It was not a close or dramatic contest, but it was a fun game to watch. This weeks Upon Further Review really examines the lessons of the Denver Broncos win over the Oakland Raiders. What do we know about Peyton Manning and the Express Train that we didn’t prior to the Monday Night Football game (well nothing that Jon Gruden couldn’t tell us)?
Denver Broncos-Oakland Raiders: Quarter One
15:00- I think everyone should wear orange all the time at Denver Broncos games within the Authority. It was so cool in the first game. I can’t tell if the stands just aren’t full yet or if everyone’s in blue.
12:48- Eric Decker is playing in the middle of the field on the first drive. The fact that he’s actually catching those footballs is another weapon in the Broncos arsenal. Of course, Decker was too talented to be out of the offense forever. He’s looking to be a triple threat again and make one of those threats football.
11:43- The Raiders sure like to jump offside; twice in Manning’s first drive. Everyone knows that Manning is a master at manipulating defensive schemes, but the Raiders are failing to follow the chess master.
8:12- Maybe Manning is just going to let everyone have a good game once this season. Decker certainly is in this game early as the Broncos elect to not use Welker. Manning’s offense only works with smart players because they have to learn different sets, with different schemes.
3:19- Chris Clark commits a holding penalty. Ryan Clady… also committed holding penalties at times.
1:00- Demaryius Thomas almost always gets hurt and looks like he’s not going to come back (but he does). Can Demaryius stay healthy all year when he is often defenseless due to his athletic plays? I still think he is this team’s best weapon despite the depth.
Denver Broncos-Oakland Raiders: Quarter Two
13:32- Terrelle Pryor looks nothing like Tim Tebow. He’s a smooth runner, which actually makes him more of a stealth weapon. His passing is a little like Tebow however. Tebow 2.0. I bet Tebow users are as upset by that update as some Apple users are with the iPhone.
12:40- Broncos rookie Kayvon Webster is looking like a great player so far. Playing for the injured Carter, he’s already made a couple of big hits. The Broncos defense is holding up just fine and looks like it has quite a bit of depth without both Champ Bailey and Von Miller as well.
10:37-Hillman to the left, Welker to the right, Moreno up the middle, first down. Repeat.
7:27-This drive was perfection. A mix of running and receiving, short yards, first downs. Not a single drop or loss of a yard—10 plays and 80 yards in 5 minutes. There was literally nothing wrong with the drive that culminated in the Welker touchdown; exquisite.
5:57- Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Duke Ihenacho get all wrapped up trying to make the tackle. However, Webster still almost caught up with Moore. It was unfortunate because the Raiders looked about ready to kneel for the rest of the game.
5:16- Decker looked like he was on fast break on his long run, just one defender to get around. Manning is hit on the play, but he does a nice job of falling on his side and allowing his shoulder pads to minimize impact. He does nothing on accident.
1:57- The Broncos have done a good job of collapsing the pocket from the outside. This should help them against Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles because Pryor had nowhere to run.
1:49- There are few truly great spectacles in sports. Carlos Gonzalez hitting a home run and Justin Verlander striking someone out both come to mind. But a Peyton Manning run a two-minute drill may raise above all other consistent performances. An offside penalty would ultimately be the downfall of a touchdown, but they settle for a Field Goal. It’s still like watching a symphony out there.
Denver Broncos-Oakland Raiders: Quarter Three
15:00- The Broncos had a huge Monday night comeback a year ago against the San Diego Chargers. The Raiders don’t seem to have that in them as the Broncos roll out an entirely new formation, with three tight ends. The Raiders don’t have the experience to catch up.
10:19- The Broncos switch the setup three times and leave Demaryius wide open. Manning knows what the Raiders are doing more than they do at this point. It’s one of the dangers of letting the Broncos take the lead. Manning has the time to run down the clock and think about what’s coming next.
8:41- The first drive ends with a Prater field goal. The first drive of the half lasted over 6 minutes! How could a team catch up?
8:00- The Raiders are definitely a better team. It’s hard to tell because the Broncos are also better, but they Raiders are not rolling over in the second half. The fact that the Broncos division as a whole is better is a blessing for the team. It would be bad if Denver started sleepwalking through the season and the Raiders, Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs will give the Broncos trouble at some point this year. This will help the Broncos the ability to try some new things out against different schemes.
2:43- Manning was not happy with himself about the fumble. Clark should have at least warned Peyton before he went down there. Overall Clark was a solid replacement, but Manning can’t afford a hit like that every week.
1:40- Jon Gruden should go back to coaching because he’s smarter than everyone else…
:17 Darren McFadden throws the touchdown. Hillman, Moreno and Ball should play Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who gets to throw a touchdown instead of Manning.
Denver Broncos-Oakland Raiders: Quarter Four
11:27-It’s a small sample size, but the Broncos ability to run late is a huge improvement over last year. If the Broncos had run against the Ravens last year as they did against the Raiders, they would already have a title.
7:48- Pryor is not an inept quarterback. It will be interesting to see how he develops as the season progresses and his young receivers also become more comfortable with him. The Broncos defense still had to work despite the final score. The Raiders 4th quarter drive could be a preview of things to come.
6:09- The hits on Pryor were unfortunate on the drive. Never want to see a quarterback get hurt. And Pryor said he didn’t remember much of the game the next day. Raiders fans should feel better than they have in a long time about what’s ahead. No need to take a Gob Bluth “forget-me-now.”
2:19- The first name of the football is not Montee. The rookie Montee Ball fumbled again. Manning is exasperated. Matt Flynn gets a chance to attack in the redzone.
The sky’s the limit for the Broncos right now and in Denver, that sky is a mile higher than anyone else’s sky.