Roger Goodell: tone deafness exemplified Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! It's been quite a week in the hubris-filled, awareness-free alternate reality occupied by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Paul Tagliabue's smackdown of the Ginger Hammer's disastrous handling of the NFL PR department-crafted Saints bounty scandal showed how a quality commissioner should perform his job, and called into serious question whether Goodell deserves to keep his.

At least Tagliabue did Rog the favor of providing closure for the scandal and maintaining the power of the commissioner's office, even if it came with a sharp rebuke of Goodell's methods.

Were Goodell a reasonable person, this would have been a humbling, chastening experience - one prompting self-reflection and a reconsideration of one's tactics.

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Joe Flacco isn’t elite with regard to facts either

Champ Bailey, 'one of the greatest,' has Ravens' respect
www.baltimoresun.com

“They’ve always been an aggressive defense that can get up and stop the run and has some good pass coverage on the outside and secondary and has the outside guys that can rush,” the fifth-year quarterback said. “Obviously, I don’t think we’ve played against Von and he adds another element to those guys being able to head to the passer and have a guy on each side and also be a very good player in the run. You guys are a good defense. They can do all those things—stop the run, get to the passer, cover the pass well—so it will be a good challenge for us.”

It's nice that Joe Flacco respects his elders, and he's right about Von Miller, but we're not sure what universe he's living in--one in which the Broncos have always gotten up and stopped the run.   In fact, here's where the Broncos have ranked in yards per carry on defense since 2005 (Flacco came into the league in 2008):

  • 2005 - 15th
  • 2006 - 14th
  • 2007 - 31st
  • 2008 - 30th
  • 2009 - 27th
  • 2010 - 29th
  • 2011 - 13th

If by "great" Flacco means completely "average" or even "ugly," well then, he's right on the money.   Lucky for the Broncos, this year is turning out to be quite different.

Every Denver Bronco who’s worn the number 12, because 12-12-12

We happen to hate things like this, but today's quirky date has inspired us to look back at the history of the Broncos and the number 12.

Besides, the world is coming to an end in nine days anyway, so there isn't much time for people to call us the Broncos fan's version of Bleacher Report (and isn't that title already taken, anyway?).

So without further ado, here goes - our first, and presumably last - countdown column.

Here are the eleven different players to have worn #12 for the Broncos in the regular season, ranked in ascending order of Career AV (couldn't make this a completely brainless exercise):

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Ravens offense mired in nine-week slump

Five Ravens stats that stand out from Week 15
www.baltimoresun.com

Launched by the powerful right arm of Flacco, the Ravens rocketed off to their best offensive start through four games in team history. The Ravens averaged 344.4 net passing yards in those games. But since then, they have averaged 187.2 net passing yards per game. The statistical decline is not just limited to the passing attack, though. They have averaged 23.3 points after averaging 30.3 in the first four weeks and averaged 309 net yards of offense after averaging 424 in their first four games. Now, even with that great start, the Ravens rank 18th in total offense and 16th in passing offense.

Since Week 5, Baltimore's Net Yards per Attempt has been a woeful 5.39, which is 21st in the NFL during that span. They're also 21st in yards per rush since then, which helps explain why Cam Cameron lost his job the other day.

Meanwhile, the Broncos have allowed the fifth-lowest Net Yards per Attempt in the league this season, and are tied for the second-lowest yards per rushing attempt allowed. The Ravens needed to make a change at OC, but this doesn't appear the week their offense gets going again.

Braylon Edwards shows you can call your old boss an idiot and still have him rehire you Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! John Elway called it "one of the best throws I've ever seen," which is heady praise from one of the best throwers of the football in history. The recipient of the pass, Demaryius Thomas, is still marveling at it, more than a week later, and having already played another game in the interim, but he does so with good reason.

We're talking about the first of Peyton Manning's two third-quarter TD passes to Thomas against Tampa Bay, and we've been meaning to show how ridiculous a play it was. Not much needs to be said, aside from pointing out that while Demaryius is just two strides into the end zone, the ball is already coming out of Peyton's hand:

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Knowshon Moreno is a hero

AFC grades: It's the Pats, then everybody else
www.usatoday.com

The Broncos had an unlikely hero in their 26-13 win Thursday night in Oakland: Running back Knowshon Moreno, who rushed for 119 yards on a career-high 32 carries. On a short week, Denver proved it could close out a game on the ground, something that was in question after losing starting running back Willis McGahee last month.

Having never read the words "hero" and "Knowshon Moreno" in the same sentence, I thought I'd pass this along.

The winds of fortune can change quickly.  One day you're supposed to be the next Herschel Walker.  Then you're running with the scout team.  A month later, you're back on the field playing as well as you ever have.

Regardless of your view on Moreno and his future with the Broncos, right now, it's okay to be excited to see the kid get another shot and to hope he makes the most of it.

Taking stock of the Patriots and Texans

Happy Tuesday, friends.  After the shellacking that the Patriots put on the Texans last night, it’s time to take stock of both teams, since it’s likely that the Broncos will play at least one of them in the playoffs, and maybe both.

There were some noticeable things on display in the game that will be of interest to us in the coming weeks.

Here are five for each team:

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Tagliabue vacates suspensions; Vilma defamation suit to continue

Former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has affirmed the league's findings regarding the Saints bounty scandal, but has vacated all player suspensions. Makes total sense, right?

Tagliabue's statement, via NFL spokesman Greg Aiello:

Unlike Saints' broad organizational misconduct, player appeals involve sharply focused issues of alleged individual player misconduct in several different aspects. My affirmation of Commissioner Goodell's findings could certainly justify the issuance of fines. However, this entire case has been contaminated by the coaches and others in the Saints' organization.

Having reviewed the testimony very carefully, including documentary evidence that is at the center of the conflict, and having assessed the credibility of the four central witnesses on these matters, I find there is more than enough evidence to support Commissioner Goodell's findings that Mr. Vilma offered such a bounty (on Brett Favre).

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Broncos need to run table Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Well, we probably should have seen this one coming.

Entering last night's game, New England's three losses were by a combined four points, with five of their nine wins coming by more than three touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Texans had been blown out by Green Bay in their one loss, and in November had barely squeaked by the Bears, Jaguars, and Lions. Houston had won four blowouts, but none since Week 7.

We're admittedly using hindsight here, but what happened last night doesn't seem so shocking when framed by those facts - especially considering that the game took place in Foxboro, in the cold.

New England (10-3) jumped all over Houston (11-2) with three touchdowns on their first three drives, and things never got closer in a 42-14 rout which made the Texans look like frauds, and the Patriots like prohibitive SB favorites.

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Open Thread and Pre-game Lard: MNF Week 14 - Texans @ Patriots

Andy BenoitBucky Brooks, and Steve Palazzolo break down the matchup. Enjoy the game, and Go Texans*!

* Although a Houston win would immediately place Denver ahead of New England in the race for playoff seeding, and their destiny in their own hands, a Pats victory wouldn't be the end of the world, either. Indy is still very much alive for the AFCS title, although if the Colts were to win their division and end up with 12 wins along with Denver, it appears (by consulting ESPN's Playoff Machine) Indy would tiebreakers over the Broncos and thus gain a higher seeding.

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