Itâ€™s rare to consider any pre-season game to be particularly important. Particularly because it is just as rare to find a defining moment in one of these pre-season match ups.
But, in a game between two teams in a new league coming off of a fresh full-team draft and training camp, these were obviously players that had reasons to perform. And there was a moment which can clearly point to the change of the momentum of the football game, albeit from an unlikely source, Detroit projected TE Jesse Albert.
The final score, 20-10 surely compliments the home victors in this contest. However, Detroitâ€™s final field goal putting the game out of reach for the visiting Broncos came in the final moments of the second half and was only made possible by one of the few shining aspects of the game, the quality of play from the reserves of Detroit in the final two quarters..
At the end of the first half, the Broncos seemed to be in a good position to finish the battle victorious at Detroit stadium. Denver wen into halftime leading 10-7 behind the consistent though not particularly stellar efforts of their starting quarterback Matt Johnson. The Denver running game proved to be somewhat ineffective in the first half and newly acquired running back Louis Havens saw more action as a defensive back than on the offensive side of the ball in the first two quarters, an obvious surprise for many watching the game but highlighting an obvious problem for the Broncos.
The Denver offensive line had a difficult time matching up against the Detroit front 7 who employed a significant amount of 3-4 scheming and seemed to find penetration almost at will keeping, at first, Johnson and later Tom Roman on the move. The Broncos found their best performance to be in the yard after the catch capabilities of their short pass specialists as they often exploited the Detroit linebackers and secondary to find a quality rhythm through much of the second quarter.
But, for all of the minor advantages that Denver showed in their offensive ability versus the Detroit defense in the second quarter, it was Detroitâ€™s new rookie running back sensation that opened eyes and was another young player at running back that made people begin to wonder what kind of success in stopping the run opposing defenses will have against Detroit for the coming years.
Detroit had 8 different rushers credited with yards and attempts in the game, three of them had runs for greater than 10 yards, but it was two of them that made all the difference in this game.
Dewayne Brazeal, projected by many to be the future cornerstone of the Detroit offensive game plan, and upon whom much of the burden of future Detroit football glory lies upon, had three solid carries in the first half, including a break open play for 13 yards rushing against the Denver first string defense. But, it was the remarkable efforts of TE Jesse Albert that have given Detroit fans the most hope this week for the eventual increase of the team trophy case. Albert finished the game with 114 explosive yards on only two carries, including one run for 89 yards and a touchdown on the first play of the second half, eclipsing the Denver lead for the rest of the game.
The Denver defense showed the need to increase tackling quality and secondary depth and the Detroit offensive reserves made a significant difference in the second half of the game as they really showed their superiority over the Denver defensive second-stringers.
The two teams will carry their lessons into the game planning and practice field this week as they get ready for the next stage of pre-season. Fans in Denver will look towards watching an improvement in almost all phases of the game while Detroit fans will hope to keep their running game firepower going in their next match-up.
Last edited at 9/28/2014 9:11 am