When you knew that the Broncos would be without Von Miller for the first six games of 2013, this game in Dallas was circled as the toughest test for the Broncos. On the road, and against my pick to win the NFC East, you had to imagine this contest would be something you couldn’t miss. And boy did it come through in the clutch. Unlike Tony Romo (couldn’t resist).
It’s fair to say that Romo had his best game in his 11-year career, finishing 25-36, 506 yards, with five touchdowns and one interception. Romo, being the center of criticism for a Dallas team that hasn’t been to the postseason since 2009 despite being in winner take all games in Week 17 of the last two seasons, is a top-flight quarterback despite those facts.
Being known for falling short in the clutch, Romo showed that he is in fact one of the best in the game on Sunday by making the yes, shorthanded Broncos defensive secondary look foolish all afternoon. It almost seemed as if Dallas completely threw out the running game (even though they didn’t) because of how often Romo was able to throw down-field and completely burn the Broncos. Romo averaged over 13 yards per passing play, and that stat doesn’t even tell you the story of the game. For a Broncos team that was quickly down defensive play-caller Wesley Woodyard and underrated Cornerback Chris Harris Jr., Romo and the Cowboys showed that the Broncos can be beaten through the air. Despite those injuries to what you could consider big pieces of the Denver defense, the game today against Dallas showed the improvements that need to be made.
Luckily for Denver, the improvements can be made after a victory. Despite Romo having a career day, he would live up to his failure in the clutch with 2:39 remaining in the fourth quarter. After Peyton led the Broncos on a 9-play 73-yard drive to knot things up at 48-48 with 2:39 remaining in the contest, Romo would throw it right into the hands of Danny Trevathan (Want to forget his goal-line fumble in Week 1?) on a 2nd & 16 play that would set up a Matt Prater 28-yard game-winning field goal to keep the Broncos perfect.
How else could that game end? You know what the folks in “Big D” will be thinking. “The legacy continues for Romo’s un-clutch performances.” Thanks to the Broncos offense led by #18, you’re damn right. With just enough talk about about the opposing quarterback, how about that Manning boy. Peyton finished 33-42, throwing for four touchdowns, including his league-high 20th touchdown in 5 games thus far this season, yes his first interception, and passing Dan Marino for 2nd on the All-Time NFL passing yards list with 61,371. This guy is incredible. With the arsenal that he has here in Denver, of course he’s that good. But to have the first real competitive game this season and not flinch whatsoever in crunch time, that takes some real cojones (that means balls, for you non-Spanish speakers).
This Broncos offense is scary good. Scoring 230 points in their first five games of 2013, which is an NFL record, you can’t foresee any team in all of football halting this type of pace. We saw today that teams can go point for point with the Broncos, something that Head Coach John Fox & Company will definitely want to work on with the defense, as well as get healthy, but who can really halt the Broncos to say a punt when it matters most to beat the Broncos? Seahawks? 49ers? Maybe so, but their offenses aren’t nearly dynamic enough to be tied in the high thirties, low forties in the fourth quarters of games.Point is, the Broncos are sending a message and they’re sending it strong. If you want to beat the Denver Broncos, you best be ready for the shoot-out of your life time. And that’s given our defense allowing as many points as they did today against Dallas without their leader Wesley Woodyard, Chris Harris, Champ Bailey, and Von Miller may I remind you. With those defensive stand-outs going toe-to-toe with opposing offenses from here on out, I bid a “good luck” to the 31 other teams in the NFL.
With the Chiefs winning today against the Titans and remaining in the unbeaten ranks with Denver and New Orleans, the Broncos aren’t willing to fall off their fantastic start. And with Jacksonville headed to Mile High next week, a game in which Denver could be favored by a record 27.5 points, don’t expect things to change for quite some time. As I’ve said since the beginning of training camp this year, enjoy it Broncos fans. We’ve been in for a real treat.