After two weeks of picking games, I've learned a thing or two.
Now, if I can just remember what they are, we'd be in business.
Welcome to another edition of Fat PIckins, where the guys from IAOFM put themselves up against the experts, the machines, the masses, and a guy who spent all night doing body shots in the parking lot of Sam's Club.
This week we're adding in some more probability for your amusement along with Baxter McLove's stone-cold-drunk locks.
Let's hit this crack pipe.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! I don't often utilize this space to address or respond to comments, but I feel like doing so today. Yesterday, it was stated that pointing out Kyle Orton's shortcomings was becoming a tired exercise, that the Orton/Tebow debate is old hat. That bringing up the sack data from FO was useless. Here's what I have to say about that:
Now that that's out of the way, let's get to the day's news. Of course, we'll have some Fat Pickins, an open thread and TJ's incomparable Gut Reactions for you today. Have a great day, everyone!
Last week, we looked at the Cincinnati Bengals. Surprisingly, the Bengals stuck to the scouting report and presented the Broncos with few wrinkles.
Perhaps this is why they are the Bengals. It's one thing to know who you are and stick to what you do best. It's another thing entirely to fall into such a predictable pattern by Week 2. The Broncos' advanced scouting department probably deserves some credit for the win last week.
Today we're scouting the Tennessee Titans, who have been the Jekyll and Hyde of the NFL so far. In Week 1 they barely moved the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars, losing 16-14. A week later, behind timely turnovers and big plays, they smacked the Baltimore Ravens 26-13.
After charting every one of their offensive plays from both games, I came to realize that the Titans are not the world beaters they appeared to be last week.
In fact, there's a good chance the Broncos win this game.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Here's something to consider when figuring out where to assign blame for the 70 sacks Kyle Orton has taken during his 31 games as a Bronco - how long do the sacks of Orton take to play out? Obviously, there's been plenty of chatter here about Orton and pass protection, and it's been my assertion that Kyle "walks into" too many of them due to his poor pocket awareness and mobility within it, while Ted has focused on Orton's tendency to hold the ball too long and his reluctance to check it down.
Well, as the data from J.J. Cooper of Football Outsiders points out, the overwhelming majority (80.49%) of sacks Denver allowed in 2009 and 2010 took more than 2.5 seconds to play out, which is the fifth-highest such figure among all teams, trailing only the Chiefs, Titans, Ravens and Vikings. At the other end of the spectrum is the Colts and their craptastic offensive line - and although Indy didn't allow a high number of sacks, we all know that's a credit to Peyton Manning's awareness and quick decisions. An incredible 61.76% of their sacks allowed took less than 2.5 seconds to occur, or when Manning just didn't have time to get the ball out. So, Kyle...just get rid of the damn ball!
As expected, LB Mike Mohamed has cleared waivers and was signed to the Broncos' practice squad today, while TE John Nalbone was released from the PS to create room for him. Denver waived Mohamed yesterday in conjunction with the return of D.J. Williams to practice and the re-signing of TE Dante Rosario, whose addition also facilitated the release of Nalbone. Mohamed had been the Broncos' sixth-round draft choice in April out of Cal.
On the injury front, Elvis Dumervil was declared out for Sunday, Champ Bailey, Knowshon Moreno and D.J. Williams are listed as questionable, and Brandon Lloyd is probable. For the Titans, RB Chris Johnson and WR Kenny Britt are probable while DE Williams Hayes, WR Damian Williams and S Chris Hope are questionable.
Happy Friday, friends. I hope you enjoyed Tom Gower’s thoughts on the Titans that we posted earlier today. He’s a respected writer who contributes to Football Outsiders, and we’re happy to have his work appear at our humble site. My work likewise appeared over at his site, and I only hope that the readers at Total Titans find our contribution up to their normal standards.
Since Tom gave us some Titans thoughts, I said to myself, “Self, maybe you should go light, or even skip the Digesting piece, and just leave it to their “inside” guy who’s really familiar with the team.” I considered doing so for a few minutes, but y’all know me: I like excess. More is better than less. That said, here are some observations on the Titans:
Total Titans approached us about collaborating with their site to preview Sunday's game by exchanging some questions and having a writer from each site provide insight on their respective teams. Below are my questions to Tom Gower and his answers; Tom writes for TT and also contributes to Football Outsiders, and we appreciate his time and effort. In turn, I answered some questions from Tom which have been posted here.
Ted - Would you say that the schemes of the Titans have changed significantly with the new coaching regime in place, and if so, how?
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Denver's injury situation is gradually improving, with Brandon Lloyd a full participant in practice and limited participation from Elvis Dumervil, Knowshon Moreno and D.J. Williams yesterday. It's not clear whether Williams is expected to get the start over Wesley Woodyard, but Dennis Allen says D.J. could face some conditioning issues, so figure to see at least a decent amount of Woodyard come Sunday.
On the flip side, Champ Bailey has still not practiced since injuring his hamstring, although he's at least running and cutting. Basically, Champ sounds like he's not going to play, but that he would if it were a playoff game.
The Broncos have re-signed veteran TE Dante Rosario and waived rookie LB Mike Mohamed to create room for him on the roster. Denver had originally signed Rosario as a free agent on August 1 before releasing him as part of their final cuts on September 3. In the intervening weeks, Rosario had been with the Dolphins, who released him on Tuesday.
Denver had been down to just two healthy TEs on their active roster (Daniel Fells, Virgil Green) with rookie Julius Thomas out for at least two weeks with a high ankle sprain. Mohamed was the team's sixth-round draft pick in April out of Cal. It would figure that Mohamed will end up on the practice squad if he clears waivers. (Thanks, Bob Morris!)
Several weeks ago, we reviewed the basics of gaps and techniques on defense.
You'll recall I compared football to a chessboard--techniques are where the pieces line up, while gaps are the responsibilities of the pieces. The big difference is that in football, the pieces (defenders) can line up in a different spot on every play.
Now let's put that knowledge to work in the Broncos' current 4-3 system under Dennis Allen.
Allen runs the two prominent forms of the 4-3, the Under and the Over, although thus far in the season, he's favored the Under scheme.
You're about to find out why.