Unlike in 2011, 2012 Broncos gashed on third and long Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Mistakes and a difficult schedule have often been cited as the main culprits in Denver's three losses.

But let's not forget about the factor of luck, specifically when it comes to fumbles.

As mentioned by Andrew Mason, the team has had the remarkable misfortune of having lost all seven of its offensive fumbles - three by Demaryius Thomas, two by Willis McGahee, and one each by Peyton Manning and Knowshon Moreno.

For clarity's sake, Thomas's first fumble was on the game-ending hook-and-lateral play against Houston, and of course, Knowshon's fumble was clearly recovered by Eric Decker before the scab refs did their thing. From our vantage that's really six offensive fumbles and what should be one own recovery.

Even with those tweaks, the Broncos have been unlucky - but not quite as unfortunate as Mason's 47.82% defensive recovery figure suggests.

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STDL: Broncos still pretty good, despite 2-3 record

Welcome to the Week 6 edition of the Stats That Don't Lie. So far, we've been tracking the Broncos' ranking via the metrics of Brian Burke's efficiency ratings and PFR's Simple Rating System (SRS).

Starting today, we'll add in PFF's grading system, so that we're accounting for what the tape says as well.

As we expected, Sunday's loss at New England did little to harm Denver's standing relative to the ANS and PFR metrics.

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PFF: Von was the best player on the field Sunday

ReFo: Broncos @ Patriots, Week 5
www.profootballfocus.com

Last season we thought he was as good as any defensive player in football before injuring his thumb and this season he is every bit as good if not better. In this game his grade of +12.3 breaks the scale of the PFF player pages thanks to a day in which he dominated at the point of attack with speed, power and quickness.

If there was a player that impressed every time you looked at him in this game, it was Von Miller who edges a great performance from Welker to earn the game ball.

We already heaped praise on Von Miller for the dominance of his play on Sunday; it was undeniable watching it live, the ANS figures backed it up, and now we have PFF's grades to reconfirm.

On the season, Von ranks second among linebackers in ANS's EPA figure, while his PFF grade (+31) dwarfs that of any other NFL linebacker, regardless of scheme. His +12.3 grade for Sunday alone, is better than the full-season grades of all but NaVorro Bowman (+13.4), Daryl Washington (+13.2), and Justin Houston (+12.7).

Anyone pining for Marcell Dareus (-7.4) or Nick Fairley (-1.1) right about now? Didn't think so.

You Got Served: Taking stock of the Broncos after five games

Happy Tuesday, friends.  I wanted to take a few moments today to evaluate the overall state of affairs for the 2012 Broncos.  When you’re a fan of a team, it’s easy to watch a few losses, and take them hard, and get all emotional about them.  It can seem like all is lost, and that this guy should get benched, and that guy should get fired, and that if you were the GM, things would be different.

I’m a professional analyst, and a key part of the analyst skill set is the ability to be dispassionate, and just try to see things for what they are.  I work with a guy who is a Steelers fan, and he keeps his security badge on a Steelers lanyard, and he has Steelers crap on his car, and in his office.  That’s not the kind of Broncos fan I am.  I’ve owned two Broncos jerseys in the last 10 years or so, and they’re both useless now.  (Catler and Teebs, if you must know).

I’m not a fanatic – I started out being one as a kid, but in the course of becoming a widely-read writer about the Broncos, my approach to fanhood became kind of professional and dispassionate.  This is like a job, and today, I’m going to do my job, and tell you what I think is going on with the Broncos without emotion.

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Carter apologizes for tasteless tweet

Tony Carter set the Twittersphere afire last night with a wildly insensitive remark about seeing a late movie in the Denver area. Not sure what took so long, but he recently apologized:

We'll hope Carter truly understands how vile his original tweet was, and that it's the last of the sort from any Denver player.

One word at heart of Patriots’ pace Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! From a league-wide view, rather than a Broncos perspective, there was one facet of Sunday's loss to the Patriots that stood out: the pace with which New England's offense operated.

The haters will always call him a cheater, but the reality is that Bill Belichick always finds an edge. It's ironic that he's considered to be arrogant, with the truth being that Belichick is forever on a knowledge quest, and never do his actions suggest that he thinks he's figured everything out.

It's why he's constantly evolving, and why his Patriots have reflected so many different philosophies despite having the same superstar quarterback for the past 12 seasons.

We are all aware of the Hoodie's meetings of the mind with Urban Meyer, and with former Belichick assistant Nick Saban.

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Open Thread: MNF Week 5 - Texans @ Jets

Here are the inactive lists; Tim Tebow is reportedly expected to see more playing time tonight. Why let something like that slip? Perhaps it's because there are unsold tickets for the game.

Leave it to Teebs to know that tonight's is the 666th MNF game, and to tweet about it. Skip Bayless predicts that if Tebow takes over next week, he'll lead the Jets to a 7-4 finish and a playoff berth, all while summoning up the chutzpah to call himself "EXTREMELY OBJECTIVE" about Teebs (yes, in all caps).

Andy BenoitDoug FarrarKhaled Elsayed, and Ben Shpigel preview the matchup; Jason Whitlock says the Commish should just put the Jets out of their misery.

Enjoy the game!

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Eric Winston to fans: We’re not gladiators

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Broncos adjusted by going with dual calls on defense

Tom Brady's secret to beating Peyton Manning? Being in control
www.nfl.com

“They’d have two plays called, so they knew what they were gonna do on the next rep,” cornerback Tracy Porter said. “And we’d only have one play called, so we’d wait to get the other play from the sideline, and they’re already lined up. We adjusted, and we started going dual calls in the huddle, let us keep up with the pace of the game. But in the beginning, it did catch us off-guard.”

It's great the Broncos adjusted yesterday.  Sure it is--when in Rome, do as the Romans do.  

But how long did it take before the Broncos started acting like Romans?  Let's hope it happened before the second half.

Bite-size nuggets: The importance of a first-place schedule

Happy Monday, friends.  I’m going to give yesterday’s game a broadcast-angle review tonight, and another coach’s film review on Wednesday, but for today, I wanted to write a quick article about something that gets talked about frequently, but isn’t well-understood.  Today’s topic will be the first-place schedule.

The best path to the playoffs in the NFL is in winning your division.  Organizing in divisions is a true test of quality for a subset of teams, because for 14 of their 16 games, they play the same teams.  Here is how an NFL schedule rubric lays out:

 

Type of game Number
Division home-and-home 6 games
Another division in same conference 4 games
Another division in the other conference 4 games
Teams from the other divisions in same conference with same finish 2 games

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