It is an enviable position for an NFL team to be in: Win while not playing its best. That’s where the Broncos find themselves after two games of the 2007 season.
Sunday’s overtime win over the Raiders was the Broncos’ second consecutive nail-biter. The bottom line is that the Broncos are 2-0 and they are not playing nearly to the level at which they are capable of playing.
The Broncos have plenty on which to work after beating the Raiders. A few of the items:
- They surrendered 200 net yards rushing. The Raiders couldn’t throw the football, finishing with 53 net yards passing. But the Broncos could hardly stop Oakland’s running game. It was just too easy.
- For the second straight week, the Broncos’ offense marched up and down the field. But for the second straight week, they struggled to score points. The Broncos racked up 441 yards but they still had to rally to win.
- The Broncos’ special teams has to tighten things up. The onside kick the Raiders recovered seemed to give them new life. Even though Oakland didn’t score on the ensuing possession, the Raiders seemed to be energized by taking the Broncos by surprise.
While the Broncos have areas on which to work, there were many more positive signs from this game, including the Broncos’ ability to move the ball consistently, Travis Henry’s 128 rushing yards, the Broncos’ converting 9-of-17 (53%) third down opportunities, the ability Jay Cutler is showing to come up with clutch drives, the Broncos’ terrific receiving corps led by Javon Walker, Brandon Marshall and Brandon Stokley and so on.
Of course, the Broncos have things to shore up. I think they will.
The first two games haven’t been perfect and they haven’t been pretty. But they’ve been wins. In the past, the Broncos have had their share of seasons in which they start out playing really well, only to fade down the stretch.
This year, the Broncos have played just well enough to win. That works for me.
Not good enough for you? I seem to remember there’s an NFL owner well-known for saying something along the lines of, “Just win, baby.”
Thanks for reading. Feel free to share your thoughts about what the Broncos are doing well or the areas you think they need the most work. I always enjoy hearing from you.