The Daily Lard 1-9-12

GOOD MORNING, Broncos fans! Your Denver Broncos notched their first playoff win in six years yesterday with a 29-23 overtime victory over the defending AFC champion Steelers, setting up a rematch with the New England Patriots, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and now, Josh McDaniels - this time in Foxborough on Saturday night at 8PM ET.

So, what was it this time? Score on defense? Uh uh. Score on a special teams return? Negative. Win the turnover battle? No. Opponent gifts/brain farts? Nope. Foxball? Nah. Tebow Time? Not the kind we've seen before. Instead, Tim Tebow and Demaryius Thomas connected on a slew of big plays, none bigger than an 80-yard catch and run on the lone play of overtime. Tebow produced 366 yards of offense and three scores on 10 pass completions and 10 rushes, and his fellow 2010 first-rounder caught four passes for 204 yards and the game-winner.

A week ago against KC, Denver's longest play from scrimmage was a 17-yard catch and run by Thomas. Yesterday, Tebow had pass completions of 80, 58, 51, and 15 yards to Thomas; 40 and 17 yards to Daniel Fells; 30, 13 and 9 yards to Eddie Royal (the 30-yarder opened Denver's scoring on what was probably Tim's finest pass yet as a pro); and a 6-yarder to Lance Ball. Plus, Tim ran for three first downs, two of them crucial gains which led to Matt Prater's fourth-quarter FG.

Put simply, Tebow was fabulous.

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Gut Reaction - Wild Card Round: Broncos vs Steelers

The rumors of the fall of Tim Tebow have been greatly exaggerated.

In one of the biggest upset victories in Broncos history, Tebow did exactly what John Elway would have done--he pulled the trigger.

The game was electric; the pace was deadly; the results were amazing.

1998 never looked so good.

The defense was bend but don't break.  The offense was breakout.

Bring on the Patriots.  Stranger things have happened.

Today, I'm only giving Postives and nothing more. It's a playoff win, man!  Let it rip!  This one is for the readers.  Give us your thoughts on the first Broncos playoff win in six years!!!!!

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Tebow > Steelers

Tim Tebow Is No Good. Except for When He’s Great.
fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com

So on Tebow’s first three passes, he was 0 for 3 and in danger of being pulled. On his next three he was 3 for 3 for 139 yards and a touchdown. Then he bulled his way up the middle for an 8-yard touchdown run. The stadium shook.

Talent evaluators everywhere shook their heads, the pro-Tebow ones knowingly, the anti-Tebow ones incredulously.

What a second quarter!

Open Thread - Wild Card Sunday

Enjoy the games, everyone - and Go Broncos! Denver's inactives today are S Brian Dawkins, FB Austin Sylvester, FB Spencer Larsen, LB Mike Mohamed, T Ryan Harris, TE Julius Thomas, and DE Derrick Harvey. Interesting that the Broncos will go without a fullback today, although TEs Dante Rosario and Virgil Green can fill in there when needed. This also means reserve linemen Tony Hills and Manny Ramirez are active; David Bruton is starting in place of Dawkins at strong safety.

For Pittsburgh, RB Mewelde Moore, S Ryan Clark, CB Cortez Allen, C Maurkice Pouncey, LB Mortty Ivy, DT Al Woods, and T Jamon Meredith are out.

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STDL: Wild Card - Broncos vs Steelers

The Broncos at 8-8 enter today's first-round playoff game as the #4 seed hosts of the #5 seed defending AFC Champion Steelers, who won 12 games despite a rough 2-2 start which included 11 giveaways by their offense (seven of them in their opener at Baltimore). And while the Broncos have lost three straight and the Steelers have won 6 of their last 7 games, Pittsburgh is also limping into this matchup - both physically and in terms of the quality of their play. The Steelers offense is on another bad run of turnovers, having given it up 10 times in four weeks, the same as Denver.

Neither team's defense has taken the ball away much, either on the season (18 by Denver, 15 by Pittsburgh) or in those past four weeks (2 by the Broncos, 3 for the Steelers). Turnovers are again were the Broncos' hopes lie today. Let's check out the numbers:

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The Daily Lard 1-8-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Here we are - it's been six years, but the Broncos are back in the playoffs, and they're facing the same franchise that beat them last time and prevented them from whipping facing the Seahawks in SB 40. Of course, these Broncos bear little resemblance to that eariier version, with only Champ Bailey and D.J. Williams remaining; of course, Champ made the key play the week prior to help the Broncos halt the Patriots' quest for a threepeat championship. It will probably take something similar today (multiple takeaways, not necessarily of the 100-yard return variety) to send the Broncos to a matchup with the Patriots in Foxborough next week.

What would be more poetic than a rematch of Tim Tebow and Tom Brady's Week 15 duel, and a faceoff between the Broncos and Josh McDaniels, their last head coach and new (again) OC of the Patriots? Not much, obviously. But first things first...

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Open Thread - Wild Card Saturday

Enjoy the games, everyone!

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HOF finalists announced; no Broncos on list

Class of 2012 Finalists
www.profootballhof.com

15 modern finalists for 2012 Hall of Fame being announced on NFL Network: Tim Brown, Cris Carter, Andre Reed, Cortez Kennedy, Charles Haley, Bill Parcells, Eddie DeBartolo Jr., Aeneas Williams, Jerome Bettis, Curtis Martin, Dermontti Dawson, Willie Roaf, Will Shields, Chris Doleman and Kevin Greene.

Oh well, it's wait til next year for Terrell Davis, Karl Mecklenburg and Steve Atwater...

Mort reporting Colts have already decided to draft Luck

Twitter
twitter.com

As @mortreport reported on Sat edition of NFL Countdown, Colts plan to use the No. 1 pick on Stanford QB Andrew Luck.

Not sure what the point of this is, especially before Jim Irsay hires a new GM. It's not like any trades can happen now, if Irsay wants to drum up interest, and if the intention is to draft and keep Luck, this serves to make things unnecessarily awkward for Peyton Manning.

Florio, Darlington engaging in Twitter cat fight

Twitter
twitter.com

Darlington: Quinn joked that maybe if I quote him as “anonymous player,” you’ll be more likely to believe it. A player making a journalism joke…nice!

Florio: Quinn has zero incentive to be honest about this.

Darlington: What about his incentive to maintain my trust?

Florio: Seriously Jeff?

This is pretty amusing, especially Darlington's take. Does he really think the Broncos and Brady Quinn are more concerned about what Darlington thinks of them than they are about trying to win tomorrow's game and potentially not tip off their strategy? Even if Darlington has this story correct, he obviously has quite a bit of self-importance to him.

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