Monday, September 30, 2013

The Broncos Don't Impress Me Much

What's with the Eagles fan hugging Thomas in this picture? Weird.

I'm not saying that the Broncos aren't good. I'm not saying that the Broncos aren't great. All I'm saying is that I'm not nearly as impressed by 52 points and 4-0 records as most everyone else seems to be.

I've seen this show before. In 2007 with the Patriots. That team had an offense so good that most NFL teams couldn't handle it. The margins of victory inflated as opponents tried in vain to keep up. And the Pats kept piling on the points.

Speaking of which, why the hell did Denver kick a field goal up 49-13 in the 4th quarter Sunday? With 6:53 on the clock and on 4th and 11, the Broncos attempted a 53-yard field goal to increase their lead from 36 to 39. This difference would have made the Eagles try for 2-point conversions 4 times instead of just once. That is if the Eagles managed to score 5 touchdowns in the remaining 6:53.

Why kick that to go to 52? Why not go for it on 4th down, probably fail, and let the clock eventually tick to 0?

Anyway, the Broncos remind me of the Oregon Ducks. Which is funny because they beat Chip Kelly on Sunday. For all of Oregon's offensive prowess, they haven't won a National Championship. Ever. They've been to one BCS title game and lost to Auburn, 22-19. Legions of pundits seem to think that NFL teams want to be like Oregon, but they don't. The Ducks' system doesn't even work in college. There are some interesting things to learn about it, but overall its success has been drastically overshadowed by the traditional fundamentals of Alabama and other SEC teams.

What happens is Oregon beats the tar out of weaker competition, like Portland State, like Washington, like Washington State. But when they get into a tight, tough game, especially one that requires the defense to step up and make plays, they fail. In the early season against weak competition they routinely score 40, 50, 60 points per game. And everyone sucks their kneecaps for scoring 7 TDs against inferior opponents. Then they get tested and either the offense can't score at will or the defense can't contain their opponent when it matters most.

And the Broncos seem so much like the Ducks. I don't care about margin of victory. Win a tough, close game and then I'll be impressed. Or dominate a team that can play on the same level talent-wise.

I know 4-0 is 4-0 is 4-0. But the Chiefs are 4-0. The Patriots and Seahawks are 4-0. The Saints and Dolphins are 3-0. So what makes Denver so superior to those teams? Because they score more points? Who cares?

The Broncos are in Indy on October 20th and that's a test. In November they play the Chiefs, then the Pats, then the Chiefs again. That Sunday Night game in Foxborough will be like the Oregon Ducks travelling to Stanford.

Until then, I'm as impressed with the Broncos putting 52 up on the 1-3 Eagles as I am with Oregon scoring 55 against 1-3 Cal or 66 against Nicholls State.

Photo Credit:
AP Photo, Joe Mahoney

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