S#@% happens, especially when you’re playing Foxball Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans. For the Denver Broncos, 2012 revolved completely around one person - Peyton Manning.

To Denver's players and coaches, getting Peyton meant they would have a chance to win every game, and to improve their own play, as individuals and as a team. He represented the very real possibility of capturing the franchise's third Lombardi trophy.

We heard all week that Denver's veterans - namely, Champ Bailey, Keith Brooking, and Brandon Stokely - were trying to ensure that their younger mates would value the opportunity presented by making the playoffs, and being the AFC's number one seed.

From the fans' standpoint, this season was about once again having one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, and getting to watch his every play, series, and game in orange.

Put simply, 2012 was, for all connected to the Broncos, about appreciating Peyton.

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Rahim Moore helped Ravens defy the laws of probability

Just how close were the Broncos to winning the game before Rahim "The Nightmare" Moore decided to play safety like he was trying to catch a home run ball against the outfield fence?  Let's just say the fat lady wasn't just warm, she was hot and bothered:

Nobody understands John Fox, except John Fox

Denver Broncos' John Fox coached not to lose game

“The reality is, we had a good season. We got to the elite eight,” coach John Fox said after the game. “I’d like to have been that team to hoist the trophy, but we’re not.”

The most inexcusable reason the Broncos lost: Fox played not to lose. He played like his quarterback was Jake Delhomme or Tim Tebow. He coached to his defense, which was not having a good day.

None of this comes a surprise to folks that have watched Fox coach a long time. But it’s a shame to not even try to win with Manning on his side. The Broncos didn’t go out swinging. They went out hoping not to lose.

Let the John Fox beatings begin.  As long as they don't kill coach, we're okay with it.  

How else is he gonna learn?  Coaches, like dogs, need behavior modification, and they need it immediately.

At least one Tebow is feeling great about football tonight

Tim Tebow’s brother happy to see Peyton Manning lose

And after the Broncos lost, Peter Tebow called himself “the only one in Denver who’s happy right now.”

Peter Tebow’s Twitter account (which gives his bio as “You can have this whole world, just give me Jesus”) is not verified. But Tim Tebow has made clear on his own verified Twitter account that the @PeterTebow account does belong to his brother.

Tim Tebow usually goes out of his way to portray himself as a nice guy who always says the right thing. His big brother, however, is not above a little gloating.

I have to admit this one made me smile.  It's hard to slam the guy for feeling like he has to stick up for the little guy Tim.

Hold your tweets, Broncos fans.  Hit him up when the CFL starts.

Gut Reaction: Ravens knock Broncos out of 2012 playoffs

Earlier in the year, Peyton Manning was mic'd up and remarked that it was bad to throw across the body.

He should have heeded his own advice.

Today he did it again for the second time--a time too many.  And in the freezing, uncompromising cold of Denver (the wind chill was well below zero) Manning's arm--and the ball--went completely dead.

So did the Broncos' playoff chances.

One and done. All that work, shattered.  Shattered like the dreams of Broncomaniacs everywhere.  All those pretty little stats, gone. Gone like your breath into the chilly night.  All that talk of going all the way, numb. 

Numb like it's 1996 all over again.

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Open Thread: Division Saturday

Denver's inactives are Caleb Hanie, Andre Caldwell, Tracy Porter, Chris Gronkowski, Julius Thomas, C.J. Davis, and Sealver Siliga; Baltimore's are WR David Reed, S Omar Brown, CB Chris Johnson, OLB Adrian Hamilton, G/T Ramon Harewood, WR Deonte Thompson, and DT Bryan Hall.

Enjoy the games, and Go Broncos!

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Game Day Limerick: Divisional Playoff, Baltimore Ravens

It's the playoffs in Denver--Limericks, at altitude:

In the cold there's a game on this day
where the Broncos keep the Ravens at bay.
     It won't take but a drive
     for the Broncos to thrive
and flat crush the slow birds on the way.

Sorry to get to this a little later than I would like, but as always, take your own shot.

Broncos still favored to win Super Bowl, slightly

Wild Card Weekend dropped the four longest shots to win the Super Bowl.

This week, little has changed in the odds to win the NFL's biggest prize. The Patriots slightly bumped up, as did the Falcons and Packers. With fewer games to play, it only makes sense. The Texans were the only team to have their odds get worse (or better, if you're placing money on them).

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Cold weather Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! It's been 14 years (SB 33, -7.5) since the Broncos entered a playoff game as heavy favorites, as they are today (-9).

That 1998 team was also favored by 13.5 points against Miami, 9 over the Jets, and covered all three postseason spreads with relative ease.

We can all worry that today will be a repeat of Jacksonville, but given the gulf between the quality of these Broncos and Ravens, it will likely take an extraordinary set of circumstances for the upset to occur. These Broncos scored 90 more points than the 1996 squad did, and are the most well-rounded team in football.

Of course, Bill Simmons is predicting a Baltimore victory, but relies upon stupid trivia to do so. That a heavy favorite has lost a divisional game in each of the past seven postseasons means absolutely nothing, and the silly part is that Simmons (naturally) dismisses out of hand the possibility of his Patriots keeping that string alive tomorrow.

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Manning, Clady, Miller named First-Team All-Pros

The AP has announced its 2012 All-Pros, and as could be expected, Peyton Manning, Ryan Clady, and Von Miller have all made the first team.

It's Manning's sixth time ('03, '04, '05, '08, '09) as a first-teamer, Clady adds his second such honor ('09), and this is Von's first time as an All-Pro.

Champ Bailey is a second-teamer, while Demaryius Thomas, Elvis Dumervil (?), and Britton Colquitt each received one vote.

Adrian Peterson and J.J. Watt were the only unanimous honorees, which means that Miller, incredibly, was not (two voters left him off their ballots).

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