Friday, July 11, 2008

2008 Game by Game Preview: Week 1 Oakland, Week 2 San Diego

With the NFL Preseason less than a month away we here at Broncos Denver Broncos will be previewing the entire season ahead, two games at a time. This is all in fun, but in reality it will be our best effort at predicting how the 2008 season will actually shape up for the Broncos. It should be fun to look back in January or February and laugh...

So here goes any credibility that we have, hope that you enjoy and feel free to add, subtract or crack my orange tinted glasses in half. Just do it in the comment section:

Week 1 (Mon. September 8th, 2008)
at Oakland.

The trash talk started as soon as Javon Walker put his name on the dotted line of that contract. Further establishing that Al Davis is in fact senile and bent on getting his digs in at Mike Shanahan and Pat Bowlen every opportunity he gets. Even new middle linebacker Niko Koutouvides got in on the action, back in June...

Plenty of rivalry, not to mention that at this point the "Raider Week," has been in full affect for a good month now.

The last time the Broncos saw JaMarcus Russell, they made him look good, not great, but good. He went 4 of 7 for 56 yards. Justin Fargas teed off on Denver though, rushing for 146 yards on a Denver defensive line that was showing improvement (and would weeks later practically shut out Minnesota and Adrian Peterson).

The problem with this game is once again on defense for Denver. The Broncos have gone back to a defensive scheme they are familiar with and a scheme that has been very successful for them. However, who's still around to remember that successful defensive scheme? I count three starters that remember what it was like to shut out a team and stop them from scoring in coach Bob Slowik's familiar system.

Not having enough veterans proves to be detrimental enough as Denver experiences problems keeping Oakland off the field and constantly giving their own defense bad field position on poor punts. Shanahan's famous premeditated 25 plays will give Denver a halftime lead though. However, Jay Cutler and company can only play catch up, trailing almost immediately after halftime.

Denver embarrasses itself in front of everyone on Monday Night Football, making Russell look like he deserved to be a number one pick and creating rookie of the year talk for Darren McFadden. Lane Kiffin gets to keep his job for one more week, as the need for him to win turns out to be more than the Broncos can deal with. Denver goes 0-2 (in the last two games) to Oakland and 0-1 on the season.

Week 2 (Sun. September 14th, 2008)
vs. San Diego

The thing about losing week one, especially to Oakland is that Denver will come on focused. Things normally turn out pretty decent for Denver when they lose to a bad team in the first week. The unfortunate thing, for the Chargers, is that they happen to be who's next up. No love lost at all as ESPN and crew probably interview Philip Rivers at some point in the week, to discuss bad blood between him and Cutler and play it during their morning show.

Coming off the week one loss in Oakland, we see Eddie Royal ignite a fire in Denver off of an opening kickoff return, running deep into San Diego territory. Selvin Young, dents the impenetrable Chargers defense over several carries, before Cutler hits tight end Tony Scheffler in the near corner of the end zone.

Rivers is immediately unable to pass, witnessing Bronco blitzing schemes that never had the opportunity to surface in Oakland. With his biggest target Antonio Gates, being covered by Boss Bailey (who shut down both Gates and Tony Gonzalez last season), completely taken out of the game. San Diego must maintain the rush, however the Broncos are prepared to stop the forced rush and we get to see something that we haven't seen in a while. Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson ineffective against the Denver defense. Champ Bailey makes Rivers' day extra miserable, picking up his first interception of the season and quietly walking back to the sideline.

Meanwhile, on offense, Denver coasts, being able to run the ball (by committee even) at will against San Diego. Cutler beats the San Diego defense over the top constantly by consistent tosses to Scheffler, Brandon Stokley and Darrell Jackson. It'll be the third quarter before Brandon Marshall will be able to shine, as revenge tour 2008 kicks into high gear and Denver handles the Chargers easily at home. Destroying Chargers hopes for grandeur early in the season, yet only adding fueling to an angry giant.

Going into week three Denver's rushing game is once again the talk of the NFL, as their defense is still too risky to publicize. Denver is 1-1.

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