Digesting the Chargers Offense

Happy Thursday, friends.  I thought I’d take a few minutes today to talk about the Chargers offense, and how the Broncos can best contain it.  They did a pretty solid job against them in San Diego last November, holding Philip Rivers and Company to thirteen points, and in a general way, Monday will see a stronger Broncos defense playing against a weaker Chargers offense.

Mr. Rivers has always reminded me of Bernie Kosar, and I think his game is slipping in his early 30s, similarly to how Kosar’s did.  His numbers aren’t that bad so far in 2012, but I just don’t see the same guy on video that I saw three or four years ago.

The receiving group that Rivers is working with is diminished from 2011, too.  Losing Vincent Jackson and replacing him with Robert Meachem is a bad deal.  Eddie Royal, nice guy that he is, still struggles to get open against a zone defense.  An underrated loss in the Chargers’ passing game is running back Mike Tolbert, who caught 54 passes for the Bolts last season.  His replacement, Jackie Battle, doesn’t have that kind of receiving skill, and he has just six catches for 49 yards in five games.

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Quick breather turned into long one for Von Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! It's been an interesting week for discussing the quality of each city's fans, what with the Arrowhead cheering of the concussed Matt Cassel.

Denver is certainly not above the fray, as some of our own booed then-new starting QB Kyle Orton in the team's 2009 scrimmage at the then-Big IF. Of course, then came the billboards a year ago.

Due south of Kansas City, Dallas's fans have been dragged into the discussion. You know, America's Team.

Brandon Marshall went so far as to say his team's trip to play the Cowboys "felt like a home game," what with the large Bears contingent in attendance.

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Dominance, thy name is Terrell Davis Lard

Good Evening, Broncos fans! By now, all of us who were around for the heyday of Terrell Davis's Denver career have either delivered or been presented with the case for his HOF worthiness.

We like to stress his status as the greatest postseason runner in NFL history, but the most common ammunition is that TD was absolutely dominant, and for a period, the best player in the NFL. He's got the hardware to back that up: the SB MVP, the league MVP, and the 2,000-yard season. Only TD comes to mind as the best (eligible) player on multiple SB-winning teams to not be in the HOF.

Generally, the argument against his inclusion boils down to the supposed brevity of his career, or the success of subsequent Denver running backs in the Shanahan/Gibbs zone-blocking system.

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Unlike in 2011, 2012 Broncos gashed on third and long Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Mistakes and a difficult schedule have often been cited as the main culprits in Denver's three losses.

But let's not forget about the factor of luck, specifically when it comes to fumbles.

As mentioned by Andrew Mason, the team has had the remarkable misfortune of having lost all seven of its offensive fumbles - three by Demaryius Thomas, two by Willis McGahee, and one each by Peyton Manning and Knowshon Moreno.

For clarity's sake, Thomas's first fumble was on the game-ending hook-and-lateral play against Houston, and of course, Knowshon's fumble was clearly recovered by Eric Decker before the scab refs did their thing. From our vantage that's really six offensive fumbles and what should be one own recovery.

Even with those tweaks, the Broncos have been unlucky - but not quite as unfortunate as Mason's 47.82% defensive recovery figure suggests.

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STDL: Broncos still pretty good, despite 2-3 record

Welcome to the Week 6 edition of the Stats That Don't Lie. So far, we've been tracking the Broncos' ranking via the metrics of Brian Burke's efficiency ratings and PFR's Simple Rating System (SRS).

Starting today, we'll add in PFF's grading system, so that we're accounting for what the tape says as well.

As we expected, Sunday's loss at New England did little to harm Denver's standing relative to the ANS and PFR metrics.

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You Got Served: Taking stock of the Broncos after five games

Happy Tuesday, friends.  I wanted to take a few moments today to evaluate the overall state of affairs for the 2012 Broncos.  When you’re a fan of a team, it’s easy to watch a few losses, and take them hard, and get all emotional about them.  It can seem like all is lost, and that this guy should get benched, and that guy should get fired, and that if you were the GM, things would be different.

I’m a professional analyst, and a key part of the analyst skill set is the ability to be dispassionate, and just try to see things for what they are.  I work with a guy who is a Steelers fan, and he keeps his security badge on a Steelers lanyard, and he has Steelers crap on his car, and in his office.  That’s not the kind of Broncos fan I am.  I’ve owned two Broncos jerseys in the last 10 years or so, and they’re both useless now.  (Catler and Teebs, if you must know).

I’m not a fanatic – I started out being one as a kid, but in the course of becoming a widely-read writer about the Broncos, my approach to fanhood became kind of professional and dispassionate.  This is like a job, and today, I’m going to do my job, and tell you what I think is going on with the Broncos without emotion.

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Carter apologizes for tasteless tweet

Tony Carter set the Twittersphere afire last night with a wildly insensitive remark about seeing a late movie in the Denver area. Not sure what took so long, but he recently apologized:

We'll hope Carter truly understands how vile his original tweet was, and that it's the last of the sort from any Denver player.

One word at heart of Patriots’ pace Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! From a league-wide view, rather than a Broncos perspective, there was one facet of Sunday's loss to the Patriots that stood out: the pace with which New England's offense operated.

The haters will always call him a cheater, but the reality is that Bill Belichick always finds an edge. It's ironic that he's considered to be arrogant, with the truth being that Belichick is forever on a knowledge quest, and never do his actions suggest that he thinks he's figured everything out.

It's why he's constantly evolving, and why his Patriots have reflected so many different philosophies despite having the same superstar quarterback for the past 12 seasons.

We are all aware of the Hoodie's meetings of the mind with Urban Meyer, and with former Belichick assistant Nick Saban.

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Open Thread: MNF Week 5 - Texans @ Jets

Here are the inactive lists; Tim Tebow is reportedly expected to see more playing time tonight. Why let something like that slip? Perhaps it's because there are unsold tickets for the game.

Leave it to Teebs to know that tonight's is the 666th MNF game, and to tweet about it. Skip Bayless predicts that if Tebow takes over next week, he'll lead the Jets to a 7-4 finish and a playoff berth, all while summoning up the chutzpah to call himself "EXTREMELY OBJECTIVE" about Teebs (yes, in all caps).

Andy BenoitDoug FarrarKhaled Elsayed, and Ben Shpigel preview the matchup; Jason Whitlock says the Commish should just put the Jets out of their misery.

Enjoy the game!

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Eric Winston to fans: We’re not gladiators

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