5. Brady Quinn and Tim Tebow
Quinn played for most of the second and third quarters and failed to show why he should be Orton's backup. He was 6-of-16 for 68 yards and one interception. Unfortunately, the interception was returned for a touchdown. Quinn also overthrew his receivers a few times. Is Quinn playing his way out of second on the depth chart already?
Tebow entered the game near the end of the third quarter and put up numbers similar to Kyle Orton's: 8-of-13 for 105 yards. In addition, he rushed twice for 10 yards and scored a touchdown as the clock struck zero. Tebow took a couple of hard hits that make me wonder how long he'll be able to scramble around like that. On the touchdown run Tebow trucked a Bengals player but then also got knocked around when he broke the goal line. All in all, it was a slightly better than adequate debut for Tebow.
4. Baraka Atkins and Joe Mays
Atkins, entering his fourth year out of Miami (Fla.), had four tackles and a sack. He was also all over the field making plays. Mays had three tackles and a number of hard hits. The competition between the two for a spot on the roster should be exciting to watch over the rest of the preseason.
3. Zane Beadles and J.D. Walton
The Broncos will need consistency in the offensive line to succeed and the two rookie lineman playing last night will be a big part of that. They played the entire game and went mostly unmentioned. Walton made a bad snap at one point, but other than that it was a promising start.
2. Kyle Orton
Orton looked like the unquestioned starter for the Broncos last night as he was 8-of-13 for 84 yards and two touchdowns against a Bengals first team that had already played in the Hall of Fame game. This shouldn't be surprising.
1. It was the first preseason game
"It was only the first preseason game!" "Yeah, but. . . ." I get tired of all this quite easily. It's trite and commonplace to say both of those things. I'm just glad the Broncos are playing football again. Wait, that's also a trite thing to write at this point. In the end, all three responses are equally acceptable. Of course, those acting like Cassandra will be pointing to this game and the rest of the preseason if their dire predictions come true.
What observations did everyone else have?