The Jesus, The Generator and the Experts - Week 5

If you didn’t know, this week they awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

But more importantly, what exactly was Peter King doing?

Continuing to get his butt kicked by my picks, that’s what.

As we usually do, we ask our random number generator (RNG) to makes its picks for the week’s NFL games.  We then compare these picks to the so-called experts.  To make things even more lively, I include my cat, Jesus Quintana, in on the picks, along with Doug Lee and myself (Doc Bear is too smart for this).  The RNG is simply armed with the notion that 57% of the time, the home team is a winner in the NFL.  Quintana picks between two quarters as I drop them to the floor.  Doug Lee uses his superior intellect.

I use Kahlua and a proprietary mathematical formula.  If that doesn’t work, I just drink more of grandpa’s cough medicine.

So how has the RNG done?

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Knowshon, Larsen out Lard 10-9-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Unfortunately, Knowshon Moreno and Spencer Larsen have been ruled out for tomorrow’s game in Baltimore. Andre’ Goodman and Wesley Woodyard are listed as questionable. Meanwhile, Champ Bailey thinks he could get dealt away. Can’t see that happening, but if it does then the Broncos must have an even higher opinion of Perrish Cox than we thought. Naturally, the geniuses over at Bleacher Report are speculating on a Bailey trade to the Patriots for G Logan Mankins. Can’t even make this stuff up. Well, they can…

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Broncography: The story of Demaryius Thomas, Part 2

Note: This is the second of a two-part story, the first of which appeared earlier today.

Wise beyond his years, he realized that he was about an average size for a shooting guard. He was big and fast enough to do great things as a WR, and realized that there weren’t that many NFL receivers with his combination of size, speed and elusiveness. He looked for colleges with just that in mind. To him, Georgia Tech seemed like a very good fit. Chan Gailey was running a pro-style attack, and that seemed to Thomas as if it might improve his chances in the NFL Draft.

Following his 2007 season, however, the Yellow Jackets brought in Paul Johnson to run the triple-option offense; one which emphasizes various options that put up a lot of running yards and had worked well for Johnson when he was at Navy.  One of the advantages for Demaryius was that he was, from his time in high school and middle school, already a remarkably advanced blocker. He had taken the usual freshman redshirt year and got the work on his management degree well underway. He returned to football in 2007. He playing in all 13 of their games that year, started 10, including the final 8 games. He was second on the team in receptions with 35. He also managed to average 15.9 yards per reception, and was a fierce blocker. Two of the receivers from GT left, unhappy with the installation of the triple option. DT decided to stay.

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Broncography: The story of Demaryius Thomas, Part 1

Note: This is the first of a two-part story, the rest of which will appear later today at 3pm ET.

It’s a story that’s been seen in every city in America: Life becomes more and more difficult, and a family can’t manage the bills. In this family, as is far too common in black society here in the US, there was no husband; just two women - a mother and her daughter - and a young boy, living in Montrose, Georgia. That child, Demaryius Thomas, had been born on Christmas Eve 1987, one of three children. Demaryius also had two sisters,  Tonecia and Tyeshia Smith. Like many people before them, they decided to accept values that were common in their own neighborhood. The older woman - grandmother to the child of the daughter that lived with her - began to sell drugs, starting with marijuana. It was illegal, dangerous for her, common in that strata of our society, and it made sure that food was on the table and a working roof was over their heads. She first sold marijuana, and was arrested and convicted for it within the first year that she began to sell it - in 1986.

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Contract talks off with Champ Lard 10-8-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The injury roller coaster rolls on, as Knowshon Moreno missed practice yesterday and is “questionable” for Sunday, according to Josh McDaniels. Andre’ Goodman and Wesley Woodyard again were limited participants. In another surprising turn, the Broncos have decided to put off contract negotiations with Champ Bailey’s agent until after the season after reportedly being close to a deal.

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Preparing for Baltimore

In 2009, the Baltimore Ravens welcomed Denver to their fair city and beat the living bejabbers out of them. Denver was coming off their bye week, and they had taken the time to rest. Some fans thought that this showed a lack of discipline on the part of the coaches and players. What those fans didn’t know was that it really indicated a lack of depth on the team - the starters were simply worn out, and this wasn’t a team that had enough talent to let the rotational players spend too much time on the field. The final outcome - losing 8 of their last 10 games - started that fine autumn afternoon, and it rarely got any better. But, what’s changed since then?

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The Dude’s Mail Revue: The redneck, the Champ, and the slasher flick

Dude's Mail Revue 400x145

Fat Man blogger TJ “The Dude” Johnson posts The Dude’s Mail Revue on Thursdays, in which he takes your questions about the state of the Denver Broncos. Got a titillating question? Put a dollar bill into the Dude’s G-String and he might answer your question—after bowling practice.

Duderino, I’m not the first person to point out that a certain 250-lb. running back is shredding defenses in Cleveland, Ohio.  We had that kind of talent in our backfield and we wasted it!  Why?  Does Josh McDaniels not know talent when he sees it?  And all we got in return was a tee-shirt and Brady Quinn.  I’m with that guy from the Denver Post (I can’t remember his name, but I know he’s not Woody Paige) who said that McDaniels really got it wrong by letting Peyton Hillis go.  Really really wrong!
—Don, Bay Village, Ohio

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Knowshon back to practice Lard 10-7-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! There were some positive developments yesterday as Knowshon Moreno, Andre’ Goodman and Wesley Woodyard returned to practice, albeit in limited fashion. Spencer Larsen is still out, while Champ Bailey did not practice for personal reasons. In case you missed it, Randy Moss was traded to the Vikings after more hissyfits in New England, and Roy Halladay pitched the second no-hitter in postseason history. Yes, I know - it’s baseball news and this is a football blog (plus I’m a Mets fan), but I find it deserving of mention, even here.

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Getting deep about running the ball

I’m a corporate finance guy, by profession, and one of my favorite words is fungible.  It’s a fairly specialized word, and many of you may not know it, so I’ll explain what it means.  If an item is fungible, that means that individual units of that item have mutual sameness, in terms of value, and are easily substituted.  (Commodities tend to be fungible, as mutual sameness is a lot of what makes something a commodity rather than a product.)  Currency is fungible.  One dollar bill has the exact same value as another dollar bill, even if the second one has a phone number written on it lipstick.  A bushel of corn is also fungible, as is a barrel of light sweet crude oil.  Here is the Wikipedia article, if you’re interested.

Employees tend not to be fungible.  Do y’all know of Bill Barnwell of Football Outsiders?  He’s kind of a B-minus football thinker who thinks he’s an A-plus.  Like all the guys at Football Outsiders, and others of their ilk, they tend to over-value statistics, especially the proprietary ones that they create.  Anyway, this fellow Barnwell had a silly tweet the other night.

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Huge Decision of the Week: Broncos-Titans, Week 4

Note: Each Wednesday,  we take a look at a critical coaching decision from the prior week’s game that had an impact on the final score—from a statistical point.

Josh McDaniels is known for having a playbook a mile high, each week throwing multiple formations, personnel packages, and looks at the defense.

Against the Titans, he thinned the playbook out real fast.  Unable to run for much (all) of the game, the Broncos were forced into an aerial attack.

McDaniels himself is quoted as saying that at about the midway point of the 4th quarter, he essentially abandoned the running attack:

“We’re not going to go into any game and try to be one dimensional.  I think, though, at some point in a game, and for today it was 9:27 to go in the fourth quarter, we were, ‘That’s it. That’s enough.’”

Certainly, the Broncos never intended to throw the ball as many times as they did last Sunday,  but I do believe that the Broncos were heavily skewed towards the pass from the kickoff.  In fact, I think it was the focus of their game plan.  And that choice to attack the Titans, who came into the league as a highly-ranked passing defense—is our huge decision of the week.

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