Happy Monday, friends. I wanted to talk a little bit about something that both Doug and TJ made mention of in passing, and that was the strange decision by the Broncos to use a lot of nickel personnel in yesterday’s game against the Chiefs.
I haven’t seen any snap counts published yet, but when we do, we’re going to see that both Chris Harris and Tony Carter played a lot of snaps, and that the Chiefs didn’t play very much in three-WR personnel. Usually, a defense will match the offensive personnel grouping, with a third CB coming on the field to match a third WR. The fact that the Broncos chose to use Champ Bailey, Harris, and Carter as much as they did, and irrespective of the offensive personnel grouping, seems to tell us something interesting.
The best reason to use offensive sub packages is that it usually forces a defense to remove a LB from the game who is a better football player than the DB who replaces him. Since it’s easier to find effective WRs than it is to find CBs, the general assumption that third WRs are better than third CBs is typically a sound one.
As expected, the Broncos announced the signing today of running back Jacob Hester, formerly of the Chargers. They also brought Jeremiah Johnson back to the practice squad, as had been reported over the weekend.
Hester (5-11, 235) is a fifth-year player out of LSU who was taken by San Diego with the 69th-overall pick in the 2008 Draft. He started 23 of the 62 games he played for the Chargers, accumulating 319 yards and one touchdown on 94 rushes, plus 308 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 55 catches.
Jake Plummer Rekindles His Love for the Game He Left
Plummer said fans did double-takes when they saw him. But as the game continued, he reminisced with longtime security guards, talked with a young fan whose parents had told him not to bother Plummer, high-fived a mascot and was treated to a few beers by fans who said they remembered him fondly.
Plummer later slipped down to the sideline to watch Manning and Roethlisberger, who had each ruined his postseason hopes. But Plummer did not dwell on that. He cheered on the Broncos’ defense, the way he used to as a player, when he wanted to get back out onto the field as quickly as possible.
After the Broncos won, 31-19, Plummer sat on a patch of grass outside and watched jubilant fans exit the stadium.
“I used to play a big part of that,” Plummer said. “Sending people out of the stadium ecstatic and full of energy.”
Nothing was ever right about how the Snake left the Broncos, or Denver - it's a pleasure to learn he's back in town, and again a part of the Broncos family.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! We've spent the past eight months and six days thanking John Elway, for having turned our Broncos - by virtue of one pair of deft transactions - from self-promoting circus to legit contender characterized by intense professionalism.
Not only did KC have Peyton Hillis attempt a pass to Brady Quinn on third-and-three of their game-opening, Bronco-mauling opening drive, but Romeo doubled down on the stupidity by going for the field goal when the ill-conceived throw failed. It was early four-down territory for the Chiefs, but in a game where Crennel and his players were never, ever thinking ahead, Denver escaped what seemed sure to be a 7-0 deficit.
Kansas City ain't what it used to be.
Arrowhead Stadium used to rival the Circus Maximus. Now it simply reeks.
The smell? The stench of Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel.
Sure, the Broncos struggled throughout most of the game. And earlier in the week, Peyton Manning put on a straight face and said the Chiefs were a tough out. At one point, he even said, "They've got a lot of good players."
As it turns out, Manning was right, but not correct enough for the Broncos to actually lose to a bad team.
You see, good means very little when you're 1-10, without a solution at quarterback, and you're coaching not to lose.
In fact, 1-10 just stinks. Here in Denver, we don't mind. We'll just plug our noses.
Enjoy the games, and Go Broncos!
Poll question added: So, Broncos fans - with Denver at 8-3 and the AFCW almost locked up, who are you rooting for in today's Ravens/Chargers game? The magic number for a Denver AFCW title (combination of Broncos wins, Chargers losses) is just two, while the Broncos are battling the Ravens for playoff seeding in the AFC.
We're thinking that Broncos Country should be rooting for San Diego, as difficult as that may be. What say you?
Good Morning, Broncos fans! We've all read countless chronicles of Peyton Manning's comeback from injury, and his rehabilitation at Duke with David Cutcliffe.
But each time, there are some new nuggets to keep our attention.
The latest such column is from Sam Farmer of the LA Times, who speaks with all of the usual characters, plus the original Fat Man, in doing his research.
Manning finally comes out and tells Farmer that he simply cannot throw the ball as far as he used to, even calling his new style of play as the normally dreaded "dinking and dunking." John Fox says he appreciates that Peyton takes copious notes from Fox's meetings with the team, and that his own leadership talking points are repeated by the QB later on each week.
It's a lot of the same old stuff, but there's enough new information to make it a worthwhile read. (via Dan Pompei)
I read the USA Today article that Doug linked today, which amounted to an interpretation of a Peter King tweet. Only KSK should be interpreting PK, because this reporter follows him down the path of wrong.
They mention "legal chop blocks," but there are no such things in the NFL, nor have there been any in quite a few years. The problem is apparently confusion about what "chop block" means.
Allow me to explain.
A chop block is when a blocker is engaged with a defender up high, and a second offensive player goes low on the same defender. There must be two blockers on one defender, and one must go high, and the other low, for it to be a chop block. That's a 15-yard penalty on the offense.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Poor Brady Quinn.
Dude's finally getting another crack at the Chiefs' top QB gig, four weeks after having suffered a concussion one quarter into his start against the Raiders. But at least he'll be playing behind a decent offensive line that's been around league-average in terms of allowing sacks, right?
Not so much.
Kansas City will most likely be without starting left tackle Branden Albert for tomorrow's game, in which case third-round rookie Donald Stephenson would start in his place. Ryan Lilja and Jon Asamoah are questionable, but it sounds like they'll play.
For the sixth week in a row, and riding a streak of five games during which they've scored at least 30 points and won by at least a touchdown in each, the Broncos reside at the crest of Brian Burke's efficiency rankings.
But the Denver offense has scuffled a bit in recent weeks, and this is reflected in their fall to third (from first) in offensive efficiency. However, they remain first in passing efficiency and tied for sixth while running the ball. Of course, the injury to Willis McGahee may strain that latter figure.
Their continued dominance on the defensive side of the game has the Broncos still second in efficiency (fourth versus the pass, eighth (tied) against the run), behind the opportunistic Bears.