The Daily Lard 10-31-11

Happy Halloween, Broncos fans! Unfortunately, it seems Tim Tebow & Co. got all their treats a week early, because yesterday was just one big trick - and the Lions just weren't fooled by Tim's winner costume in their 45-10 victory (box score). In fact, Detroit didn't follow the script properly at all, because their Scooby Doo-style unveiling of Tebow as a fraud came way too early in the show. Or, was it that Tebow turned into a pumpkin when struck by a more talented team? Because really, the Broncos looked like a bunch of headless horsemen yesterday.

Okay, no more Halloween puns. Last week we got 55 minutes of ugly from Denver, and yesterday wasn't really any better. Granted, Tebow for much of the game looked better than he had in Miami, but that's hardly saying anything at all. We can pin it on the coaches, on the offensive line, the receivers, the defense. But this is the NFL, and it's all about the quarterback - or wouldn't this team have started out 4-1 or 5-0 had Tebow been the QB from Week 1?

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Gut Reaction: Week 8 - Broncos vs. Lions

A day before Halloween, the Broncos dressed in orange.

They got smashed like pumpkins.

We knew ahead of the game that John Fox was going to feed his Frankenstein and implement a mish mash of several college offenses to attack the Lions and unleash the Tebow.

Instead he unleashed a nightmare.  He got the same ugly first half as last week.  It sent children screaming into the night.

The second half wasn't any better--no miracle catches, no onside kick recoveries, and no mental errors by the other team.  Nada de nada.

Intangibles?  Leadership?

Does it matter?  Detroit brought guns.  The Broncos got murdered.

Happy Helloween, Denver.

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Open Thread - Sunday Week 8

Enjoy the games everyone, and Go Broncos! Inactive for Denver are Brady Quinn, Willis McGahee, Rafael Bush, Quinn Johnson, Manny Ramirez, Tony Hills, and Derrick Harvey. For Detroit, QB Drew Stanton, DB Don Carey, RB Jahvid Best, T Jason Fox, WR Rashied Davis, DT Nick Fairley, and S Chris Harris are out.

Check here for the rest of the day's inactives.

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Fat Pickins (and probability) - Week 8

With ten minutes remaining before the first game today, here are the picks.

Sorry it took so long to get these out.

I was busy watching college football into the wee hours of the night.

Today's games feature a lot of big favorites.  That means we should see a lot of blowouts, right?

I highly doubt it.

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Corey Webster making NY a two-cornerback town

NY Giants' Corey Webster may not be NY Jets' Darrelle Revis, but he is becoming Big Blue's own shutdown corner

The laptop computer in Corey Webster’s locker is filled with video of Brandon Marshall, the dangerous receiver he’ll be shadowing all afternoon. It has more than that, too. It’s a treasure trove of clips of the NFL’s best receivers and cornerbacks.

It also has clips of nearly every play Webster has ever made.

The Daily Lard 10-30-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver has interestingly foregone the option to add another running back to the active roster today, so only Knowshon Moreno and Lance Ball will suit up in the absence of Willis McGahee. Obviously, Tim Tebow's running skills (on both designed and improvised plays) are a factor, and the team does have two fullbacks in Spencer Larsen and Quinn Johnson, who dressed last week in Miami after having been claimed on waivers from Tennessee three weeks ago. Presumably one of the fullbacks would fill in at halfback should Knowshon and Ball suffer injuries, and TE Dante Rosario has seen action at FB as a Bronco. Denver has one tailback on the practice squad: Jeremiah Johnson, who had been activated for the Week 2 victory over Cincinnati.

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Fat Off the Bone: Week 8 - Tebow and Stafford

Tomorrow's game features two young quarterbacks who still have a lot to prove.

For Matt Stafford, it's if he can stay healthy. For Tim Tebow, it's if he can play quarterback at all.  A lot has been said about Tebow's mechanics, decision-making abilities, and abilities in the pocket. Most of it comes in the form of generalities.  This includes heaping portions of the words "intangibles" and "pocket awareness."

The two quarterbacks are separated by about 600 throws in the NFL. That's the rough equivalent a full season. As I scouted the Lions for tomorrow, what kept coming up over and over again was just how Matthew Stafford had improved in his presnap reads, getting the ball out on his drops quickly, and trusting his instincts.

If Stafford is what Tebow want to aspire to, then what exactly does he need to do to improve?

Let's remove the hype and the emotion; let's remove the stats; let's simply see.

Perhaps then we can find agreement.

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STDL: Week 8 - Broncos vs Lions

Welcome to Week 8's Stats That Don't Lie. So far, the stats have not been lying, painting a bleak picture in Green Bay, giving the Broncos a fighting chance against San Diego, and predicting an ugly victory in Miami. Obviously, the question this week is whether the Broncos and Lions are true reflections of the figures they've posted to this point, or are they completely different teams with Denver making the change at QB and Detroit struggling on offense since Jahvid Best went down with his latest concussion? Quite frankly, we have to hope for the latter, as the numbers don't appear to give the Broncos much of a chance...

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The Daily Lard 10-29-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Chris Benson previews tomorrow's game for PFF, and he says it's practically a must-win for the Lions after having dropped two straight. He figures we'll see plenty of carries for Knowshon Moreno and Lance Ball in the absence of Willis McGahee, but says that despite Detroit's struggles against the run in recent weeks, they're not lacking for defenders who play it well.

Benson is excited for the matchup of Champ and Megatron, as he points out that most teams don't move their top cornerbacks around to shadow top receivers, unlike Denver with Bailey. As for the Denver passing game, he writes that Ndamukong Suh will be licking his chops for those frequent occasions where Tim Tebow turns himself into a runner and foregoes the NFL's quarterback-protecting rules, and that Orlando Franklin should need less help with Cliff Avril than he did against Cameron Wake of the Dolphins.

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Digesting the Lions

Happy Friday, friends.  I watched some Lions-Falcons on Thursday evening, and I think this game looks a little better for the Broncos than I thought it did a few weeks ago.  Teams are figuring out how to play the Lions, and there were a lot of lessons to be taken away from this game.

This may be shorter than a usual Digesting piece, just because the Lions aren’t doing anything tremendously complicated.  They’re trying to execute, and lately, they haven’t been getting that done very effectively.  There are reasons for that, which we’ll now explore:

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