Much like the preseason opener against San Francisco, the Broncos took some steps forward and also showed they have plenty to work on in preseason game number two.
For the second straight week, I liked the way the first-team offense moved the ball. That unit drove 78 yards in 12 plays and took nearly six minutes off the clock on its first possession and scored a touchdown after the Seahawks had taken an early lead.
Quarterback Kyle Orton completed passes to four different receivers on that drive and the Broncos gave a glimpse of how potent this passing game can be. Orton looked to be in total control on the drive and did again in leading the Broncos to a field goal on their second possession. An uncharacteristic penalty on tackle Ryan Clady put a serious damper on that series.
We know that Ken Lucas intercepted Orton’s awkward, left-handed pass in the Seattle end zone on the Broncos fourth possession. Let me again state the obvious: Orton cannot make that mistake. He knows that; we all know that.
At the same time, I take comfort in the fact that the drive was 14 plays, 86 yards and consumed seven minutes and 36 seconds. That is a terrific drive. Yes, I accentuate the positive. Despite the interception, Orton again showed me a lot on that drive. We know he has to clean up the turnovers and I believe he will.
Orton’s numbers and overall play was better than it was against the 49ers. All we have to go on is a couple of pre-season games and 18-of-26 passing for 182 yards with a touchdown and an interception is, in the big picture, a pretty good night in my book.
Was the offense great? By no means. Are there things to work on? You bet. But with two preseason game to go, I am encouraged by the way the offense has played. I would like to see the running game kick in a little but I’m not too concerned right now. There are likely a multitude of reasons the Broncos threw the ball more than they ran. I still believe they’ll have a more than effective rushing attack.
Defensively, I thought the Broncos were fine. The turnovers put the defense in a tough spot at times and nothing to this point has changed my thought that the defense is a work in progress.
The D did a good job keeping the Seahawks in check for most of the first half. It broke down on Seattle’s touchdown drive late in the second quarter and then the Seahawks took advantage of great field position early in the third quarter.
I saw enough from the defense the leads me to think it can be a better unit than it has been the last couple of years. That may not mean drastic improvement but at least it would be a start.
No doubt it would be good to see the defense start to create turnovers. I won’t pretend to know why that hasn’t happened yet. But I know it is an area the Broncos work on regularly. At some point, I believe it will start to pay off in games.
After two preseason games, I am neither abounding in excitement nor wallowing in discouragement by what I have seen out of the Broncos. I see a team that is working to install brand new systems. In that process, the Broncos have both shown progress and also the need to improve.
They’ll have the chance to take some more steps forward Sunday night against the Bears.
What did you take away from the Broncos’ performance against the Seahawks? Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.