The focal point of the Broncos’ 17-16 loss to San Francisco in the pre-season opener will undoubtedly be the three interceptions that starting quarterback Kyle Orton threw in the first half.
We all know interceptions aren’t good. Even after the game, Kyle was a stand-up guy when he spoke with us on the 850 KOA post-game show.
“I pride myself on my decisions and I certainly made a couple I’d like to have back,” Orton said.
This isn’t the regular season yet. It is the preseason. For that matter, it was the first game of the preseason. No one, most of all Orton himself, wanted to see the interceptions. But I’ll put those aside for now. I thought the offense did some good things, even in the first half.
First, the Broncos had eight possessions in the game and six of them lasted seven plays or more. That’s pretty good ball control. That will help keep a defense off the field.
Second, Orton seemed to have good flow and looked like he was in control when he played in the first half. The Broncos used multiple personnel groups and multiple formations and Orton seemed to handle things pretty well, especially when one considers that he is learning a brand-new system and it was his first game action in that system.
Third, quarterback Chris Simms looked effective when he played in the second half. The Broncos ran the ball a little more and Simms looked smooth and moved the club. The Broncos scored points on three of their four possessions in the second half.
I also thought the defense played pretty well. Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan varied the looks. Sometimes he brought pressure, other times he didn’t.
For those who are into preseason stats, the Broncos’ defense gave you some to enjoy.
The Broncos sacked the 49ers four times (while not surrendering one to the San Francisco defense); Denver allowed only 278 yards of total offense.
The 49ers did not play their best running back, Frank Gore, and it wasn’t a dominating performance by the Broncos’ defense. But for the first preseason game, it was fine. The Broncos did some good things and they have some things to work on.
This is what the preseason is for. To me, the Broncos are right where they need to be. They showed me there is plenty of cause for optimism. They also showed they have some work to do.
Welcome to the preseason.
What did you see on Friday night that you liked? Thanks for reading and posting your thoughts.