"Fire is the test of gold; adversity, of strong men." Lucius Annaeus Seneca, 4 B.C.E.-65 C.E.
The Denver Broncos are off to as fast a start as anyone could have predicted. The new management has done a remarkable job in finding players that fit the scheme, looking for leadership qualities as well as playing skill and suitability, drafting the exact players they needed and instilling both scheme and attitude to win games right away. This weekend will bring about a contest that Broncos fans everywhere look forward to - going into the Black Hole to fight the Raiders in an old grudge match that's one of the great rivalries in the NFL. It's a great weekend for football!
As promised, here is Between The Lines, featuring two games, as promised.
Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos
a. The first thing that jumped out in re-watching the game was how excellent the Broncos line was in pass protection. I only saw two missed assignments the whole game in protection. Ryan Harris whiffed on David Bowens on 3rd-and-goal, with Tony Scheffler wide open for TD. Orton was hit as he threw, and the ball was short. Later, a blitz got to Orton from right up the middle, and Casey Wiegmann and Chris Kuper missed it, and left the hole wide open. Orton was again hit as he threw, and the ball fell incomplete. Other than that, the play of the Broncos line in protection was superb. Kamerion Wimbley had absolutely nothing for Ryan Clady, but that wasn't too surprising.
Happy Tuesday, friends. We're back with another edition of ST&NO, because this train can't be stopped. Fresh off a weekend full of football, we have a lot to discuss; so read it, ponder it, and share your thoughts.
In God we trust. All others must bring data.
—Robert W. Hayden
After the crazy Indy and Miami game, I'm out a little faster with the stats for Week 2. Thanks to everyone for reading these. For those that want to review the rational for why I keep track of these four stats, check out the Introduction (not perfect, but useful). In short, there is a very high correlation between winning the battle of turnovers, time of possession, third down efficiency, and field possession. By far, the most important battle is turnovers, followed by field position.
Jail House (Raider) Rock - Lebowskibronco
The warden threw a party in the county jail.
The Black Hole was there and they began to wail.
The Hutt was jumpin' and the joint began to swing.
You should've heard those knocked out Raider Fans sing.
Sunday's game was a coming out party of sorts for Elvis Dumervil. the 5'11", 248 lb outside linebacker for the Denver Broncos. "Doom" was an undersized defensive end for the past two seasons. While his production at that position was nothing to ignore, Dumervil wasn't able to fend off the tackles, shed the blocks and bring down the bball carrier in the running game. He was a sack master, but tended to be a one-trick pony. He has incredibly long arns, though, and Josh McDaniels and Mike Nolan decided to win the game by changing the rules. Doom was going to become an outside linebacker, dropping into coverage as needed, sealing the edge agsinst rushers and always, to his delight, getting a chance to chase down quarterbacks.
20 points to ponder...
1. They didn't do enough with the front 7
2. They've got too many running backs
3. Orton can't play this game
4. The offense will have to keep us in the games.
5. We can't score without Brandon Marshall
Last week I was guilty while watching the Broncos and Bengals. While I hadn't descended into the abyss that is being a Raider fan, I made a pair of very silly mistakes:
I made snap judgements on both Champ Bailey and Brandon Marshall.
And my evidence? A few plays. For Bailey, it was one play in which he cheated to the inside on a deep out (level 3) run by Chad Ochocinco. Yes, Ocho beat him on the play (not badly). But it happened to be the only play in the entire game that Bailey got beat. The only damn play! But, of course, when you are caught up with the emotion of the game, you tend to make snap judgements like this that are not normally in your character.
Happy Saturday, Broncos fans, and other distinguished guests. I said I would have something up this weekend, and I do. Since Hoosierteacher runs Chalk Talk on Fridays, I think I am going to regularly run this feature on Saturdays. Please look for it if you like it. I mentioned in ST&NO that I have been having technical difficulties with this project. Unfortunately, my Madden footage came through in black and white for some reason this week, and I didn't realize it until last night. Last week, the Pinnacle rendering software was freezing up; so, I guess this is better. At least I got SOME video. I will work on figuring out the problem for next week.
I never keep a scorecard or the batting averages. I hate statistics. What I got to know, I keep in my head.
There are some stats that are meaningful, and there are some that ain't (the blood alcohol content of a Raider fan, for instance).
I'd like to bring you each week the stats that matter. These are the stats that don't lie. These aren't your QB ratings or your road/dome winning percentages. No way.