Thoughts on Sunday’s victory

When the Houston Texans came into the Mile High City this week, Denver fans were looking at several factors that might not show up on the scoreboard. Perhaps the biggest issue with the Texans was whether their head coach, former Broncos backup quarterback and offensive coordinator Gary ‘Kubes’ Kubiak, would be returning to Dove Valley as Denver's next head coach. While Pat Bowlen tends to honor prior relationships with coaches, most fans so far seem opposed to the idea. The reason is easy to spot: Houston has had but one winning season under Kubiak, and their freefall this year (while outpaced by Denver’s) doesn’t give much reason for fan excitement at the idea of returning coach Kubiak to the Broncos' fold. A quick look can help Denver fans understand the situation with Kubes and get a clearer picture of the Houston team at the same time.

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The Stats That Don’t Suck (as Bad) - Week 16: Lloyd v. Marshall

It's been several weeks since we brought you our weekly summary of Broncos-related stats.  

There was a good reason--week after week there was nothing novel about the Broncos sucking wind.  The numbers were terrible, and the only question that remained after Week 8 was whether or not the team would rank last in each and every defensive category.  Snipers were beginning to assemble on rooftops.

Since the season is coming to an end, we thought it high time to at least give our readers what they deserve:  more crappy Broncos stats.

On the bright side, it will be a 20-minute distraction from your daily ritual of wondering who the Broncos will draft.

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The Daily Lard 12-28-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Eric Studesville confirmed the worst-kept secret in Denver yesterday - that Tim Tebow will start the season finale against San Diego. Again, this points to some disrespectful handling of Kyle Orton, who deserved better than being left to make that same announcement himself last week.

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The Really, Really Blind Side: Chia Pets

This week we're introducing a new video series giving you insights into the intriguing and mysterious happenings at Dove Valley.  

We're pulling back the curtain to see just what is happening as the Broncos search for a new general manager.   

This one is called "Chia Pets," and stars Joe Ellis and Brian Xanders.

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Broncos reportedly going orange in 2012

According to Woody Paige in his column today, the Broncos will indeed be going back to orange jerseys full time starting with the 2012 season (the earliest they can do so at this juncture). This, just six short weeks after Dave Krieger and then-coach Josh McDaniels spent half the Monday presser following the win versus KC talking about jerseys? Wow, things work quickly around these parts, eh? Was it the fan email campaign that Krieger started? Was it the online petition started by our friends over at BroncosForums.com?

Funny - the first hint of such an idea comes after a rousing home victory in which the Broncos wore orange. The day after the team's next win, which also happened to come at home and with QB-of-the-future Tim Tebow directing his first 4th-quarter comeback, Woodrow lets it slip that the orange jerseys will return. Amazing...well, you know what I think. But conspiracy theories aside, I'm thrilled to hear it. How do you feel about the decision?

First comeback Lard 12-27-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver won yesterday for just the fourth time all year, breaking a five-game losing streak as Tim Tebow earned his first NFL victory, fourth-quarter comeback and 300-yard game. The Broncos overcame a 17-0 halftime deficit and trailed the Texans 23-10 as the final period began - Denver dominated the fourth quarter as Tebow threw for one touchdown (a 23-yard catch-and-run by Correll Buckhalter) and ran the game winner in from six yards out with 3:11 remaining. Tebow finished the game with 308 yards passing and 27 yards rushing to go with the two touchdowns and an ugly first-drive interception in the Texans' endzone. Over the course of his first two NFL starts, Tebow has put forth an impressive 93.4 QB rating with an eye-popping 9.9 YPA while generating an average of 8.7 yards of adjusted total offense per chance*, along with a TD on 6.1% of his chances. By comparison, previous starting QB Kyle Orton has averaged 7.2 YPA and 6.2 yards adjusted total offense, and a 3.6 TD% passing and rushing over the past two seasons.

Small sample? Yes, of course. Stats we'd never have considered pre-Tebow? Absolutely. But that's the point - Tebow brings a different dimension to the Denver offense via his ability to make plays on the run. So, is it more fair to compare Tebow to Jay Cutler, Orton's predecessor? Cutler averaged 7.4 YPA, 6.2 yards adjusted total offense and scored a TD 4.1% of the time as Denver's starting QB - numbers very much like those Orton has produced as a Bronco, and also significantly less productive than Tebow. Again, small sample. But these are the numbers that matter, if you're in the business of trying to win football games.

* I've taken PFR's Adjusted Net Yards Per Attempt (which factors in TDs and INTs) and also added in rushing stats. Chance = Pass Attempts + Sacks + Rush Attempts

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Gut Reactions - Week 16, Broncos-Texans

ralphie And God said, "Let there be two halves."

How could the Broncos look so bad in the 1st half and so good in the 2nd?

They let their quarterback play one on TV.

The first half was one of screens (slip, bubble, running back, silver?).  The Broncos' coaching staff either didn't trust their young quarterback or they simply wanted to continue to take his development as slowly as possible.  Did they realize they were facing the league's worst defense in the Houston Texans?

The 17-0 deficit was actually a blessing in disguise.  It forced the Broncos' coaches to finally unleash the Tebow.  In the 2nd half, they had no other choice.    

Tim Tebow may be a lot of things (young, inexperienced, and still under development), but there's one thing he's not--boring.  He gave the Broncos energy today.  Energy to burn.  

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A teachable moment: the screen game

Have you ever noticed how bad the Broncos are at defending the screen game?  Seemingly, for years, it’s been a consistent weakness.  The main reason is that they have mostly had to rush more than four men to get any pressure on the opposing Quarterback.  A secondary cause is that the Broncos have rarely fielded good tackling teams over the last 25 years or so.  Even in today’s victory against the Texans, numerous screens were successfully run against the Broncos.  It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

The other side of that coin is how you can frustrate the other team by maximizing the effectiveness of your own screen game.  This has never really been an area of strength for the Broncos, either, over the last 25 years.  The reason why is the Quarterback, going back to John Elway, and continuing through the recently-ended Kyle Orton era.  The Broncos just haven’t ever had guys who were very comfortable or consistent with setting up the screen game, so a potentially devastating weapon has often not been used much.

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Broncos guaranteed 2nd- to 6th-pick overall

Wins by Denver, Cincinnati, Washington and Detroit today have assured that the Broncos will select no worse than 6th overall in next April's draft. However, with the Broncos' victory over the Texans, the Carolina Panthers have now won are now locked into the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes first overall choice. A loss at home next Sunday to San Diego would ensure that Denver picks 2nd overall, while a victory could drop them potentially as low as 6th, behind Carolina, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Dallas and one of either Arizona or San Francisco.

Week 16 Open Thread

Enjoy the games everyone, and Go (umm, play well and lose) Broncos!!!

2014 Offseason

Offseason coverage