Three weeks into the season and this is already a painful season. Losing to the Raiders always arouses some anger in Broncos fans, but the fact that the Broncos lost by three points was ever more painful, considering those three points were an NFL record tying field goal by Sebastian Janikowski as time expired in the first half. He said he “didn’t hit it that good”, but unfortunately for the Broncos he still
squeezed it over the bar. Seemingly, he wasn’t lying either, confirmed by his 70 yarders I saw him hitting during the pregame warm-ups. What makes it even worse is that he tied Jason Elam (and Tom Dempsey’s) record of 63 yards. And in the end, that record-tying field goal ended up being the difference in the game – that and 150 rushing yards by Darren McFadden.
Then came our one and only win. We fought hard, played decent, and in the end came out with a victory. But against the Bengals? At home? And to make matters worse we almost lost it at the end. We also let a rookie quarterback throw it all over the field. In justification for the Broncos, they did have key defensive injuries and held up well against the run in that game. This also isn’t the first time we’ve seen the Broncos struggle at home against the Bengals either. In 2009, the Broncos won it on a tipped pass in the closing seconds that led to a touchdown. And in 2006 the Broncos barely won it at the end only to the surprise of a game tying extra point field goal that Cincinnati botched in a blizzard. Boy! Were my frozen feet glad when they missed that one! Unfortunately the gentlemen in front of me took the blow when I jumped up and slipped on the two inches of ice I had been standing on all game long.
Most recently came, what is to me, the most frustrating game. The Broncos held up very well against Chris Johnson and Von Miller forced a fumble that should have put the game away and secured a 2-1 start for the Broncos 2011 season. But it was poor play calling, not poor execution, that lost this game for the Broncos. With a first and goal on the two yard line, Orton threw it out of the end zone on 1st down, and then McGahee ran it up the middle three straight downs for virtually no gain, turning the ball over on downs. When John Fox was questioned about why he didn’t use Tim Tebow on a goal-line situation he admitted that he considered it, but as to why he didn’t go with Tebow on at least one play (let it be reminded that a touchdown would’ve most likely put the game away) no one knows. I think I can speak for many Broncos fans by saying that we are frustrated with the lack of trust John Fox seems to have in Tim Tebow. Why would Coach Fox run it up the middle three straight times into the teeth of one of the leagues biggest, most aggressive and physical defenses? Why not use Tebow? I guarantee that if you give Tebow two plays on the two yard-line he would get it in, either by running it himself, passing it to a teammate, or even catching a pass on a trick play. The truth is, Coach Fox admitted that they have practiced a lot of goal-line plays with Tebow in practice, otherwise known as the “Tebow Package”. I think last Sunday revealed to us how stubborn John Fox is and how he desires to be a run heavy offense. However, it would have been in the best interest of the team to put Tebow in the game in that situation.
I think anyone who is a true Bronco fan would have to agree with me when I say this season has been a rough start. The injuries, record-tying field goals, bad play calls, and mediocre quarterback play have all contributed to a 1-2 start. On a lighter note, Denver’s run defense has been superb as of late, only allowing an average of 55 yards on the ground over the past two games. Our pass defense on the other hand has been abysmal during that stretch, allowing 643 total passing yards between Andy Dalton and Matt Hasselbeck. Hopefully getting back key players such as cornerback Champ Bailey, defensive end Elvis Dumervil, and linebacker D.J. Williams can tighten up those holes (All are expected to play on Sunday, barring any setbacks). It will be much needed against Aaron Rodgers and a plethora of excellent receivers on Sunday. Keep your eyes on Tebow, and bet on John Fox putting Tebow in the game if they have a similar goal line situation that they did last Sunday.
John Fox quotes taken from http://www.chron.com