The Denver Broncos are a nice football team with good defense, but in the eyes of many they are no Pittsburgh Steelers. But the Broncos are trying to become the Steelers Ń a consistently elite NFL team that competes and wins Super Bowls and rarely is beaten up physically.
“It is an opportunity for us is what it is,” said Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels. “To me, it all starts with the Steelers. We are excited to get back at work, getting ready to play the defending Super Bowl champion on Monday Night Football and getting ready to play a game against a team that has very, very few, if any, weaknesses.”
After Denver’s physical beat-down in every phase of the game last week vs. the Baltimore Ravens, McDaniels and staff have done their best this week to prepare their players for the equally physical Steelers.
“We learned a lot of things about ourselves through this process the last couple days. Pittsburgh is a very physical team in every phase. If you are going to get out-physicaled offensively, defensively and in the kicking game, you are going to have a hard time winning,” McDaniels said.
Through the first few months of his rookie season, Tom Brandstater has learned plenty from Kyle Orton about the art of playing quarterback in the National Football League.
Brandstater is not, however, likely to seek automobile advice from the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback. A well-known environmentalist, Orton has ditched the high-priced vehicles and drives a Honda Insight hybrid.
“It always gives me a laugh every time I see him get out of a meeting and hop in his little fake car, as I call it,” said Brandstater, the Broncos’ third-string quarterback.
That “fake” car may not be the typical vehicle for an NFL quarterback, but it’s typical for Orton.
It’s the last thing we would have expected coming out of the preseason: Kyle Orton, who was error-prone and injured while the Broncos were losing all four of their exhibition games, is playing like a Pro Bowl quarterback for a Denver team that is 6-0 after Monday’s convincing 34-23 victory at San Diego.
Meanwhile, in Minnesota, 40-year-old Brett Favre has found the fountain of youth in leading the Vikings to a 6-0 start. Despite first declining to come of retirement and then, after changing his mind once again, barely breaking a sweat in the preseason, Favre is flashing his gun-slinging style, rallying Minnesota to yet another come-from-behind victory Sunday over Baltimore.
Orton and the Broncos. Favre and the Vikings. Who has been the NFL’s biggest surprise so far this season? Here’s my top-5 list: