John Vandelinder: A great week for Broncos fans

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John Vandelinder

John Vandelinder's columns appear Tuesdays and Fridays in the Craig Daily Press. E-mail him at jvandelinder@craigdailypress.com

Whoa there. Slow down Broncos fans.

Take a deep breath and relax.

If you watched Monday's, 41-14, primetime victory against the rival Raiders, you know it truly was a thing of beauty.

Quarterback Jay Cutler tossed the ball deep to Broncos fans' favorite rookie, Eddie Royal (nine catches for 146 yards and a touchdown), reminding viewers of the Elway-to-anyone Bronco offense of old.

And Cutler was efficient; completing 16 of his 24 passes for 300 yards.

Andre Hall and Selvin Young split time toting the rock, but while neither had a big game, the team still racked up 141 yards on the ground, at 4.1 yards a pop.

And the defense even looked stout, with the two former 'Canes in the middle, DJ Williams and Nate Webster, combining for 18 tackles and a sack.

Fans even forgot about losing kicker Jason Elam, when little-known Matt Prater contributed 11 points with his leg (two field goals and five extra points).

If the season ended today, the Broncos would win the AFC West.

And they would lead the NFL in points scored.

The team that was supposed to be young and inexperienced has all of a sudden turned into a Super Bowl contender.

The Broncos surely have to be excited with the Week 1 outcome, and even more so when considering Brandon Marshall, and his 102 catches for 1,325 yards of a year ago, returns this week.

This short week following Monday's throttling of Oakland has provided fans a ton of reasons for optimism.

I'm sure questions such as, "Is this the year?" and "Did you see how good the Broncos look?" are rolling off tongues across Colorado.

Alas, Broncos fans, the season is not one week long.

On Sunday, the defending AFC West champion San Diego Chargers visit Invesco Field at Mile High.

The champions lost their home-opener by two points last week to Carolina, and they'll be focused on not falling two games behind Denver this early in the season.

So fans of the orange and blue - and Craig has plenty - should be prepared to come down out of the clouds if the Broncos lose.

But, if the wins continue, watch out innocent bystanders, or you'll get run over by the ever-growing Broncos express.

John Vandelinder can be reached at 875-1793 or jvandelinder@craigdailypress.com

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