One game will not erase all the issues of a 2-6 first half of the season.
But Sunday’s 49-29 thumping of the Chiefs sure is a good start.
The Broncos came out prepared, focused and executing to near perfection in the blowout. Arguably, it was the team’s best performance in Josh McDaniels’ year-and-a-half as head coach. The timing could not have been better.
The foundation of this win appeared to be put in place during the Broncos’ bye week.
“There’s been a lot of teams that have started, for whatever reason, not playing the type of football that they want to play but ultimately figure out the perfect formula for their team and then play their best football in November and December,” Coach McDaniels told 850 KOA on Monday.
“That was really what we talked a lot about during our bye week and heading into the Kansas City week, was that, that opportunity still was out there for us.”
And it still is, in a big way. The main reasons why?
1 – THE BRONCOS GOT BACK TO HAVING FUN. This is often a Catch-22 in sports. What comes first, having fun or having success? In the first half of the year, the Broncos didn’t have much fun. Sure, their won-loss record slipped seemingly by the week. But they didn’t look like a group of players that was having fun playing the game.
During the bye week, Broncos great John Elway met with the team and, according to Coach McDaniels, one of the things he shared was the importance of enjoying the process of working through a season, of enjoying the opportunity to go out and play the game of football.
If Sunday’s game is any indication, it sure looks like the Broncos got the message.
2 – THE BRONCOS EXECUTED ON THE FIELD. They rushed for 153 yards. They held the Chiefs to 51 yards on the ground. The Broncos had four sacks and scored a defensive touchdown. It was the type of performance that Broncos fans have been waiting for.
They scored early. They defense put the clamps on the Chiefs. The Broncos played their best game of the season.
3 – THE BRONCOS’ HEALTH IS IMPROVING. I know, mention injuries and you run the risk of making excuses. The fact is, the Broncos didn’t play well in the first half of the season. Period. They were 2-6 for a reason. Well, actually they were 2-6 for a lot of reasons, all related to inconsistent and/or poor play. Injuries were just one reason.
Now, they Broncos have more of the players healthy that they were counting on to be core players all along. The offensive line features the five guys in the positions the Broncos wanted them in going back to training camp.
Knowshon Moreno has recovered from his two injuries. Brian Dawkins is back on the field and making his presence felt there and as a leader in the locker room.
I don’t know if the way the Broncos played against the Chiefs will carry over to Monday’s game against the Chargers. I do know that if the Broncos are to turn their season into something positive, they took a big step in that direction on Sunday.
What impressed you most about the win over the Chiefs?
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