2016 Season at the First Quarter Turn

This week, Kubiak noted how the Broncos think of the season in quarters, looking at the season in 4 game chunks. Since we sit squarely between the first two quarters of the season, let’s look back at the first, and anticipate what’s to come in the second:

1st Quarter Review:

Not sure you could find much to complain about how the first quarter of the season went. Not only do the Broncos look stronger than they did at this time a year ago, they seem to have carried over all their momentum from the peak in the playoffs.

After a narrow win in the first week carried by a strong defensive performance, the Broncos look more and more balanced, with both offense and defense contributing. The offense is not dominant enough carry the team the way the defense can, but they are finding a rhythm and doing a better job of capitalizing on the opportunities the defense hands them. This team could win a game even when the offense has an off week.

2nd Quarter Preview:

Of course every Broncos game is worth watching, but each game of the second quarter notches that up with a certain intrigue:

Week 5: Falcons at Broncos — Matt Ryan is the 1st quarter MVP as Kyle Shanahan returns to Denver coordinating a soaring Falcons’ offense. This will be as good of a test as the Broncos have faced, and I can’t wait to watch.

Week 6: Broncos at Chargers — A Thursday night game anticipated for throwback helmets (almost) and color rush uniforms. Much like the Broncos find ways to win, the Chargers seem to find ways to lose. But, a divisional game on the road is never a sure thing.

Week 7: Texans at Broncos — From Thursday night to Monday night and Brock is coming to town without JJ Watt. I don’t see this one going well for the Texans.

Week 8: Chargers at Broncos — Playing a division opponent twice in a three week span is a rare challenge. The Broncos have the leadership to overcome the ‘trap game’ scenario. Even so, I’m glad this one is in Denver and not the other way around.

A few notes:

  • Any team can win any given week in the NFL, so 7-1 would be a fine way to finish the second quarter. But 8-0 looks like a possibility.
  • The most interesting storyline will be the QB position, especially if Siemien’s injured shoulder bothers him the next few weeks. Kubiak remains committed to Siemien (as do I), but if Lynch gets more reps and progresses, he will get harder to keep off the field.

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Top Ten: Broncos 27, Bucs 7

  1. Aqib Talib: His first interception set the tone for the game. His second one clinched it.
  2. Derek Wolfe: Two and a half sacks and lots of applause from the national press today.
  3. The Third Quarter: Bucs held to -14 yards of offense.
  4. Demaryius Thomas: Offense finally breaks in here. It looked like he could make something happen every time he touched the ball. And for the first time in a while, no blatant drops.
  5. Von Miller: When is “holding calls against” going to be a statistic? I count at least three in the last two weeks.
  6. Okung and Sambrailo: Both get good scores from Pro Football Focus. Okung gets a gameball from Kubiak and Samrailo looking settled after so much time away.
  7. Trevor Siemien: Looked good before the injury. Gets the ranking for cheering on Lynch like a confident starter expecting to return to the field next week.
  8. Paxton Lynch: Some great reps against a live opponent to build his confidence and experience. I still would like to see him under center more.
  9. Shaq Barrett: He only played about half the snaps but seemed to be making a play on all of them.
  10. Emmanuel Sanders: Lynch clearly has a lot of comfort with him. Like Thomas, looks like he can make something happen every time he touches the ball.

Worth mentions: Andy Janovich, CJ Anderson, Devontae Booker, Chris Harris, Brandon Marshall, TJ Ward, sheesh…everybody, Demarcus Ware as a judge on Chopped Jr., only undefeated team in the AFC, no turnovers, The First Quarter, The Second Quarter, The Fourth Quarter

Not even: lightning delays, CBS 4th string camera crew, Mark Sanchez, Winston’s knee on the ground TD not getting overturned

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