Week 5: Change of Command
New Sheriffs: Broncos & Bengals
Okay, before I began let me say this. Despite the media's, and 'supposed' public's overwhelming distasteful opinion when it came to Denver Bronco's, mustard yellow and brown striped throwback uniforms, I'd have to give my two thumbs up!
Towards the end of Sunday afternoon's football games, the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots took the field to play what would be the perfect, 'pre' night cap game. I'm not sure if it was the lighting of the cameras or in the stadium, but those Broncos uniforms looked good! Now that I've expressed my appreciation of good fashion design taste on the football field (go figure), let me elaborate more on the actual game.
After Denver's 'Immaculate Deception' in their week 1 win over the now 4-1 Cincinnatti Bengals I was sure their run would be short lived. Fast forward 4 weeks and I'm now fully convinced that both the Broncos and the Bengals are primed for a potential playoff berth and a viable threat if they make it past the first round. Coincidentally, the Bengals not only won 4 straight games after their week one defeat but 3 out of the 4 were divisional rivals. The Steelers, Browns and Ravens all fell to their Cincinnatti counterpart in the last weigning seconds of the games. This past week was no different when they visited Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium to win the game 17-14 on a late Carson Palmer 20 yard TD pass to Andre Caldwell with 22 seconds left on the clock.
An out of character unnecessary roughness call on Raven's LB Ray Lewis, an illegal contact penalty and pass interference on 3rd and 16 would set the Bengals up in perfect field position for the 20 yard TD strike. Watching the game I thought the Bengals were sure to lose and the new aged Bengal buzz that had all Bengal fans optimistic would sizzle and die off. However, the Ravens would fall subject to yet another Bengal, last second comeback. The biggest reward? The Bengals have tied with each of their divisional opponents, and doing that early could prove to go a long way in your late season and playoff success.
The 5-0 Denver Broncos on the other hand have won recent games against long time rival New England Patriots, no.1 NFL offense Dallas Cowboys, inter-divisional rival Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns. In a turmoil plagued offseason, the Denver Broncos under new Head Coach Josh McDaniels looked to be the league's biggest falloff from it's previous season, and that's only an 8-8 record. The, then disgruntled Bronco's wide receiver Brandon Marshall was asking for a trade and possibly posting a 'sit out.' An obvious bluff if you ask me, but that attitude could transfer easily onto the field of play and be a significant distraction on game days.
However, all seems well now that we've entered the season and new QB Kyle Orton looks like he has the Denver Broncos in position to reclaim or fight for the AFC's 'Patriot' spot. A commentator during the game on Sunday evening briefly compared Orton to Elway. Obviously he was joking and admitted his exaggeration, but it goes to say that Orton and the Broncos if they keep going in this direction could pose a real threat and put together a decent playoff run. Though we have only reached week 5, the picture becomes clearer as to who will be in good position come late December.
The season is still premature and 11 solid weeks of slated games is still ahead of us and alot could go wrong (just ask the '08 Washington Redskins who started out 6-2, to only end the season at 8-8).
If you've read any of my past hubs, you'd tell that I often mention the Redskins. Yes, currently I am looking to jump on a convincing, young, talented and eager team's bandwagon to ride into the playoffs and out of all this season's early surprises, the Broncos and Bengals (along with the Bears) have me totally bought on their new found successes.