Lindsay L. Jones, USA TODAY Sports 8: 35 p. m. EDT September 30, 2013
“It’s more difficult to defend because we have that talent and, I think, because he’s better, ” Bailey told USA NOWADAYS Sports on Monday, one day after Denver set a franchise rating record with 52 points in their blowout of the Philadelphia Eagles.
With apologies to Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Edgerrin Adam, Dallas Clark and even old buddy Brandon Stokley, Manning has within Denver a deeper and more harmful group of skill players than this individual ever had in Indianapolis.
The Broncos didn’t get to 179 points in four games simply by relying on just two or three weapons. While the preseason buzz about the potential manufacturing for the trio of receivers (Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker) has provenaccurate, Manning found plenty of other options.
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Seven players on offense have already found the finish zone: the three big-name receivers, Number 4 wideout Andre Caldwell, tight end Julius Thomas and tailbacks Knowshon Moreno and Ronnie Hillman.
It’s become a headache scenario for opposing defenses as soon as Manning marches Denver into the red zone. The Broncos have come aside with 13 touchdowns and one field goal in 16 trips within the 20-yard line (the other two possessions ended with fumbles).
“That’s unreal, ” said Bailey, who’s still recovering from a foot sprain suffered in Aug. “It gives you problems because generally you find a team where they have one or two guys they go to, and you will focus on them. You can put two guys on them and take them out from the game. You can’t do that with our criminal offense. ”
Statistics reveal Welker is Manning’s favorite red-zone option so far with six landing catches (Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas have four apiece). Welker has already matched his 2012 TD total with the New England Patriots.
“He’s a tough matchup. When we signed him, I think the defense was more excited compared to our offense because we don’t have to cover him anymore except in practice, ” Broncos coach John Sibel said. “But he’s a tough matchup. He’s very quick, he’s tenacious, he has a great feel for coverage. That’s why he’s probably as good all over the field. ”
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