On Tuesday, Broncos TV’s Chris Hall and Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway discussed the Broncos’ 37-6 win over Oakland Sunday and the upcoming trip to New England on the fourth episode of Elway Access.
The Broncos broke open a 10-6 game at halftime against the Raiders to notch a 37-6 victory in the team’s first AFC West action of the season. The victory also snapped a two-game losing streak to even Denver’s record at 2-2.
“It was a great win,” Elway said. “We needed it bad, especially coming off the two previous weeks where we hadn’t come out and played very well, got behind and played catch-up for the two previous weeks. So to be able to come out, score on the first drive, not punt throughout the whole game, and play well, that was the key thing.”
With the defense pitching a second-half shutout and the offense getting it done both on the ground and through the air — running back Willis McGahee ran for more than 100 yards and quarterback Peyton Manning threw for more than 300 — it was hard to single out a single bright spot in the victory. But one thing Elway said that he was pleased with were the variety of targets who got open for Manning, as the quarterback completed passes to eight different players.
“I think that’s a part of it, he’s getting more comfortable with everybody,” Elway said. “But also the fact that we do have some depth and we have a lot of different people he can go to, which puts a lot of pressure on the defense and is something we want to do. I think it’s a combination of both.”
Manning will need to follow his 30-for-38, 338-yard passing day with another strong performance as the Broncos take to the road to battle a New England team fresh off a 31-point fourth quarter en route to a 52-28 win over the Bills.
“They’re one of the top teams, probably the team to beat in the AFC,” Elway said. “If not, they’re right there up top and they have been for the last 10 years or so. It’s another good test for us, to see where we are, see how we handle it. We’re going into a tough situation, a tough place to play. They’re coming off a big win against Buffalo last week. This will be a great test for us, hopefully we can go in there and play like we’re capable of and get out of there with a win.”
Taking on an offense like New England’s, with one of the league’s top quarterbacks in Tom Brady and dangerous targets like tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receiver Wes Welker, Elway knows the defense will have its work cut out for it, and added that the Broncos will also need a strong offensive showing.
“They’re explosive,” Elway said of the Patriots. “I’m not sure that you stop these guys. Hopefully we can slow them down. One of the ways you can do that is be very productive on the offensive side and take advantage of the times that you have the ball there. I’m sure (Defensive Coordinator) Jack (Del Rio) is working on coming up with a plan that best fits our talent against theirs and gives us an opportunity to be successful. But you’re never going to stop these guys totally. We just have to slow them down. And then offensively, we’ve got to be good also. When we get opportunities, we have to be able to put points on the board.”