Vic Fangio secured his first September win as the Denver Broncos head coach after a commanding performance on the road in New York.
The Broncos controlled the Giants in all three phases in the game during their 27-13 win in front of a baying New Jersey crowd. Teddy Bridgewater sparkled in his Denver debut, controlling the clock while picking apart the G-Men’s vaunted defense, finishing 28/36 for 264 yards with two touchdowns. In a welcomed surprise for Broncos Country, no interceptions were committed by their signal-caller. A stark contrast to displaced signal-caller Drew Lock who led the league in interceptions in the 2020 season.
Week 1 Media Darlings
Media and fans alike were impressed with the Broncos’ road warriors with one of America’s favorite commentators singing the praises of the three-time Super Bowl champions. During his regular Monday morning ‘Herd Hierarchy’ segment, Colin Cowherd revealed his top-10 NFL teams, placing Denver ninth.
“You gotta keep your eye on them,” Cowherd said on September 13. “They averaged six yards a carry and the Giants defense is good. Teddy Bridgewater was fantastic, he completed 77.8% of his throws and they won the time of possession by over 10 minutes. We have said it all offseason, they’ve got real players. Elway got real players, George Paton the GM.”
“This is a real roster. They gotta get the quarterback right, and they decided as a franchise, ‘We can win games if we just don’t turn it over. And they’re right ‘cause they looked really impressive. This is a playoff roster, whether they get there we’ll see.”
Cowherd wasn’t the only media member who wondered what the 2021 Broncos could become. ESPN’s KJM believe Teddy Bridgewater is the ideal quarterback for Denver’s roster.
“That works for Denver,” Keyshawn Johnson said on KJM before calling Bridgewater a “baller.” Johnson also added “great defense, [he’s] not going to mess it up. Teddy’s going to keep it nice and easy.”
Teddy Bridgewater: Super Bowl Starter?
Co-host Max Kellerman jumped in, saying “Bridgewater also, not just won’t mess it up, he’ll make some clutch plays for you too. When people say game manager, people take it as an insult but If you have a game-manager who’s big on third down you can win a Super Bowl like that!”
Johnson, former world champion with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, agreed. “Hey man, I won a Super Bowl (XXXVII) with a quarterback [that] no one would ever say ‘He had Brett Farve’s arm.’ But guess what [former Tampa quarterback] Brad [Johnson] didn’t do? Screw it up. He wasn’t giving it to the other team.”
Some are not as high on the Broncos however, with Bleacher Report ranking Vic Fangio’s squad No. 18 in their Week 1 power rankings after a “difficult to read” victory. Though most of that is weighted on the Giants looking “every bit as bad as last year—maybe worse.”
B/R ranked Denver behind six winless teams, most notably the Tennessee Titans and Green Bay Packers who both suffered embarrassing opening day losses. The Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills were all placed above Denver.
There were some positive things said however. “Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was sharp in his Denver debut,” B/R said. “Defensively, the return of edge-rusher Von Miller was a smash; he notched three tackles for loss and sacked Daniel Jones twice.”
As for the future? Well, the short-term looks bright if you’re to believe Bleacher Report.
“The Broncos might not need Jeudy for a bit. The team’s next two games are against two of the league’s worst teams in the Jaguars and Jets.”
The Super Bowl won’t run through Jacksonville and New York but the win will count just the same on the road to Los Angeles.
Follow Patrick Djordjevic on Twitter: @Patdjordjevic