By Gil Whiteley, DENVER DAILY NEWS
Your Denver Broncos found a pot of gold Sunday after a rainbow pass to Brandon Marshall from Kyle Orton got knocked up, rather than down, then fell into the waiting arms of the leprechaun-like Brandon Stokley. Stokley took the ball 87-yards and then some, because he refused to go into the end zone and ran across the field to run more time off the clock.
The Broncos beat a terrible Cincinnati Bengals team that couldn’t get out of their own way, never mind the Broncos. I wish I could write that this was a great win, but all it was was a lucky break.
On the Broncos’ last offensive drive, they had moved deep into Bengals territory, only to suffer a false start by Ben Hamilton for a five yard loss, then a holding penalty on Casey Wiegmann, which brought them back another 10. At that point they were still in field goal range on the 35-yard line, which would translate into a 52-yard field goal. Then Orton dropped back, and instead of throwing the ball away took a seven-yard sack that took them out of field goal range.
Those kind of mistakes cost you games in this league, and the 27 needless yards given up should never have happened. The Broncos would have had a 9-0 lead with 6:29 left. Had that happened the end of that game would have been a lot more boring, but it’s what should have occurred. People tend to forget the little things that happen when the big lucky break bails them out, but it did happen, and it should have cost them the game.
I’m sorry, but Kyle Orton just doesn’t have the arm or the mental makeup to be a successful NFL quarterback. His ball has no zip on it, and the defenses have time to close while his throws are traveling leisurely through the air.
It would be like picking low hanging fruit to criticize Brandon Marshall for letting the ball go through his hands in the second quarter, because he was interfered with just before the ball got there. The defender grabbed Marshall around the body and turned him slightly as the ball approached in an unhurried pace.
Broncos fans will be out and about all week long, bragging about how they new the Broncos were going to find a way to win, but this is not a good team, at least offensively. Kyle Orton should have ended the game 16-28 for 163 yards, instead of his 17-28 and 243 yards and a 100.7 QB rating.
I’m still not sure about the defense, but at least they looked like a professional unit. Mike Nolan has put together a group of players who are not afraid to hit. They came up with big hits when someone came across the middle, and the Bengals dropped some ball hearing footsteps.
Bottom line is that the Broncos are 1-0, and coming home to play the Cleveland Browns. The Browns aren’t much to write home about either — they lost to the Vikings 34-20. So the Broncos have a good shot at going 2-0, or even 3-0 at Oakland the following week. But after that, all the lucky tips in the world won’t help. They will lose their next eight games. Don’t pull out you pompons quite yet.
Listen to Gil Whiteley everyday at noon on “Gil and Woody” on AM 1510 KCKK. The views expressed in this column are Whiteley’s and not necessarily those of the Denver Daily News. Respond to this column at firstname.lastname@example.org.