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Videos: Peyton Manning's not totally to blame for loss to Texans...but for a lot of it?

Categories: Sports

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Videos below.
The Broncos' 31-25 loss to the Texans yesterday followed a pattern familiar to viewers of last week's defeat to the Falcons -- fall behind due to persistent offensive ineptitude, then make a furious fourth quarter comeback that makes the final score respectable but still falls short. However, it was also a fascinating psychological study of Peyton Manning and the team as a whole -- one that turns on a weird blend of insecurity and ego.

The reasons for onetime gunslinger Manning to feel iffy about himself may not be clear from the turnover stat line. After all, he had no interceptions during the contest, as compared to three in the first quarter last week. But Sunday's clean marks were more about luck than a sudden increase in precision. Just as Peyton's receivers dropped a number of very catchable balls, so, too, did the Texans fail to haul in several shoulda-been picks.

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Elvis Dumervil.
Indeed, questions about Manning's hurling ability go well beyond the number of times his onetime tight spiral was replaced by the wobbles. He not only missed plenty of targets throughout the course of the game, but he did so badly -- by yards, not feet. Granted, a number of other tosses were impressive and on-point, but he remains erratic and unpredictable by his standards. He keeps telling folks he's not all the way back to his performance peak, and it's time to believe him.

As a result, the Broncos offense spent much of Sunday afternoon looking as if the players were more concerned with not making mistakes than about scoring points. Moreover, the braintrust is unwilling to commit more fully to the no-huddle, even though this format is clearly the one in which Manning and company have been most effective, as seen late in the game, when the Broncos finally found the end zone not once but twice. Why? From comments Manning has made, he seems to regard this approach as a crutch, and so he appears determined to show he doesn't need it to succeed. But to paraphrase Herm Edwards, the object is to win the game, not do it in the most macho, shove-it-in-their-faces way.

Something similar is going on with the Broncos defense. Despite an Elvis Dumervil sack of Matt Schaub in the end zone on the Texans' first offensive play, Denver was unable to persistently pressure the Houston QB during the first half, leading to one big play after another, and a hole that ultimately proved to large to escape. The situation didn't improve until the second half, when defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio finally acquiesced and began blitzing in a variety of aggressive ways -- one of which ended with linebacker Joe Mays nearly removing Schaub's head. That's macho of a different sort -- an insistence that the Broncos generate heat with the standard rush package even if it's not working. And it wasn't.

Yes, the Denver squad once again showed resilience and a never-say-die attitude. But there are no Brownie points in the NFL. This team has got to do what it takes to win -- and that means being willing to switch tactics if earlier approaches don't work. Had the Broncos done so earlier in the past two games, they might be sitting at 3-0. Instead, they're 1-2 going into a game against Oakland that won't be the cakewalk some Denver fans seem to believe -- especially if Manning and the defense continue to be tentative for the first three quarters of the game.

Look below to see a clip of Mays' hit on Schaub, as well as an ESPN analysis.

More from our Sports archive: "Videos: Bronco Peyton Manning's march to Super Bowl intercepted by Falcons."


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23 comments
babygurls1
babygurls1

@PeytonManning36 no iits the refrees but he wll get up again

jenjeneee
jenjeneee

@PeytonManning36 NO...he has no control of the defense and when the receivers drop the ball

Billy BlackFeather Drexx
Billy BlackFeather Drexx

This one was the all the dropped passes & the defense letting them practically walk in every time they pleased. Shaub picked the D apart @ will the way Peyton & his offense shouldve been doing. So between those two factors AND the lousy callz the psuedo-refs were making....we're lucky they made any progress @ all. But the 4th game & all the rest of the seasonal performance beter get better! $95 million better!

Andrew Fredrickson
Andrew Fredrickson

The fact that sportball is taken this seriously still makes me laugh, just a game folks.

Daisy Rothschild
Daisy Rothschild

no matter how many times they change the players, the coach or the QB, they will not win with a 'Legend' sitting up there in the box. do YOU do your best work with your boss (and former world hero) staring down your every move?

Rob Strong Paw Ruby
Rob Strong Paw Ruby

Defense looks good??? Lmao tell me again how many combined points have we allowed the last 3 games? Catch the fucking ball, and step up defense. If we can do those two things we can win some games.

Jame Koopman
Jame Koopman

We didn't run well on the Texans, and some thrown balls went thru some hands when we needed it most. Bad decision on a punt return at the end and the Texans offense played great the first 3 quarters and we just didn't play good enough as a team.

Kenny Nordell
Kenny Nordell

most of those guys would destroy rugby players

RustyShackleford
RustyShackleford

The Curse of Tim Tebow strikes again!

 

Much like the legendary "Curse of the Bambino", which bedeviled the Red Sox for close to a century, so will Denver be stricken with sub-mediocrity until 2112.

Jonny D Foxtrot
Jonny D Foxtrot

Who cares..play a REAL sport...like rugby. Most of these overpaid douchebags wouldn't last 15 minutes in a League or Nation match

Tylr Tre
Tylr Tre

I mean he can't catch his own passes

Tylr Tre
Tylr Tre

He just needs time to gel with WR. These old ladies on this post don't know anything about football

Mike Knopping
Mike Knopping

not his fault at all, did anyone else see how many passes our receivers dropped?! When peyton throws throws the ball RIGHT TO YOU you gotta catch it... Peytons fine, defense looks good, we NEED to catch the damn ball!

Matt Gillespie
Matt Gillespie

Defense can take the blame this time. Manning shouldn't have to put 35 points on the board to win a game every week.

Victor Carrillo
Victor Carrillo

Glad IM not from here originally because this town turns on you quickly!!!! Peyton take me with you back to Indiana.

Mary Maybee
Mary Maybee

Are we getting our money's worth? NOT! Yes, where's Tebow! Elway - your OLD friends are to old, retire Manning. What seemed good in your dream has not worked out. It is a team effort. Peyton threw many passes at the end of the game, most of which were not caught because of team effort. 1 person cannot win these games! Except for you in a Super Bowl! :)

Todd Elsen
Todd Elsen

His 3rd game back. I'm disappointed but it isn't all Peyton's fault. It's a team effort.

Stephanie Renee
Stephanie Renee

Peyton We would like the 95 million back and have a nice RETIREMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Victor Carrillo
Victor Carrillo

Not at all to blame..JOHN FOX CAN YANK HIS HEAD OUT OF HIS ASS AND STOP THAT SUCK ASS STUPID SHIT COACHING,, ALL THEM PLAYS WERE THE SAME SHIT TEBOW DID, SIDE TO SIDE AND RUNS UP THE MIDDLE, PEYTON LOVES FAST PACED AIR IT OUT AND ATTACK EVERYWHERE ON THE FIELD..COACHING SUCKS!!!! Coaching sucks.....Let Peyton run that Damn team on the field because that idiot john fox and his horrible coaching will bury this season....upset

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