Another game, another sloppy win for the Denver Broncos. Yes, 2-0 is 2-0, but will Gary Kubiak’s offense ever truly work with Peyton Manning as quarterback?
“Yes, I believe it will,” NFL Network analyst Eric Davis said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I think so. I think that’s what they’re trying to find, that happy medium where there’s an intersection between what Peyton does well – when we see him in the shotgun surveying fields – and what Kubiak wants to do. And remember, it’s not just Kubiak. We keep saying Kubiak. It’s John Elway.”
Indeed, Elway won two Super Bowls late in his career thanks to a stellar running game and a great defense. The Broncos’ running game has been anything but that – they averaged 2.8 yards per carry against Kansas City on Thursday – but they’re at least trying to be balanced offensively.
“I believe that that’s a major part of it,” Davis said. “But remember that Elway was there with John Fox and Peyton Manning and he saw that team get dismantled (in the Super Bowl) . . . because . . . they were not able to deal with a physical team that could just destroy the timing of their passing game, so they’re trying to add more to it. So I think they’re trying to find a way to implement it to where teams just can’t dictate what you’re doing offensively. They want to be able to run the ball, but I don’t think they’re trying to take the ball necessarily out of Peyton Manning’s hands and say, ‘You can’t do what you’re best at.’”
The Broncos overcame a 14-0 deficit against the Chiefs thanks to three touchdowns from Manning, including the game-tying toss to Emmanuel Sanders with 36 seconds left in regulation. The defense took it from there, forcing a Jamaal Charles fumble and taking it to the house just nine seconds later for the game-winning score.
So, who deserves the most blame for the Chiefs not winning a game in which they were in complete control? Charles? Andy Reid?
For Davis, it’s defensive coordinator Bob Sutton.
“Why’d you stop trying to hit (Manning)?” Davis asked. “What was happening in the first half? Peyton Manning was being hit. I tweeted out earlier during the game that wow, Kansas City’s figured it out. Play the sticks and make Peyton throw the ball over your head. He could not – he can’t – accurately, consistently drop the ball in over your head, and that’s what they started doing. They were playing a short route. They were pressuring him and making him throw the ball quickly, and the guys were making plays because they had an understanding of what was happening. Then all of a sudden they started to rush four – three at times – and dropping guys back in coverage and Peyton was able to throw the underneath routes. He was able to get the timing routes out quickly, and it turned into a different type of game. That’s why the first person I look at is the (defensive coordinator). Bob, why did you do that?”