Broncos at Bengals: The 10 Things I Liked and the 10 Things I Didn’t

First off, my apologies for the long delay. I was out of town this past weekend and, for privacy and security reasons, I didn’t want to inform everyone prior to leaving. I recently got married and we went to visit some family and friends on the east coast who couldn’t attend.

This game came as a complete shock to me. I had a strong feeling we would lose this game, but I am pleasantly surprised. One of the largest observations I have to say is that I think the Bengals beat themselves more than the Broncos beat them. There were two obvious interceptions that were dropped, and the Broncos got 5 first down from penalties that extended drives.

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So Where Are We At After Three Weeks?

Last week I talked about why power rankings shouldn’t be taken so seriously, and now comes a reminder about what I said last week about the third week of the season: You can safely judge which teams are likely to miss the playoffs but not more than that.

It’s the fourth week of the season in which you learn more about which teams are heading in what direction. That’s because the fourth week is when most teams have finished one-fourth of their season. So when you look at Football Outsiders DVOA rankings, even after the third week, you aren’t going to get a clear picture of where teams are really headed.

But there are a few observations we can make about teams who started 3-0 and 0-3 and where they are most likely headed, based on what we can gather about them this season. We can do the same with teams who are ranked high in offensive or defensive DVOA, even before Football Outsiders starts taking strength of schedule into account after Week Four.

So let’s examine certain areas and ask ourselves where teams are likely headed.
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The Morning After: Broncos Remain Resilient

For those who looked at my NFL predictions, I had the Broncos losing on the road to Cincinnati. Turns out I was wrong, but that’s a good thing, mind you.

What yesterday’s game showed is that, while the Broncos aren’t going to dominate everyone defensively like last year, they remain a resilient team that finds ways to get it done even when things don’t go well early.
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