Things My Eyes Saw and My Brain Thought: Week 2

I'm still in the process of watching every game in its entirety (Directv's Short Cuts is well worth the 99 bucks.)  For now, some notes on things I already saw and thought.

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Tales from the SunnySide: Proverbs

Proverb

Part of Speech:

noun

Definition:

A usually pithy and familiar statement expressing an observation or principle generally accepted as wise or true.

Synonyms:

adage, aphorism, byword, maxim, motto, saw, saying

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On controversy, cojones, and conversions

OK, the Chargers got jobbed on the fumble call.  No argument there, but if they had won on that play, it would have been because of a fluky, untouched fumble.  In other words, it would not have indicated any semblance of Chargers superiority.  Instead of losing on a weird fluky play, they didn't lose on another weird fluky play.  By the way, the Champ Bailey play in the 1st quarter was not as clear to me as it was to Randy Cross.  I thought that was very close.

The sequence following the fumble was really compelling.  The key play-call to securing the win was the draw to Selvin Young on 3rd and Goal from the 10.  Watching it, I thought it was brilliant, because I'd rather have one shot to score on 4th down, and leave 24 seconds on the clock, than I would take 2 shots into the end zone from the 10, with a minute to go.  I think the probabilities are better, given the abysmal defense seen from both teams today.  The call on 4th down was very smart, but really, par for the course of the game. 

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Report: Lane Kiffin to be fired as soon as Monday

ESPN's Chris Mortensen is reporting that Lane Kiffin is expected to be fired as soon as Monday, regardless of the outcome of today's game in Kansas City.  This would be a really sad day to be a Raiders fan, as I believe Kiffin to be the best coach they've had since Jon Gruden.  They're still losing, but the direction of the team looked much better last season than it had since at least the Gruden days.

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Chargers feeling defensive

If Broncos fans are thinking of how the offense is going to match up with the Chargers D, the San Diego papers are thinking about the same thing. This morning’s Union-Tribune ran a page 1 (Sports, of course – there’s another section of the paper?) article on the verities and weaknesses of the Charger D.

First in their sights was the play of Matt Wilhelm, the (currently) much maligned ILB. He acknowledged that right now, he’s been,  

“…tentative at times, a step behind or out of the play.”

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Broncos/Raiders postgame wrap-up

After two+ days of fighting the box monster I finally had enough time to sit down with the remote and pick apart as much of the Broncos tape as I could. I'm not a top analyist by any stretch, but there were a few things that I thought I'd like to share with the MHR community at large.

Two statistics on Cutler flew by me in the heat of the moment(s) and are worth repeating for those who might have missed them. Cutler is usually called a pocket passer but this is misleading. Over the past two years, he has the highest QB rating in the NFL when throwing from outside the pocket. That's right - numero uno.

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The game goes on, Peter, you fool

MHR Regulars are familiar with my "respect" for the insight and analysis of SI's Peter King.  Today, in his weekly Monday Morning QB column, he took the cake, and we can at least be happy that he wasn't directly slighting any Broncos in doing so.

The premise of his stupid article (he's relentlesslt consistent!) was that the suits at the NFL learned a lesson yesterday with Tom Brady's injury, that they shouldn't ever consider lengthening the regular season, because players get hurt.  Where to begin with this bit of foolishness?

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Things my eyes saw and my brain thought today…

As a subscriber to Directv's Sunday Ticket package, I've had the chance to watch a lot of games today.  The only ones I didn't watch any of were Buffalo-Seattle and San Francisco-Arizona.  Observations on the other games follow.

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Tales from the SunnySide

San Diego – Opening Day

The morning fog slid over the waterfront like the greasy sauce on the enchiladas. The marine layer began to burn off just as the lattes were sliding into the cheaper seats in Qualcomm Stadium and another year of football was about to begin for the Chargers. It’s hard to sneak a 400 lb. Bear into the stadium, but I’m doing my job. I’m here to spy for the MHR.

The papers are but lightly filled with info on this team. The best article of the day was a short reflective on Charger history by Jerry Magee, and it might have been his last column for the Union-Tribune (downsizing – very sad). In it, he made the point that your record after having the most time to game-plan for any contest of the year matters - the best of coaches are ready to go for opening day (Shanahan is 11-4 on opening day going into tomorrow’s contest; Holmgren is next at 10-6).  Norv Turner may not have read this, and certainly he didn’t internalize it – he’s now 4-7. The Chargers came out soft, unfocused, and ready to lose. They went on to carry out their game-plan. 

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1st and 10 for Ryan Clady

When draft day rolled around this year, a lot of folks didn’t think that the Broncos had much of a chance. Pick #12 was a little too high for comfort, the critics said. There wouldn’t be a player there that was would be worth the high salary the pick demanded. Perhaps a running back, someone like Jonathan Stewart or even Mendenhall of Illinois, would give the Broncos that needed push, that power that Denver needed to put them back on top. More likely, it was said, they should think about trading down.

Others pointed to Chris Williams, himself of Vanderbilt, as one who could protect Cutler’s blind side. He might not be top 12 material, they admitted, but Lepsis retired because after years of hard work, finally injuries had taken their toll and he wasn’t ready to be any help. Pears wasn’t ready (if he ever would be) and Ryan Harris was too much of an unknown after two back surgeries at a young age. Yes, people generally agreed, Denver needed a LT, but Clady would be long gone and the second tier of those available might not be worth the money. So, go with a RB or improve a different category of player altogether.

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2014 Offseason

All Offseason Coverage