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The Broncos made fewer mistakes than the free-falling Bills. Here are my thoughts, opinions, and analysis on their crazy win on Monday night.
That sure was a sloppy game and an unbelievable win for the Denver Broncos on the road over the Buffalo Bills. Here in Broncos Country, we’re so starved for winning actual games we heartily welcome sloppy wins like that.
As a mostly jaded fan (like most of Broncos Country over the past 8 years seems to be… at least in my circles), this game probably meant more to me than it should have.
One win against the Kansas City Chiefs is a dream come true, but flukes happen in the NFL. However, to go into Buffalo with a voracious home crowd (hat tip to the Bills’ mafia… love the passion your fans bring to the game), and pull out a win is more than just a fluke.
I don’t know how far this team is going to go this season and still highly question their ability to make the playoffs, but I can solidly say this team is headed in the right direction and I’m here for it.
There is a lot of work to be done on defense. The big issue I see is that the defense seems to like to react more than dictate if that makes sense. I don’t see this defense taking away angles, directing traffic up front, or being aggressive with their coverage.
To me, that’s where a lot of the problems stopping the run are coming from. If you are always reacting to what the offense is doing, then you are going to get caught flat-footed often and it is going to cost you.
I’m still very proud of the job this defense did. Josh Allen is a very talented passer and we largely took him out of the game. Sure, the run blocking left much to be desired, but the defensive turnovers more than made up for that.
Alex Singleton chipped in another 11 tackles in this game to lead the team once again. But his biggest play was his fumble recovery. He put forth a great effort jumping on the fumbled handoff in the second half.
My big question with the front seven again this week is where is the pass rush? We had nary a sack on the day with only a few quarterback hits by Nik Bonitto and Zach Allen. I did watch both Jonathan Cooper and Baron Browning from time to time and only noticed them getting consistently handled by the Bills’ tackles. One big improvement for this defense would be to find ways to get more pressure on the edge.
Ja’Quan McMillian honestly had the best game of his short career against the Bills. He did a superb job ripping the ball away for a turnover right out of the gate. He wasn’t immaculate by any means, but you take the couple of passes he gave up when they happen when balanced against such an impactful play.
Justin Simmons hauled in another interception which happened because Josh Allen didn’t throw the pass with enough touch. He also had a nice pass dense in the game and was one of the many who forced a fumble on the night for the Broncos.
Fabian Moreau also had a pretty good night. He did have a pretty bad missed tackle on Diggs. He snagged an interception at the end of the half and had another big-time play with a great pass defense on 3rd down later in the game.
The plan for this offense seems to be one of Sean Payton figuring out how to get the most out of these players while taking the least risk. The Broncos had lots of plays dialed up to go downfield, but kept having to check it down which can be pretty frustrating at times for fans to watch.
Hang in there, Broncos Country. They are trying.
I think as the players get more comfortable executing Payton’s offense, we’ll see more production. Also, let’s give credit where it is due: the Bills’ defense is one of the best-coached defenses in the league (even if they are missing a ton of starters).
I honestly loved the game that Russel Wilson put together on the field for the Broncos. Was he more of a game manager than I’d like? Sure.
That being said, that is exactly what this team needs right now. If you want a quarterback to be more aggressive and sling the ball around, I’d invite you to go watch that game again paying attention to the Bills while pretending that’s Wilson.
I’ll take 24 / 29 for 194 yards and 2 TDs with 0 interceptions, thank you very much. We had better offensive football more consistently than our opponents through four quarters from our quarterback and I love it.
Let’s also point out that that touchdown throw to Sutton in the back of the end zone was absolutely filthy. Most QBs can’t make that pass and don’t you for a second say it was luck. I saw him throw those passes back when he was on the Seahawks, too.
I’m going to start by shouting out Quinn Meinerz. Of all the problems this line is having, he is not one of them. This guy is an absolute stud at guard and is playing dominant football. He’s the best player on the line by a wide margin. If we could clone two more of him and have them play LG and C, most of the problems on this line would be solved.
I think my biggest worry with this team is the offensive line. They have been atrocious with penalties and poor blocking this season and it didn’t look any better at Buffalo. Lloyd Cushenberry led the pack with a false start, a holding call, and an illegal man downfield penalty. Any one of them was bad, but having 3 in one game was ugly.
Mike McGlinchey is still looking shaky on the outside with another false start and a couple of plays where pressure was coming off his side.
Ben Powers took the cake when it came to plays that looked bad on the line, though. He had a terrible whiff blocking on 2nd and 18 in the 1st quarter. In the 2nd he again just lets his assignment run around him to pressure Wilson. I couldn’t tell on either play if he was just missing his assignment or got juked, but both were bad looks.
Samaje Perine had the most impactful night out of the backfield for the Broncos. He had a huge 3rd down conversion in the 4th quarter off a toss from Wilson as he was about to be sacked. On the last drive of the game, they run the same outlet play and get another big gain out of it. Add to that his reliability as a blocker on 3rd down and he’s doing a hell of a job for this team to help them win.
Javonte Williams did have the bulk of the load on the night and I thought he ran well for sure. The Bills’ run defense is very stout and was up to the take holding him to only 3.8 ypc, but he made them work to stop him. He was a physically imposing runner all night and I love seeing it.
Courtland Sutton made easily the most impressive catch of the season for the Broncos on his touchdown. His toe drags while extending for the catch showed an elite level of focus and athleticism. He was the main target in the game with 11 and showed some inconsistency though (which isn’t new for Sutton).
There just weren’t a lot of targets going to the receivers in this game. I kinda want to ask for more from our group, but still try to temper that with knowledge of how good a job the Bills defense did in the game. Their coverage looked immaculate from the few angles we saw during the broadcast. It will be something I keep my eye on as the season wears on, though. This team may need an upgrade in talent at the position to really step into Payton’s vision for what this offense can be.
Marvin Mims, Jr. made an impact on this game as a returner and I love it. He returned a kickoff for 31 yards and 2 punts for an average of 22 yards. Those gains are huge and are a big advantage to have in a game of inches.
Will Lutz was a hero at the end of the game. I hate to be that guy, but the No Bull truth is that he kinda sucked on the night. We missed an extra point and he missed the game-winning field goal had the Bills not completely biffed the play and had the right number of players on the field.
There is plenty of work for this team to do to improve. I’m so encouraged to see them so putting the work in and reaping the rewards on the field of play. Sean Payton has them fighting and I guarantee you no one on our upcoming schedule will take this team lightly.
The coaching we’re seeing is such an improvement over anything we’ve seen in the past 7 years. This coaching staff is playing the guys who earn it, not the guys who are incumbent. They are putting the players in positions to win at the micro and macro levels. I also love the decision-making I’m seeing on the field under pressure, which is a nice change compared to last year.
It has been a long time since a win has felt this good as a fan of the Broncos. They look like a team that is ready to play each week and is ready to fight for a win. I don’t know if they will sustain this and how well they will finish the season, but I’m excited to see what they do next week. Hit me up in the comments and let me know if you fans out there are feeling the same way.
Originally posted on Mile High Report