Five Things We Learned From The Broncos’ Win Over the Chiefs
We already knew that ugly wins count the same in the standings as non-ugly ones, but here's five things we learned from the Broncos' wild win over the Chiefs on Thursday.
1.PEYTON MANNING'S WAY IS BETTER THAN GARY KUBIAK'S
Did you happen to notice that the Broncos seemed to move the ball better when Manning was in the shotgun, and when he was under center the offense was sluggish. The Peyton Manning-led-hurry up-no huddle-approach is what has gotten him 70,000 yards and on the verge of the all-time NFL record. I think it's safe to say Head Coach Gary Kubiak needs to take the reins off of Manning, let him do it his way, and save the "Kubiak Way" for Brock Osweiler when Manning finally rides off into the sunset.
2. PEYTON MANNING IS JUST FINE
Don't listen to all the talk about Manning being done, washed up, old, and ineffective. Three touchdown passes later, Manning proved he still has what it takes. It's no secret that he is not what he was physically 10 years ago, but the fact is, it doesn't matter. He's smart and he's (generally) accurate. There's a lot of quarterbacks in the league who have stronger arms and better bodies, but aren't as smart or as accurate. Which would you rather have? Relax, already. Because of the defense, Manning doesn't have to do as much on the offensive side, but he can do more than enough to effectively run the Broncos' offense.
3. THE OFFENSIVE LINE IS STILL A WORK IN PROGRESS
The offensive line gave slightly better protection against the Chiefs than it did against the Ravens, but there were some pretty weak efforts. And, it's not just about quarterback protection. The running game totally stinks. If it doesn't get better soon, Kubiak will have no choice but to unleash Peyton Manning and the passing attack. Wanting to be a power running team is one thing, but actually being one is quite another, and the Broncos have a long ways to go to get there. The offensive line must improve dramatically if Denver is going deep into the playoffs. The good news, there's still time to make it happen.
4. THE DEFENSE IS A TOP FIVE DEFENSE
For the second week in a row, the defense scored the winning touchdown in the 4th quarter. Unfortunately, you can't count on that every week. While the Chiefs, at times, moved the ball effectively, the Broncos defense did force fivei turnovers. That doesn't happen accidentally. Denver's speed makes it difficult for runners to get to the outside, they just have to be careful not to over pursue like they did on Kansas City's touchdown runs. The pass rush is fierce. This is a special unit.
5. THE KICKING GAME IS IN GOOD HANDS WITH BRANDON McMANUS
When the Broncos released Matt Prater before the start of last season, we all scratched our heads and wondered what in the world they were thinking. Now we area thinking they knew what they were doing. McManus nailed another 50+ yarder - that's three in two games. He's perfect on field goals and extra points - and has been outstanding on kickoffs. It's quite possible - maybe even likely - he's going to have to win two or three games with a last second field goal - and he probably will do it.