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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Bite-size nuggets: The importance of a first-place schedule

Happy Monday, friends.  I’m going to give yesterday’s game a broadcast-angle review tonight, and another coach’s film review on Wednesday, but for today, I wanted to write a quick article about something that gets talked about frequently, but isn’t well-understood.  Today’s topic will be the first-place schedule.

The best path to the playoffs in the NFL is in winning your division.  Organizing in divisions is a true test of quality for a subset of teams, because for 14 of their 16 games, they play the same teams.  Here is how an NFL schedule rubric lays out:


Type of game Number
Division home-and-home 6 games
Another division in same conference 4 games
Another division in the other conference 4 games
Teams from the other divisions in same conference with same finish 2 games

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Fox, Del Rio on cutting edge with Mays Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver has been a puzzling team so far this season, with all three of its losses featuring late 20+ point deficits and furious comebacks that fell short.

Yesterday's 31-21 loss to the Patriots (Gamebook, ANS boxscore) very much resembled the Week 3 loss to the Texans, with the Broncos defense getting gashed early and often via both the run and pass, before finally finding its way a drive or two too late.

What's the cause? Is it a talent deficit? A team still learning about itself, what with so much new personnel and yet another defensive coordinator?

We've cracked the code here at IAOFM.

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Gut Reaction: Week 5 - Broncos at Patriots

It's elk season here in Colorado.

Today, the animals were safe, though.  It was the Broncos who got gutted.

The Broncos knew the Patriots were going to run a no-hunddle offense. They'd seen it on film for four weeks.

The reality of playing against the no-huddle, though, was quite different.

The Patriots regularly snapped the ball with twenty-five seconds on the clock.  That's not just a no-huddle offense. That's a video game.  Sixty minutes later, the Broncos were gassed, John Fox was baffled, and the Broncos were wounded.

Like any wounded animal, the Broncos did put up a fight.  But in the end, it's the Patriots who wore orange and came in for the kill.

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Open Thread: Sunday Week 5

Here are the day's inactive lists. Denver will be without QB Caleb Hanie, C/G C.J. Davis, DT Sealver Siliga, LB Steven Johnson, S Duke Ihenacho, TE Julius Thomas, and RB Knowshon Moreno.

Thomas is kicked back off the 45-man by the return of Virgil Green from suspension, Johnson by the return of Joe Mays, and Chris Kuper will make his season debut. Brock Osweiler is the primary backup QB yet again, while Ronnie Hillman, whose role has expanded each week, keeps Moreno inactive.

As expected, the Patriots will be without TE Aaron Hernandez today; also inactive are LB Dont'a Hightower, WR Julian Edelman, S Steve Gregory, C Matt Tennant, TE Michael Hoomanawanui, and DE Jake Bequette. Hightower's absence is a significant one, and a mild surprise; Tracy White is listed as his backup.

Enjoy the games, and Go Broncos!

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Thoughts on scheming against New England

Happy Sunday, friends.  It's been a hellacious week for me, and it's been a few days since I've had time to write.  I decided to share some thoughts today on how the Broncos should try to match up with New England today.  Obviously, these are two good teams who both find themselves with 2-2 records, and this game will likely end up influencing the AFC playoff picture.

First of all, let's say something that's obvious, but that Broncos fans willfully choose to get wrong.  The Patriots are extremely well-coached and schemed on both sides of the ball.  Bill Belichick gets a lot of credit, but quite a few Broncos fans are wrongly convinced that Josh McDaniels is a bad coach.  The Patriots had a couple three-and-outs early last week against Buffalo, and I saw a couple Broncos fans on Twitter saying it was the "McDaniels effect."  The Patriots then promptly scored six straight touchdowns, and swamped the Bills.

Let's take a look at what the Patriots are doing on both sides of the ball, and think about how the Broncos can find success against them.

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Gronk hurting for real Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Mike Reiss says Rob Gronkowski's hip injury is nothing to be taken lightly and has had him in significant pain, and that the Pats are quite concerned about it.

Sal Paolantonio just reported the same thing on ESPN, but that Gronk will play today. As for his fellow tight end, Aaron Hernandez is still not expected to play.

As devastating as the Patriots offense can be, and as they were in the second half their demolition of the Bills last week, an absent Hernandez and a hobbled Gronkowski give the Broncos a chance to come away with an upset.

Reports continue to be that Chris Kuper will be a game-time decision, but that just reads like John Fox playing Bill Belichick's injury game.

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Chiefs fans ready to fly Pioli out of town Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Five Denver players are on the Week 5 injury report, but all of them are listed as having fully practiced on both Thursday and Friday, and all are probable for the game.

John Fox is maintaining that Chris Kuper will be a game-time decision; the team headed to New England yesterday, a day early, due to the two-time-zone difference.

WR Julian Edelman and S Steve Gregory are out for the Patriots, while in typical Bill Belichick fashion, TEs Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, RB Brandon Bolden, LB Dont'a Hightower, G Logan Mankins, and T Sebastian Vollmer are among twelve Patriots listed as questionable.

New England is clearly trying to make it appear that Hernandez will be ready to play, presumably to force the Broncos to plan for the possibility. Hightower claims that he himself will be a game-time decision.

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