We raised last week the question of whether the Broncos are for real. They got lucky against the Bengals and beat a couple of bad teams.
But they’d given up only 16 points in three games, and an average of 241 yards per game.
So hosting the Cowboys would give the Broncos a chance to prove that they’re no fluke. In the PFT Picks for Week Four, yours truly decided to put some faith in coach Josh McDaniels and his overachieving team, picking them to beat the Cowboys, 17-10.
And they beat the Cowboys, 17-10.
The Broncos did it by shutting down the Cowboys’ league-leading rushing attack, holding Marion Barber to 41 yards and Tashard Choice to 43. Quarterback Tony Romo has now gone two straight games without a touchdown pass.
But, still, the game was undecided until the very end. After scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter to take a seven-point lead, the Broncos had to hold off the Cowboys from the doorstep of the goal line. With Roy Williams on the sidelines due to an injury, Romo twice went to Sam Hurd, even though Hurd was covered well by Champ Bailey.
The fourth-down try landed incomplete, and one knee-bang from Kyle Orton ended the thing.
The Broncos’ ability to convert doubters might be temporary. Next week, the 3-1 Patriots come to town.
I’ll let Rosenthal pick that one.