The Broncos have been battling a number of issues and problems this season that McDaniel’s left behind. The biggest problem that needed to be addressed during the off-season was the defense. As we all know, The Broncos selected linebacker Von Miller out of Texas A&M for the 2nd overall pick. Von has so far lived up to the hype he created by leading all rookies in
sacks (6) and is tied for 6th overall for sacks in the NFL. He has made an immediate impact on the defensive side of the ball. Look for him to become a primary leader (possibly like a much nicer Ray Lewis) on this team in the next 2-3 years. Although the defense is better than last year they are still very average. They are 19th in the league against the pass allowing 247 passing yards per game, and 18th against the run, allowing 118 yards per game. Although not great, it is a decent improvement if you remember last year’s stats. If the Broncos can maintain these numbers throughout the season it will be a big accomplishment. Having a consistently healthy D.J. Williams, Elvis Dumervil, Champ Bailey, and Brian Dawkins will go a long way. Going from one of the worst defenses in the league to average is a good thing. We can only hope they will continue to improve and stay mostly injury-free.
Although the defense was the thing that needed to be addressed the most, the biggest controversy that has been one of the top storylines in the league this year has undoubtedly been the quarterback situation. Kyle’s performance was very disappointing, completing
less than 59% of his passes and totaling 9 turnovers in 4 ½ games. In his defense, he did have one of the most beloved players right behind him ready to take his place, along with a crowd more or less chanting for Kyle to be benched. A lot of players would collapse under such pressure like he did, but the quarterback position in the NFL doesn’t have any room for mentally weak players. Denver fans all know that Kyle doesn’t play well under pressure and this is just another example of that. To read my thoughts on Tebow you can click on It’s Tebow Time, Finally! or Tim Tebow: Not Leaving Anytime Soon.
Eric Decker and Willis McGahee have to be the most impressive offensive players on the Broncos team this season thus far. Willis has already had three 100+ yard games and is averaging 4.5 rushing yards a carry. Not too bad for the 9th year running back out of Miami. Much of his success is attributed to the offensive line. Orlando Franklin has looked pretty solid for a rookie and his role recently became much more important since he’s now blocking the blind side of a left-handed quarterback in Tim Tebow. Decker has also been impressive, but the entrance of Tebow has already hampered his performance. He averaged 5 catches, 67.5 yards, and 1 touchdown per game during his first four games with Kyle Orton at quarterback. However, the last two games he’s only totaled 4 catches for 17 yards. There’s no doubt he is currently the #1 receiver on the team with Brandon Lloyd now in St. Louis, but with Tebow at quarterback it is hard to trust that Decker will be putting up the numbers we saw at the beginning of the season. Look for a lot more running, quarterback scrambling, and use of the tight ends. You may not see a lot of consistent play from Denver’s wide receivers for the rest of the season.
Stats taken from ESPN > http://www.espn.com