The Houston Texans came into Denver on Sunday and showed the Broncos what one of the best teams in the NFL looks like right now. The Broncos dropped to 1-2 after a loss to the Texans, and Denver never played that well until about midway through the fourth quarter. The Broncos faced both one of the best offenses and defenses in the NFL in Week 3, and were exposed in a number of areas early in the game. Despite the attempts by Peyton Manning to bring them back in the fourth quarter, they were simply too far behind at that point to win.
* For some reason, this team just plays its best in the fourth quarter. Both the defense and offense stepped up and made plays when they needed to, but few teams can pull a win out when you're down 20 points to start the fourth quarter. Still, I liked the fight, and I like the way that this team is showing that no deficit is too much to fight against.
* Peyton Manning not only didn't throw an interception, but he had some nice longer passes today (including an excellent 38-yard touchdown bullet to Brandon Stokley). He also hit the back of his head pretty hard on the field after being hit by a defender, but he popped up pretty quickly. That's just another sign that Manning isn't suffering any lingering effects in neck from the fusion surgery.
* The defense was simply atrocious in the first half today. The Broncos gave up five plays over 20 yards and looked like they had no clue who was supposed to be covering the Texans' receivers at times. By far this was the worst that the Broncos defense have looked all year.
* I don't know why 36-year-old Keith Brooking got the start at linebacker today, but to me it looked like the Texans took advantage of that in the first half. The linebacker corps is perhaps the weakest area on the team right now, and I believe that the safeties played closer to the line of scrimmage for most of the game because of that. In an effort to prevent the ground game of the Texans from dominating, they let the big passing plays happen early.
* The Broncos' running game suffered against a very athletic, quick defense today. Willis McGahee was knocked out of the game in the first half due to a rib injury. Between McGahee, Lance Ball, and Ronnie Hillman, the Broncos gained just 59 yards rushing. Granted, the Broncos didn't run the ball as much as they wanted to after going down by a lot of points fairly early, but the lack of running back depth was truly exposed today.
* Linebacker Nate Irving suffered a head injury (concussion) while trying to cover a kick in the second quarter. Replays clearly showed a Texans player pushing him in the back into the kick returner which caused Irving's injury. it's unknown as this time the extent of his injury or how much time he may miss.
* Linebacker Joe Mays got a personal foul for roughing up Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in the third quarter, and Mays will undoubtedly get a stiffer punishment from the NFL for that helmet-to-helmet hit. Schaub's helmet flew off and he got cut on the ear. On twitter, former vice-president of NFL officiating, Mike Periera, said that the hit should result in a hefty fine for Mays.
Julie is a featured NFL contributor for the Yahoo Contributor Network. A lifelong NFL fan, she started following the Broncos after moving to Colorado in 2001.
- American Football
- Sports & Recreation
- Peyton Manning
- the Texans
- Houston Texans