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Broncos' 2-0 start is meaningless

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The Denver Post's front-page blurbs about the Broncos' 27-6 victory over the Browns yesterday appear beneath the line "With a Capital D" -- the point being that Denver's defense stifled Cleveland throughout the afternoon. But that's not particularly difficult. As commentators Bill Macatee and Steve Beuerlein noted during the broadcast, the Browns have only scored one offensive touchdown in the past eight games. Clearly, the Broncos didn't deserve a ticker-tape parade for continuing this streak at home, especially given that the only category QB Brad Quinn leads the league in is hotness. Moreover, Kyle Orton deserved the boos he got in the first half, Matt Prater can't make a field goal between 35 and 45 yards (maybe he should move back to midfield no matter where the line of scrimmage is), and the running game only truly got untracked late, when the Browns had already lost the will to do anything other than suck.

In light of these factors, what's the Broncos' 2-0 record really mean? Zip. Okay, the Cincinnati Bengals may not be as bad as advertised, as the Green Bay Packers found out yesterday. But remember: The Broncos would have lost that game if not for direct intervention by Jesus Christ. Moreover, the team's schedule is front-loaded with mediocrity, and the lameness isn't over yet. Next week, they head to Cali to take on Oakland, which managed to win yesterday despite having a quarterback almost as dubious as Quinn (yesterday, JaMarcus Russell went 7 for 24!) As such, we won't get a true indication of the defense's real strength until October 4, when the Broncos take on Dallas, whose signal-caller, Tony Romo, is erratic -- witness the Cowboys' loss last night to the Giants in their home opener -- but capable of truly stretching the field. That's when we'll find out if the "D" really should be capitalized.

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