I was stoked to sit down and write for this week and had trouble on picking a topic. First let’s do a little recap from last week. My fantasy picks were almost dead on with the exception of Torain, but he was a TD away in a low scoring game from having a very solid game. Also, with the Vikings game on Monday, we all saw the play that I mentioned in “The Moss Effect” where we said to ourselves “This is going to be a nightmare for defenses.” I’m not going to pat myself too much on the back though. The Gods of Football were spiteful towards me over the weekend for gloating the past few weeks. Alright, recap done. How about Denver’s aerial assault?
I’m a diehard Broncos fan and I admit it, but I will remain objective throughout this article. Kyle Orton has to be the most underappreciated quarterback in the NFL right now. I have to admit, I still don’t really give him the credit he deserves. The fact of the matter is that he is second only to Phillip Rivers right now in passing yards and has faced a tougher schedule than the Chargers.
Going into the season the Broncos passing game was without a doubt the biggest question mark for the team, and this is a team that as a whole was filled with, well holes. Everyone considered Orton to be the type of QB that was a “game manager,” I hate that term by the way. I think we need to throw that term out the window for him and just call him a gamer. He’s completing 66% of his passes, while throwing for 347 yards per game, with a quarterback rating of 97.6. You can check those stats, I had to, I didn’t believe it either.
All of this comes after Denver traded their biggest threat at receiver Brandon Marshall. I was appalled that Josh McDaniel could even think about doing that. I’m really starting to think there’s a method to his madness though. Denver’s receiver corps was arguably the weakest link on the team, now I would argue that Denver has four receivers that are one of the deadliest if not the deadliest bunch in the league. Brandon Lloyd is leading the league in receiving yards. Not Marshall, Lloyd a journeyman receiver. I’m not saying the guys not talented but if you would’ve told me that before week one I would’ve told you to pass the Courvoisier.
The rest of the Broncos receivers have been just as productive, Royal is looking more like he did in his rookie season versus the disappointment of last year and really coming into his own as a slot receiver. Jabar Gaffney is putting in work and leading the team in receptions with 31, and the rookie Demaryius Thomas has shown flashes that he may be the best receiver in the draft. I know people want to throw Dez Bryant in there, I agree, it could be him as well. Or the lesser known name, and I’m not sure why because he probably has been the best rookie receiver so far Mike Williams (Tampa Bay).
Denver is 2-3 right now, which might be better than what most people thought so far with the passing game leading the way. Their defense is really missing Elvis Dumervil and for good reason, he led the NFL in sacks last year. Against the run they’ve been bipolar, one week they shut down last year’s top running back Chris Johnson and a week later get torched by Ray Rice. The running game is something I feel like I can just pass on discussing because there isn’t one. Knowshon Moreno is the leading rusher with 111 yards and is averaging 2.8 yards a carry, pitiful. I think that makes Orton’s numbers even more impressive because with an offense that has no balance it becomes much harder to move the football down field. Of all the holes that need to be filled in Denver, the biggest concern going into the season has become they’re strongest and really only asset.
This brings me to my final thought. If Orton continues at the pace he’s on. He becomes a top QB in the NFL whether you believe it or not. What does Denver do with their number one overall draft pick? Orton signed an extension through 2011 assuming that Tim Tebow would be ready to take over the reins by then. If Kyle Orton becomes a marquee quarterback in the NFL, I think he has at least five or six more years in him. There’s really no guarantee that Tebow will become a star, even though I’m a huge fan of the guy and he’s made strides since he got to Denver. So, will Denver deal him like the Chargers did Drew Brees and then watch him tear apart the NFL and win a Super Bowl? Or hold on to him and deal Tebow? I think this is one of the most interesting story lines for the next two years and I’m really excited to see how it plays out.