The Broncos are bringing back 1950’s-era football. Here’s what we learned during Denver’s 17-10 win in Kansas City.
1. You’ll hear a lot about Tebow and the Denver running game this week. But this game was won by Von Miller, Elvis Dumervil, and the Broncos pass rush. Matt Cassel threw 28 passes for only 93 yards.
Cassel left the game late after taking a hit to his non-throwing shoulder. He was sacked four times and hit 12 times. Miller was an absolute animal. He’s my pick for Defensive Rookie of the Year thus far.
2. The Broncos ran the ball 55 times Sunday! They only threw it eight times, with only two Tim Tebow completions. Kansas City knew what was coming and they couldn’t do enough about it.
At least Tebow made his last throw count. After underthrowing Eric Decker twice deep early in the game, Tebow connected on a 56-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
It was surprising to see John Fox trust Tebow to throw in that situation. They repeatedly ran the ball on third-and-long, rarely converting.
3. Denver went for this run-first style despite losing Knowshon Moreno and Willis McGahee early in the game. Lance Ball rushed 30 times for 96 yards. Tim Tebow ran nine times for 43 yards and a score.
The zone-read was effective early, but this game featured more power running. Denver got creative as well. Eddie Royal had three carries. Fullback Spencer Larsen had five carries.
4. Give John Fox and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy credit for playing to the team’s strengths. They are finding ways to win in unorthodox ways.
5. Denver could be so confident running play after play because they knew Kansas City’s offense was limited.
The standings says the Chiefs are only one game out, but they aren’t contenders. Good teams don’t lose back-to-back home games to the Dolphins and Broncos.
Kansas City enters a brutal stretch of games. They will be heavy underdogs until Christas Eve. By then, this Chiefs season will be long over.
6. The Broncos are alive at 4-5, but they face a tough game Thursday against the Jets. It’s hard to imagine this offense working against a quality defense, but it’s also hard to imagine a team winning with two completions.
Denver somehow found a way on Sunday.