs. Some of which have given John Fox one headache of a dilemma in terms of position battles. Which of course any coach would tell you – that’s a good problem to have. So without further ado, a few musings, thoughts, and the occasional…”Hmmm” about the Broncos and the direction they are heading.
The Good:

  • During training camp, the word has been that the D-line has been dominating the run game. It’s hard to accept that as a positive due to the fact that it is still our beloved team who is getting dominated. But last night said a couple things:
  1. The D-line is indeed dominant. Before we can really get excited, we must first realize that the Denver D never truly faced any starters. Also, the Chicago O-Line is probably one of the worst in league, regardless of how well Matt Forte can run. But, since this is musings from last night’s game…the D-Line is indeed dominant.
  2. Our running game, although not as good as it was with Tebow, is still looking better than it did under Josh McDaniels. When McDaniels was running things, the running game was just a way to waste a down. Denver faithful had gone from yearly dual 1000 yard RBs to…. -2 yard per carry Lawrence Maroney. So it is certainly nice to see positive yards being obtained. On top of that, with Mr. Manning at the helm, the whole 8 men in the box thing would be suicidal for opposing defenses.
  •  There were a couple players who made a great showing last night. Derek Wolfe showed why the Broncos drafted him. He was involved in almost every play (when he was on the field of course) and was constantly pressuring and pursuing. He looks like he will be a force indeed. CB Tony Carter looked like a guy the Broncos should make every effort to keep on. Granted he got picked on, but when he was, he was there immediately to make tackles. He showed great cover skills and fantastic awareness. He was really only beaten by good throws which, believe or not, will beat Champ Bailey also. The Broncos’ situation at DB (in terms of CB) looks much better than it did last year. Another shout out to Xavier Omon. From the small sampling he was able to offer, he has great vision.
  • Defense – Defense – Defense! Props need to be given to the Offense for putting points on the board, but the Defense in this game really showed up. The Bears were 0/11 in third downs and just never looked like anything that resembles comfortable. Jack Del Rio and John Fox have really done a fantastic job of adding the right players and getting depth in key spots. The next trick is to remain injury free.

The Bad

  • After a 31-3 smackdown, it’s hard to imagine there’s anything bad about this team thus far. Well, if you don’t consider Caleb Hanie being the backup QB, you’d be correct. Unfortunately….he is. He looked awful. The announcers of the game repeatedly mentioned how good Caleb Hanie was in the preseason when he played for the Bears. Well…this isn’t the Bears…and he did not play good. Caleb Hanie ran around scared and frizzled. His passes were poor and so was his decision making. True, he scored and didn’t turn over the ball, but the way he plays…we’d been better off with the low scoring Tebow. Adam Weber on the other hand showed poise and confidence in the pocket. The natural argument, of course, is that Weber played against 3rd/4th stringers. But in this case, it doesn’t matter. If Peyton Manning goes down…the Broncos are in serious trouble.
  • Did Demaryius Thomas even get targeted? That might not be so bad from a fan’s perspective, but it’s pretty bad if you’re Demaryius Thomas. If he didn’t like having to run around for Tebow hoping to get a ball…he definitely won’t like running around for Manning watching the same three guys get targeted (Stokely, Decker, and Tamme). Manning will need to address this. Off the field praise of DT to the media is one thing, on the field passes is another.
  • It’s easy to think that the penalties is the next bad thing, but penalties in the first pre season game is to be expected and so therefore, we will get over it. The probably more bad thing, and this will sound very strange, is the dominance of the D-line. Wait…wasn’t that a good thing. Yes, very good. But…is it wise to show how dominant so early? On top of that, the Broncos are in the process of trying to train up the safeties yet the QBs can’t throw the ball down the field due to the lack of time they have to try to do so. This may be a result of good coverage, but last nights’ game looked more like D-Line dominance. The D-Line may want to dial back a bit and try to avoid some injuries.


  •  As good as the entire team appeared to be, we must remember that the Bears barely allowed any starters into the game. Also, the Chicago O-line has been awful in the past and not much has changed in terms of personnel to make it much better. Also, Peyton Manning, good to see you in Orange and Blue!


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