The Playbook Abides - When a run comes together

After a bye week, you'd think there wouldn't be much Broncos football to talk about.

But you'd be wrong.  Here at Fat Man, we're always on a quest to give you the largest portions of Broncos analysis around.

So this week we're introducing a series of pieces entitled The Playbook Abides, the premise of which is to review the playbook behind a critical play from the previous week.  But because we don't have a game to review, we'll use this week to look at a variety of plays from Broncos games earlier in the year.

We can't splice and dice NFL game tapes, but you'll get the next best thing--we're going to draw them up on our own chalkboard.

Our first lesson?  What happens when the Broncos (on rare occasions this year) run the ball well.

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More ground gone Lard 11-8-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Unfortunately, yesterday did not provide the sort of respite one expects from a bye week. Jokeland and the Chefs battled it out in an exciting football game befitting a great rivalry, with Jokeland winning in OT on the strength of several huge pass plays Jason Campbell to Jacoby Ford, who also took a kickoff all the way back for a score. The Dolts got a big road win in Houston, as Philip Rivers reminded everyone of his greatness - on just 23 attempts, he racked up 295 yards, including 2 touchdown passes each to one guy you may not realize is still around (Randy McMichael), and another who you likely never heard of before yesterday, or right now (Seyi Ajirotutu).

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Week 9 Open Thread

Enjoy the games, everyone!

The Jesus, The Generator and the Experts - Week 9

I survived the first eight weeks of the Broncos' season and all I got was this lousy tee-shirt.

At least I'm still two games up on that narcissist Peter King.

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 lightning-fast mind.

I use Kahlua and a proprietary mathematical formula. If that doesn’t work, I contemplate infinity until the picks come.

This week, we continue our section called Peter King Actually Wrote This.

So how has the RNG done this week?  And am I really dropping the cat out of the picks?

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Bye Sunday Lard 11-7-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Here are the TV maps for today's games:

CBS Early Game
CBS Late Game
FOX Single Game

Enjoy your Sunday!

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The Daily Lard 11-6-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Practically nothing in terms of news relative to the Broncos. But still, plenty of good stuff to read. There are a few big college matchups today, most notable among them being #3 TCU heading to #5 Utah, and #6 Alabama taking on #10 LSU in Baton Rouge. Unfortunately, those two are both at the same time (3:30 ET). Enjoy the day, folks!

Don’t forget to Tweet Brett Kern for his forgiveness so we can lift the curse!!

BTW - tonight is the end of Daylight Savings Time, so don’t forget to set your clocks back an hour before you go to bed.

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The Curse of Brett Kern

I’m not sure about you, but I don’t believe in curses.

Which is exactly why we need to remove the current curse that has afflicted our Denver Broncos.

Perhaps you’ve hear the folklore by now, but if not, let me bring you up to speed on the legend.  Last season, the Broncos started the season 6-0.  But they probably didn’t deserve this record.  In the opener, they needed a miraculous last-minute tipped touchdown pass from Kyle Orton to Brandon Stokley to pull out the win.  In week five against Dallas, Champ Bailey made two miracle plays in the last minute of the game to preserve the victory.  But there they were—a glorious 6-0 start.  All the little Broncomaniacs were taking their vitamins and falling asleep at night with visions of the playoffs dancing through their heads. 

It appeared as if rookie head coach Josh McDaniels had been blessed with some outstanding karma.  You’d think that he would have taken that karma and retired for a few days to spend time with his family.

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Complex systems

The other day, one of our readers made an excellent point: azdenfan wondered if the complexity of the playbook is working against the Broncos right now. I agreed with him that this could easily be one of the issues facing the Broncos - last year, the Broncos ran a high rate of short passes (although they also ranked well in successful longer passes, something that was often ignored), and they had good reason to. The team was new - the systems were complex, coaches and players all had to develop a chemistry with each other. That’s still a work in progress, no question. Adding the vertical game has increased yardage, but points and wins are still elusive. Is the issue of the playbook’s complexity still hurting the team?

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Ellis speaks, says little Lard 11-5-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Mike Klis nabbed an interview with Broncos COO Joe Ellis, who responded to questions about Josh McDaniels, Pat Bowlen and Denver’s disappointing season with typical canned responses one would expect from a person in Ellis’ role. Frankly, it’s difficult (impossible?) to find anything of substance within his words, although Klis points out that Ellis didn’t guarantee that McDaniels would be around in 2011. But votes of confidence and guarantees that a coach/GM will return are often meaningless - when asked but three months ago if the Mets’ last GM would return, team owner Fred Wilpon responded rhetorically with, “Is the sun going to come up tomorrow?” only to axe Omar Minaya the day after the season ended. Besides, we’ve already heard that McDaniels will be back in 2011, and for good reason. We’ve been over the roster overhaul many times, but as Adam Schefter and others have pointed out, Mr. B is paying Mike Shanahan and McDaniels about $6.5 million in 2011 - the former not to coach, and the latter to coach. Pat Bowlen is not about to pay three head coaches at the same time. So, if it matters to you, Pat Bowlen and Joe Ellis are not happy with the Broncos’ season thus far, and the whole organization is trying really, really hard to win every week. In other words, keep buying tickets, concessions and merchandise - they feel your pain, but what did you expect them to say?

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The Dude’s Mail Revue, Week 8: The Kool-Aid, the TD birthday salute, and rockin’ the bye week

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 it—after bowling practice.

Hey, TJ:  The reason I like you is that I can’t tell if you are a Kool Aid drinker or not.  Just when I think you are about to call for the firing of McDaniels, you talk about the need for patience and on the job training.  Then, when I think you are on the Josh McDaniels Love Train, you show the Broncos’ stats on penalties, fumbles, and field position, which are some of the worst I’ve seen.  If that’s not a reason to really examine Josh’s contract at the end of the year (or now!), I don’t know what is.  You seem like a pretty levelheaded guy, but where do you stand exactly?  I think you need to get on the record. It’s a LOT easier for people to take shots at you on message boards that way.  Too bad you don’t have a time machine so you can go back and change your position if needed.
—Martin McFly, Hil Valley, California

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