Monday Night Football was a great show that had the Denver Broncos loosing to the Atlanta Falcons by 6 points after turning the ball over 4 times in the first quarter. While a loss is never good, there are several things that can be shown in a positive light upon further reflection. The Broncos and their fans shouldn’t be to disappointed and should feel good moving further. Peyton Manning had one really bad quarter on Monday. His three interceptions look really bad on paper but thanks to replays with multiple angles we can see that 2 of the interceptions weren’t that bad. The first interception happened due to Manning seeing confusion and disorganization on the defensive side of the ball. He saw single coverage on his TE and no safety help over the top. He snaps the ball quickly to catch the Falcons in this coverage and get a good match-up in the slot. At the snap the safety that was standing next to a linebacker retreats to his zone. In doing so he runs behind a linebacker and a receiver running a crossing rout. This hides him from Manning’s view so when he throws to a wide open Tammy the safety appears underneath the route for the easy pick. It wasn’t a bad throw or a bad decision based on what he could see, but the play ended as an interception anyway. The third interception was very similar to the first. The safety wasn’t out of position to start the play but he wound up being hidden from Manning’s view when he threw the ball. Stokley was running a post pattern with man coverage underneath and a safety over the top. When the ball is thrown the safety appears to be hidden to Manning and even if he could see him, Stokley should have acted like a shield between the defender and the ball. Unfortunately the ball was thrown about a foot too high and a a foot to much in front of the receiver. This allowed the safety to run right in front of Stokley and pick off the pass. Once again it wasn’t a bad decision since Stokley beat the underneath coverage and the throw was unfortunate rather than poorly thrown. The second interception was a misread and a poor throw all in one play. Manning thought it was a 2 high safety defense and it turned out to be 1 high and 1 underneath. The fact that he under threw the pass I don’t think matters. That pass would have been picked either way with the positioning of the safety. The fumble by Moreno was a combination of good defense and poor ball security. You have to hold the ball high and tight to the body so when you get hit the ball isn’t flailing around in danger of getting knocked out like it did on that play. The good news is that the Broncos lost only one quarter last night. The 4 turnovers turned into only 13 points. The defense played really well when put into bad situations and was able to keep the Broncos in the game. Denver’s offense was able to run the ball effectively throughout the game and after the first quarter the passing game was very effective. The Broncos looked like the better team for most of the game, but unfortunately they dug to big of a hole to climb out of against a good Atlanta team. The good news for the Broncos is that they played poorly for a stretch and were still in the game. That will go a long way way in building the character of this team and also building their confidence going forward. It was also good to see that Manning can turn a bad game around. One thing the team hasn’t had in the past few years was a way to stop the bleeding and with manning I think they have that presence that can make things right in the middle of a game. The Broncos should still be considered among the better teams in the league and I think they will continue to improve as the season moves along.
Monday Night Mishap
I am an athlete that loves to talk sports. My expertise is in football; I played for ten years and 3 were in college. Throughout my life I have competed seriously in baseball, basketball, hockey, and rugby. I try to comment on current stories in sports and add a fresh opinion to them. I welcome other opinions and want to be interactive with my readers. So, leave comments and let me know what you think.