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Enemy Intelligence: Last week’s Denver Broncos game

In preparation for this week’s game, I watched last week’s Denver Broncos game. In Week 2, the Broncos beat the Cincinnati Bengals at home by a final tally of 24-22. The game went down to the final minute, as the Bengals nearly rallied from a 17-7 second-half deficit.

Here are some things I noticed in watching the game:

  • The Broncos were missing a number of key contributors-RB Knowshon Moreno, WR Brandon Lloyd, CB Champ Bailey, LB D.J. Williams, DE Elvis Dumervil. All may be back for this week’s game, and only Moreno really has a decent replacement.
  • Lloyd’s absence is probably part of this, but the Broncos did not look very explosive or threaten many big plays. Think the Jaguars’ offensive performance. The Titans will have chances to get off the field, but will need to take advantage of them. Yeah, Eric Decker put up some good numbers as the Broncos’ top wideout, but his biggest play came after two Bengals DB screwed up and his second-biggest gain was another intermediate throw.
  • He was not as bad as Mark LeVoir was, but LG Zane Beadles did not impress me. Center J.D. Walton is also undersized and may struggle against the Titans’  bigger defensive tackles (or he may not).
  • Obviously Champ Bailey’s absence made a difference, but the Bengals threw a lot and successfully to A.J. Green. If Bailey doesn’t play, expect the Titans to again target Britt in 1v1 matchups.
  • Judging by the Bengals, it’s tough to say exactly how good they are, but the Broncos aren’t the same type of power offensive line the Jaguars and Ravens were. Think more of a Texans-style zone running game than John Fox’s Carolina teams.
  • Until earlier this year, I honestly thought Brian Dawkins had retired after the 2009 season. If he ends up in coverage on Jared Cook, MISMATCH! The other starting safety is a rookie, Rahim Moore, hwo was probably overdrafted out of need.
  • Overwhelming impression of this Bengals-Broncos game is similar to the impression I had on the Titans-Jaguars game, a pair of 6-10-type teams.
  • Kyle Orton is Kyle Orton. He’s a decent NFL starter who can do a pretty good job on intermediate throws but doesn’t really do much special.
  • The bloom is kind of off Ryan Clady, who has never impressed me quite the same way he did when he first came into the league, and had two holding penalties and gave up a couple pass pressures against the Bengals. Still, the Titans likely won’t be able to take advantage of him the same they did against Bryant McKinnie with wide-9 and stunts. Unfortunately, the more creative stuff Gray has tried hasn’t worked very well.

After watching last Sunday’s game, the Broncos particularly with all of those injuries looked like a very beatable team, and the kind of team you expect the Titans to be able to beat if they’re going to avoid battling the Colts for last place in the AFC South.