Before shifting focus to the third week of the NFL season, I am taking one last look at the Denver Broncos thrilling 34-20 victory of the Indianapolis Colts last week in Denver. In addition to my thoughts on the Broncos second consecutive win, a recap of the other games featuring AFC West teams also follows!
Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos: Leading 16-13 early in the fourth quarter, the Broncos defense stiffened and scored twice, securing the victory! Following halftime it certainly appeared from my seat that the Colts moved the ball easier than they did in the first half.
The Colts opened the third quarter with a 13 play drive that covered 79 yards, ending with a five yard touchdown run by Robert Turbin, tying the game at 13-13. Considering how easy the Colts moved the ball on the game-tying drive, I felt that once again, if the Broncos were to remain undefeated, it would not be easy.
Sandwiched in between two Brandon McManus field goals, the defensive unit for the Broncos did what it had to do as their offense stabilizes and continues to improve. Aqib Talib had a pick six early in the fourth quarter and late in the game, Shane Ray picked up Luck’s fumble caused by Von Miller and scored his first touchdown of his young career, securing the victory 34-20.
Was this a pretty victory across the board? Absolutely not, but looking back on it, the team came together and made the plays when they had to in order to get a win, and that is ultimately the most important thing! No matter what you do, there is always room for improvement.
Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans: Following the Chiefs largest come-from-behind-victory in week one, the Chiefs stubbed their toe by losing to the Houston Texans on the road.
Turnovers appeared to be an obstacle for both teams throughout the game – Brock Osweiler threw two interceptions, while the Chiefs turned the ball over three times due to fumbles.
Kansas City losing this game was a plus for me on a couple of different levels – obviously, since Chiefs are in same division as the Broncos, it is always good when a divisional opponent loses. Above that, I am thrilled when the Chiefs lose (especially when Broncos win) because it does give me a week of peace and quiet in Chiefs Country!
Atlanta Falcons at Oakland Raiders: Ouch, I missed this one totally! I predicted the Raiders would win their home opener big and instead the Falcons came away with a seven point victory. While the off season Raider hype and expectations is still justified somewhat, albeit it is slowly evaporating, the Raiders defense is in a statistical tailspin.
After two weeks, the Raiders overall defense is ranked 32nd, allowing 517.5 yards per game – OUCH! This low ranking is primarily caused by the Raiders porous pass defense; the black-and-silver rushing defense is middle of the pack. I would have never guessed this would be the case with a Jack Del Rio coached team.
I imagine defensive meetings this week were a bit more energized this week given the dismal defensive production (or lack of). Another stat that makes me scratch my head is the fact that the Raiders overall offense is leading the league at 470 yards per game.
The Broncos, along with many other teams, have proven that a stellar defense can win a championship. Given what I’ve seen in two weeks from the Raiders, I am confident saying the Raiders will not be representing the AFC in Super Bowl LI.
Jacksonville Jaguars at San Diego Chargers: Behind four touchdown passes from Philip Rivers, the Chargers absolutely throttled the Jacksonville Jaguars 38-14 (entering the fourth quarter the Charges held a 35-0 lead).
I haven’t focused on the Chargers much this season so I am not aware if this lopsided victory is due to explosive Chargers offense, or if it is due to a lack-luster performance by the Jaguars?
Obviously, it is a little of both plus other factors as well that Impact overall outcome of a typical football game (turnovers, injuries, momentum, etc.). Whatever the reason, the Chargers have notched their first victory in a huge way – something that will put this Bronco fan on notice…. for now.