STDL: Sunday a foregone conclusion?

So, the Chiefs suck, the Broncos are well-rounded and still improving, and may be the best team in the NFL.

The kickoff time for Pats/Dolphins has been shifted to 4:25pm ET, in order to coincide with Broncos/Chiefs, and ensure that Denver has something to play for.

Should be a blowout, right?

Probably, but the Broncos were supposed to have emerged from Kansas City with more than the eight-point victory they did a month ago.

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Homefield Advantage still mulling over potential ski trip to Denver

Denver--With Week 17 almost in the books, Homefield Advantage is still weighing his options.

Faced with the prospect of Houston, Denver, or New England, the elusive recluse, who has vacationed in New England during the last two years, could only say: "I've not made any decision yet."

It's thought that the Houston Texans may have the inside edge due to Houston's mild winter climate, but Denver's ski slopes could also be a deciding factor.  It's unlikely, though, that Homefield Advantage would want a third straight trip to the bitter wind and cold of New England.  By Friday morning, he wasn't giving anything away.

"I love Aspen," he said.  "The girls on the slopes are pretty stacked, if you know what I mean.  And I've not seen Denver since I freebased some NoDoz on gameday with Mark Brunell in '96.  But, listen, I also love moon rocks, too.  Isn't that where Kennedy was shot?  Wait, is Dallas out of this thing yet?"

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Must have been the LOLJets’ cook Lard

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! So, turns out that the UT™ didn't actually demand out of the LOLJets Wildcat package, thus preserving his reputation as someone who would never tell a lie. Neat little trick by the Tebow camp:

One last word on what was effectively a Tim Tebow mutiny. A source close to the situation explained that Tebow didn't say directly to coach Rex Ryan that he would no longer play in the wildcat after learning he was being passed over for Greg McElroy. But this fact was definitely conveyed to the Jets from a member of the Tebow camp -- with Tebow's knowledge -- to the Jets.

Tebow is a good human being. There's no question about that, but there's also no question this was blatant insubordination. It doesn't matter if Tebow later came to his senses and told Ryan he would do whatever the team needed. It was too late.

If almost any other player had pulled a stunt like this, they'd be pilloried by fans. The same should happen to Tebow.

Yeah, we know - Timmy played hard for the Broncos in 2011. Big whoop. Does that mean the other 52 guys on the roster didn't?

Why was it okay to call all summer long for D.J. Williams's head while excusing everything from the UT™? Did D.J. - who was the team's leading tackler and third-leading sack man - not play hard last year too? Can anyone really be sure the Broncos would have made the playoffs without D.J.?

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Fat Camp: Understanding what makes Jacob Tamme important to the Denver offense

Happy Thursday, friends.  I happened to notice in the Lard the other day that Jeff Legwold had written a stupid article for the Denver Post.  Shocker, I know.

TJ told me recently that Leggy is like 5 foot 4, so every time I think of him now, I picture a Hobbit.  And really, how can a dude who is that short have a nickname like Leggy?  Shouldn’t it be Stumpy or something?

We ponder only the most important questions at IAOFM.  You’re welcome.

This is the article that I’m referring to, and it’s the one in which Jacob Tamme is shouted out by Peyton Manning as a key to the Broncos offense.  There are two things that I find completely silly about it, and if you follow me over the jump, I’ll tell you what they are.

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Why the 2-13 Chiefs sent five players to the Pro Bowl

Yesterday and today, there has been a collective gasp across Broncos Country that the Chiefs--yes, the lowly and wretched Kansas City Chiefs, whom Denver will host on Sunday to close out the regular season--placed five players on the AFC Pro Bowl team.

The thinking seems to be that a 2-13 team can't possibly deserve such honors.  After all, if their players were any good, they'd have a better record.  While there's certainly some truth in that line of thinking, and the Pro Bowl has largely become a game for divas, as they say in Spain, "no sé qué," which, roughly translated, means "Kansas City has good barbeque."  In other words, it's not always so crazy when you scarf meat from bone and get into the details.  

Before we take a look at whom the Chiefs actually put into the Pro Bowl, though, we should recognize that a lot of things influence a team's record.  Just because the Chiefs are 2-13 and the Broncos 12-3, it's not necessarily always a reflection of better play at specific positions.

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Von Miller is here to stay Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Yesterday afternoon, we discussed the Denver futures of Von Miller, Demaryius Thomas, and Ryan Clady.

Let's consider a few more points about Miller's situation, because it's not a simple matter of prioritizing one player over the others.

To be sure, Miller is the best player of that trio, and perhaps to a greater degree, most important to the Broncos in the long term. Therefore, he's undoubtedly the one guy we'd all choose for Denver to lock up with a lengthy, lucrative deal - more than any other player on the roster.

But chronologically, it's rather unlikely to play out that way. Check out this provision of the current CBA:

A Rookie Contract for a Drafted Rookie may not be renegotiated, amended or altered in any way until after the final regular season game of the player’s third contract year.

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Five Broncos named to 2013 Pro Bowl

Peyton Manning, Von Miller, and Champ Bailey were named Pro Bowl starters today; Ryan Clady and Elvis Dumervil are on the AFC team, but are not starters.

Demaryius Thomas, Chris Kuper, Zane Beadles, Eric Decker, David Bruton, and Britton Colquitt are alternates should players ahead of them on the roster not play due to either injury or their teams being in the Super Bowl.

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How big will Ryan Clady’s raise be? At least $6M

Following a season during which he faced the unenviable task of blocking for a player who used the entire 160-foot width of the field as his pocket, Ryan Clady received the ultimate gift in the form of Peyton Manning last March.

By choosing not to accept the reported $28M in guarantees offered him by Denver over the summer, he set himself up for an even bigger prize.

At the least, Clady figures to receive the Broncos' franchise tag, which will provide him with $9.66M in guaranteed salary, which is more than a $6M bump up from his 2012 salary of $3.5M.

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Ravens round out 2013 home opponents

Thanks to their having clinched the AFCN on Sunday, the Ravens will have the misfortune of seeing the Broncos again next year, and even worse (for them), they'll be traveling to Denver for the rematch.

In addition to the AFCW teams, Denver will host Jacksonville, Tennessee, Philly, Washington, and Baltimore. They'll head to the road for matchups with the G-Men, Cowboys, Texans, Colts, and Patriots.

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Prater providing little/no advantage on kickoffs Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Prior to Sunday's game, we checked on Matt Prater's statistics from this season, and what we found wasn't pretty.

Prater's not only been struggling with inaccuracy on field goals, but is allowing teams better starting position following kickoffs than teammates are, at least in the mile high confines of SAF@MH. You know - where Prater is supposed to be blasting touchbacks on every try. Sunday's visit from Josh Cribbs did nothing to help Prater's numbers.

What about on the road? Let's take a look.

Just to clarify our data, and this applies to the home numbers as well, we've excluded all onside kicks, squibs, and kicks by Britton Colquitt.

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