The Broncos are going to London; their fans are just going barmy.
I’m not going to lie to you. This week’s version of the Stats That Don’t Lie aren’t cracking. In fact, they are quite beastly.
In what seems like a bad horror movie marathon, these stats just keep cutting deeper and deeper.
This week, in an attempt to keep you gobsmacked, I not only compared the Broncos to the league average in each category, I decided to give you their ranking as well. I wanted you to see just how bad it’s become.
So without further delay, let’s get to the stats, which are always on the job and never stop to take a mick.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Why so happy? Well, the Broncos didn’t give up 59 points yesterday. Plus, I’m not a Cowboys fan. 1-5 with SB aspirations and our quarterback is done for the year? Yes, things could be worse for Broncos fans. Obviously, I agree with the readers who have pointed out the shock value of those opening minutes Sunday, the three plays that virtually decided the game, and with TJ’s column on momentum. I have never seen anything like that happen to the Broncos before, not even close. Yet, they’ve got to be able to stop the run. We knew last week the Raiders would run the ball, and once they got up 21-0 they didn’t even need to pass the ball. Is it hard to stop the run without several of your best defensive players? Absolutely. But after a fine performance against the Jets’ vaunted rushing attack, there are no excuses for the very same personnel allowing 328 yards on the ground. Robert Ayers is still at least a few weeks away from returning, and it doesn’t sound like Brian Dawkins will be back this week, either. So the guys who are actually playing have to come up with a little bit more, because we’re looking at Frank Gore this Sunday.
Clearly, today is not a good day to be a Broncos fan. But you knew that. We’re all licking our wounds, catching heat from our friends and colleagues. In fact, I even had to get down on my knee and proclaim to a guy I work with that he was right and I was wrong, with an audience of 30 or more watching. That was the bet, and he took the Raiders while I of course took the Broncos. Didn’t work out so well for me, and there are cellphone pics to prove it. Beat that, Favruh!
But really, things could be much, much worse for you (and us) as Broncos fans. Let’s consider some of the ways…
Note: Each Monday we take a look at a player the Broncos used in a new, creative, or interesting way from the previous day’s game. This week we’re getting a second plate of not a player, but how momentum affected the Broncos yesterday.
If you’ve ever played any sport at even the lowest of competitive levels, you’ve felt the power of momentum.
When the sea of momentum changes against you, it’s palpable; you feel it throughout your body. Suddenly, there goes your mind.
Once your mind goes, strange things happen—records are even set in the process.
After reviewing the first three drives on tape last night, I kept returning to this concept of momentum—not on purpose, mind you. I kept wanting to blame specific players. I kept wanting to blame Josh McDaniels. But I kept coming back to momentum.
Not such a good morning, Broncos fans. Gotta refer to them as the Oakland Raiders today - yes, they deserve it. In what may have been the worst loss in regular-season history for Denver, the Raiders beat the Broncos 59-14. Fifty-nine points. In three quarters. I’m actually not sure what is more impressive - a 59 on a golf course or 59 points in three quarters of professional football. After four attempts, the Broncos under Josh McDaniels have yet to win a divisional home game, and the Raiders have now won three straight in Denver. There were no bright spots, so let’s get that out of the way. As for the doom and gloom, where to start?
How about injuries? Perrish Cox left with a concussion, Kevin Vickerson re-aggravated his groin injury, Marcus Thomas hurt his right shoulder, and Demaryius Thomas may have injured a thumb. So, nobody had a season-ending injury. That’s about as good as the news gets today.
Has there ever been a worse 1st half in Broncos history?
Not in recent memory. Halloween came one week early in Denver.
Before most Broncos fans had a chance to see Tom Cable’s frightening haircut on the jumbo screen, they were down 24-0.
The defense ran confused; Kyle Orton threw confused; Josh McDaniels was confused.
But don’t confuse them with a playoff contender. In arguably the worst division in football, the Broncos are the cellar zombies of the AFC West. The season is effectively done.
Perhaps the Broncos were thinking about what scary costumes they were going to wear in London next week. So they decided to take an eyepatch from every Raiders player, coach, and fan, and put them on both eyes.
Enjoy the games, and Go Broncos!!!
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.