It took a while for it to happen, but Vic Fangio managed to get his first win in September as head coach as the Denver Broncos beat the New York Giants 27-13 on Sunday. There were many positives in this game, especially on his defense, but there were obvious areas that needed improvement.
Getting his first win in September is great, but Fangio has to build off it in order to get the Broncos off to a hot start and capitalize on a relatively forgiving first-quarter schedule. Against the Giants, Fangio's defense was stifling the majority of the time.
The Broncos did surrender a few big plays and allowed the Giants to move the ball with help from defensive penalties, both of which are wrinkles Fangio has to get ironed out. Against an opponent like the Giants, a team can overcome such self-inflicted wounds a little easier than vs. a powerhouse team the Broncos will face later in the season.
From a tactical standpoint, the way Fangio called the game speaks to his great defensive mind. With the Broncos' defense having the talent, the creativity with the defensive play-calling was on display.
It'll be fun to see how Denver's defense grows and improves as it forms chemistry as the season marches on. Fangio got the September monkey off his back but there is still pressure on him and a hot seat under his posterior.
The issues of Fangio's defense in this game will have to be resolved as he focuses on chaining wins together to start this season. Denver has two more games in September and in order for this team to successfully weather what is a much stiffer middle-of-the-season schedule, Fangio has to find a way to walk out with wins in both of them.
The Broncos' next two games come against the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets, respectively, two teams rolling with rookie quarterbacks. Fangio has a reputation for how excellent his defenses do against rookie quarterbacks, and these next couple of weeks will give him the chance to show that.
In addition, this is a good opportunity for Fangio to turn his 0-7 September record through his first two seasons but to finish Year 3 with a 3-7 mark in the first month of the season would go a long way toward putting Denver in position to make a playoff push.
Follow Erick on Twitter @ErickTrickel.
Subscribe to Mile High Huddle on YouTube for daily Broncos live-stream podcasts!