Good Morning, Broncos fans! We went missing for a few hours, due to some much-needed server maintenance. Please accept our apologies for that, but the upside is that our site is now a heckuva lot faster! You know, Bill Simmons had an excellent point in his mailbag the other day regarding the NFL and player safety. I wish I had pointed it out yesterday, but I’ll do so today instead. So, Roger Goodell and the owners he represents are suddenly acting like the health and well-being of their players is actually important to them. Clearly, a good thing. Unfortunately, there were many years of institutional denial that concussions even have any long-term effects before this about-face; years of stonewalling doctors and researchers who actually wanted to get to the true root of things.
It has taken the exceptional and dedicated work of doctors like Bennet Omalu, Ann McKee and Julian Bailes, and of journalists like Peter Keating, Jeanne Marie Laskas (update to her story here), Alan Schwarz and Malcolm Gladwell to break down this wall of silence and denial. The league had a rheumatologist (Dr. Elliot Pellman) heading its committee on concussions, for that group’s first two-plus years of existence, for crying out loud. That’s rheumatology, the sub-specialty in medicine dedicated to conditions and diseases afflicting the joints, muscles and bones (nothing about the brain or spine).
Here at Fat Man, we think you deserve more than just football analysis.
You deserve a nice meal, too. So in the spirit of food and drink, we present to you our weekly analysis of the upcoming Broncos game and opponent. May you leave a little wiser. And with a full stomach.
This week, we’re gonna chow on the Oakland Raiders.
We’ve all seen it. The offense lines up in a 113 - one RB, one TE, three WR. Standard OL, shotgun. The X receiver does a stop-and-go fly pattern, the Y receiver does a hitch and the slot receiver breaks to the weakside at 7 yards. The defense was waiting for it. They were in a 3-4, CBs on the primary receivers, SILB on the slot, with help from the safety to his right if the TE tries to block or if the RB comes back far enough to receive a pitch-out. When the slot receiver appeared to be the best option, the FS noticed that the QB, despite untold hours of practice, didn’t look him off, as the slot receiver reached out for the ball and it touched his hands. The SILB converged on him and was there in time for the tackle. But the safety had an open shot at an unprotected WR, and although he would later say that he was trying to hit the receiver in the back, the impact of his helmet into the back of the helmet of the receiver caused an entire stadium to go suddenly silent. Neither got up at first, and trainers from both benches grabbed the equipment they wanted to hold the least, and dashed over to the supine bodies of the players. The loss of feeling in the WR’s arms and legs brought an immediate application of a device that was little more than a high-tech ice bag, one that would fit the neck, shoulders and down the back. It slows the swelling in cases of spinal bruising, bruising that can bring permanent paralysis. Two carts were ready on the sidelines.
Mid-term elections? Who cares.
Stay home and watch me go negative on Peter King.
As we usually do, we ask our random number generator (RNG) to makes its picks for the week’s NFL games. We then compare these picks to the so-called experts. To make things even more lively, I include my cat, Jesus Quintana, in on the picks, along with Doug Lee and myself (Doc Bear is too smart for this). The RNG is simply armed with the notion that 57% of the time, the home team is a winner in the NFL. Quintana picks between two quarters as I drop them to the floor. Doug Lee uses his lightning-fast brain.
I use Kahlua and a proprietary mathematical formula. If that doesn’t work, I listen to Fox News and MSNBC at the same time until the picks come to me.
This week, I’m introducing another section called Peter King Actually Wrote This. You’ll see why after the jump.
So how has the RNG done this week?
Good Morning, Broncos fans! As mentioned yesterday, Champ Bailey, Eddie Royal and Kevin Vickerson are listed as questionable after limited practice, while Robert Ayers, Brian Dawkins, Andre’ Goodman, Darcel McBath and Wesley Woodyard are all out for tomorrow’s game. As for Jokeland, it appears that Jason Campbell will be starting at QB.
As many of you probably know, NFL Network has been counting down its 100 Greatest Players over the past several weeks. Surprisingly, they’ve already gotten to John Elway, whom they placed at #23. He is the only Broncos player on the list, and of course I’m stunned at how low on the list he fell. Personally, I was expecting him to end up somewhere in the #10 to #15 range, but never in my wildest dreams did I foresee Brett Favruh beating him out…
Champ Bailey, Eddie Royal and Kevin Vickerson were all limited participants in practice today and are listed as questionable for Sunday’s game versus Jokeland. The same five players who were ruled out last week will also miss Sunday’s game - Robert Ayers, Brian Dawkins, Andre’ Goodman, Darcel McBath and Wesley Woodyard.
Here’s a topic near and dear to all Broncos fans’ hearts, especially those who’ve been watching since the 1990s. 1,000-yard rushers. They used to grow on a tree behind Mike Shanahan’s 35,000 square foot mansion. Okay, fine - his mansion wasn’t completed until after he was fired. Details. Meh. This quiz would normally be about as simple as a pimple, but I’ve added some mild twists. First, you’ve got to name the 1,000-yard backs one by one, and in reverse chronological order. Plus, you’ll have to type in an answer for each year, even if a player had multiple 1,000-yard seasons.
Unfortunately it’s been awhile (2006), so you’ll need to know who that guy was. I’ll even give you a hint - he always gets a great reception at the Aurora Mall, even though he arrives with a bit of baggage. As always, no peeking or cheating, post your scores in the comments, and good luck! BTW, if you’ve missed our previous quizzes you can always find them here.
Click here for Sporcle quiz:
Can you name the Broncos’ 1,000-yard rushers, in reverse chronological order?
Kevin Alexander is a man with the odds stacked against him.
Brought into a tough Broncos camp as an undrafted free agent earlier this year, Alexander knows what the oddsmakers against the ‘tweener’ LB from Clemson might say. On the other hand, good things are already starting to happen for the 6’4”, 265 lb former DE/OLB. He was given a chance to take some reps with the first team in OTAs, and although he did not make final cuts, Denver signed him to its practice squad. Following the recent rash of injuries at linebacker, the Broncos on Saturday added Alexander to the 53-man roster, and he dressed for the next day’s game versus the Jets. It doesn’t take much watching to find out why Alexander is being given a second look by the Broncos.
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Champ Bailey and Kevin Vickerson returned to practice yesterday in limited fashion. Brandon Lloyd also returned; he had missed practice Wednesday for reasons unrelated to injury. Jamal Williams had his customary Thursday off, while Robert Ayers, Brian Dawkins, Andre’ Goodman, Darcel McBath, Eddie Royal and Wesley Woodyard again missed practice due to injury.
Look for a new Broncography today at 12pm ET and more Trivia Trough at 3pm ET.
In the early minutes of the second quarter Sunday, the Broncos put on a drive that resulted in Tim Tebow’s first NFL touchdown. Appropriately, it was a rushing TD - making for the right corner, and making it easily thanks to two players who weren’t mentioned by the announcers. We love to have fun here at IAOFM, but some of that fun comes from finding the points, plays and players that didn’t get enough praise or recognition and making sure that problem is solved. That being the case, here’s a little bit of info on the Broncos’ first scoring drive.