The Denver Broncos defeated the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland to improve to an impressive 6-0 on the season. There are currently five undefeated team and the Broncos may be the worst of them all. It look the Broncos an overtime to defeat the now 2-4 Cleveland Browns. The Broncos offense has been very ineffective compared to the last few seasons. The defense and kicker Brandon McManus have carried the team for the most part. Let’s take a look at where things have gone wrong for the Broncos.
QB Peyton Manning
Is this it? Is this the fall of Peyton Manning? With a quarterback rating of 72.5 and 7 touchdowns against 10 interceptions, this is certainly Manning’s worst start to a season in some time. However, every now and then he shows glimpses of promise. After struggling all day against the Browns, Manning hit wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders in stride on a pretty deep ball for a 75 yard touchdown. Peyton’s arm has shown signs of weakness but Demaryius Thomas didn’t help him either with a couple of crucial drops in the 4th quarter as well as overtime. Peyton Manning is 39 years old, an age now many see while playing in the NFL unless you’re a punter. If this is the end of Peyton Manning’s dominance, we can’t be upset. He’s competed at a high level for an abnormally long time. We’ve had him on borrowed time essentially. Still with the team at 6-0, it’s interesting to see if he limits the team going forward or can find ways to be more innovative at the line of scrimmage to help get wins.
RB CJ Anderson
Although undrafted out of the University of California, Anderson made a name for himself last year emerging as the lead running back in the Broncos high-powered offense. He beat out Montee Ball, who is now cut, and Ronnie Hillman. Anderson ran for 849 yards and 8 touchdowns while adding 324 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. Coming into this season, the Broncos expected Anderson to take his play to the next level in his age 24 season. However, Anderson has floundered the opportunity. He’s rushed for just 180 yards on 67 carries (2.7 yards per carry) with no touchdowns. Ronnie Hillman, the 2012 3rd round pick out of San Diego State, has had 1 less carry than Anderson (66) but has rushed for 323 yards and 2 touchdowns. Anderson needs to break out soon as his chances grow slimmer.
For the Broncos to remain undefeated, they’ll need both Peyton Manning and CJ Anderson to step it up. The defense has been spectacular but the quarterback and running game could be refined.