And thanks to MNF, this is a special Tuesday edition of Monday Morning Chrysler New Yorker. If you call it Tuesday Morning Chrysler New Yorker, you'll get me heated.
By no means did this team play its best game of the season. Heck, this probably wasn't in the top 3 or 4. But the end result was another win, pushing the current streak to 5 while beating a formerly 6-1 team in Denver. Pretty respectable if you ask me.
There was way too much defense dictating the game early...on both sides. With no offense, we were happy to take a 7-3 lead into halftime. Then Ben and Co. opened up the playbook, and decided they wanted no part of a close, defensive struggle. During that, there were a few people that stood out above the others:
Sasso. Big Ben had a somewhat off night. But I can forgive it when an "off" night means 21-29 for 233 yards 3 TDs and 1 INTs. He only threw the ball like 2 times in the first half, but showed off his stuff in the second. We've grown accustomed to at least one massive Ben misstep, and the throw behind Hines in the endzone for an INT was just that play. We can almost forgive the strip-sack-for-6, as Kemoeatu was primarily to blame. Since Ben's night was the tale of 2 halves, I'll give him just 3.5 of 5 stars. Gotta take off for the errors.
Beetlejuice. Like Ben, he started off underwhelming. He had some nice 4-5 yard runs, but there was nothing spectacular. Then the second half came along, and Rashard exploded for a total of 155 yards on the ground and a 7 yard per carry average. Remember that this was against one of the best defenses on their home turf. 4.5 of 5 motorcycle helmets.
Hines. The vet just keeps going. Onl 44 yards receiving, but 2 of his 7 catches were for TDs. And if Arians didn't call a boneheaded play with 2 receivers in the same area, or if Ben didn't throw way behind Hines, Ward would've had another TD to his name. It's impossible to hate. 4 of 5 helmets.
Defense. There were only 2 sacks, both by Brett Keisel. Yet 2 Carter picks and a Troy INT will always please me. The D pressured Orton into throwing 300% more INTs than he had all season, which is just the right kind of recipe for success. Get the stabilizing offensive force off his game, and take advantage of the miscues as they happen. The D was a microcosm of the entire team...not the best game I've seen them play this season, but good enough that I can't walk away overly-critical. I mean, they did let Brandon Marshall get over 100 yards receiving, but they were still the primary reason we hung in the game early. Like Hines, they get 4 of 5 motorcycle helmets.
Cincinnati comes to town next week. Time to pay them back for beating us last time.