Good Morning, Broncos fans! We're all too aware that the Broncos have lost four straight home games to the Raiders, and six of nine matchups regardless of location.
No figure has loomed larger in this matchup recently than Oakland RB Darren McFadden, who has racked up 510 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns in his last three games against Denver, all Raiders wins. Injury kept the back out of their last meeting, when the Broncos won 38-24 in Oakland.
Obviously, the Broncos defense is well aware of the threat McFadden brings; fortunately for Denver, Oakland may be somewhat one-dimensional today due to a banged-up WR corps.
Second-year safety Quinton Carter was placed on IR and will undergo microfracture surgery next week on the same knee he had arthroscopically repaired during training camp.
With Joe Mays suspended for tomorrow's game against Oakland, two spots had opened on the active roster; Denver promoted safety Duke Ihenacho and linebacker Mike Mohamed to fill them.
Week 4 will feature the much-hated traditional division rival Oakland Raiders coming into Mile High, still feeling good about their come-from-behind win over Pittsburgh. Denver is coming off a tough loss to the Houston Texans, falling short by six points for the second time in two weeks to teams that remain undefeated. Both the Broncos and Raiders see an opportunity to rack up a divisional win in the AFC West. Let’s go through the two teams.
The Raiders come in with the same 1-2 record that Denver has, with both teams’ wins having come against Pittsburgh. The Raiders have struggled to throw for distance, as shown by quarterback Carson Palmer’s 1-of-10 completions for 21 yards when throwing long (20 or more yards). He hasn’t thrown long for a TD, but has an interception when trying to go deep.
Darrius Heyward-Bey appears to have dodged a huge bullet after a frightening cervical injury last week, but he wasn’t helping them in the long game either. Denver should be able to maintain that tendency: Their pass rush appears stronger than the Raiders’ line, and cornerback Tracy Porter is expected to return to the lineup after a brief scare with what turned out to be a bruised knee.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! It was another fine day at Dove Valley yesterday, but not in the positive sense of the word.
Von Miller was slapped with a $15,750 penalty for his late hit on Matt Schaub, which preceded Joe Mays's own suspension-inducing hit on the quarterback by one play. Mays will still collect a game check tomorrow, but he was fined $50K. In his brief career, Miller has already been penalized with over $60K in fines.
Meanwhile, John Fox has formally appealed the ridiculous $30K fine he received for his behavior in Atlanta; Jack Del Rio is expected to follow suit regarding his $25K penalty.
Every time you turn around, somebody is reminding you that the NFL has become a passing league. Through a combination of offense-friendly rule changes, innovative passing concepts, and vastly improved QB coaching at the high school and college levels (not to even mention the excellent private tutoring out there), passing offenses in the NFL are better and more efficient than ever.
I agree wholeheartedly that passing rules in the NFL. It’s easy to hear that, and read it, and conclude that the running game doesn’t really matter, though, and that’s not the case. In fact, I would say that the ability to be very sound in run defense is the most important factor in defending the pass.
That may be tough to get your head around, but let’s explore the idea, by first beginning with offense. The offense is going to do something, and all 11 guys generally know what that something is. The defense is reading keys, and trying to figure out what it will be, but they never really know until the play is underway. This is the fundamental advantage of the offense.
Embed this thought - you can lose games just as easily on defense by failing to stop the run, as you can by failing to stop the pass. The reason for that is because failure to stop the run very often causes failure to stop the pass.
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! As expected, the first group of real officials were welcomed back heartily last night, as Gene Steratore's crew was given a standing ovation before the game.
Steratore even got hugs from Ravens coach John Harbaugh and linebacker Ray Lewis, and safety Bernard Pollard says the players have a new appreciation for the skill of the regular refs.
Before the game, Roger Goodell apologized to the fans, but framed the lockout as something that had to happen, and even summoned up the nerve to call the craptastic officiating as part of the "beauty of sports."
Judy Battista reports that indeed, progress in negotiations had been made prior to Monday, so there was actually a possibility of a deal before the game-deciding blown call. But according to her sources, owners Jerry Richardson of the Panthers and Woody Johnson of the Jets were among the owners digging their heels in on Tuesday, while the Patriots' Robert Kraft and Giants owner John Mara - often described as key moderates during last year's player lockout - were more concerned with the impact of using scab officials.
Enjoy the game, everyone - and welcome back, refs!
Here are the inactives for the game.
Against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Raiders were already down an early touchdown when Darren McFadden took a simple zone-blocking play and ran it 65 yards into the end zone. It’s basic ZB technique, and the Broncos will need to make sure that they’re disciplined in their gaps and able to both fight through the line’s blocks and to make sure that the safety has upfield containment to combat it.
Pittsburgh failed on both aspects, and the result will always be the same, no matter who’s running this basic play. Denver uses it, and so do many teams around the league. It’s also part of how Arian Foster has been burning the league for three seasons.
Here’s the basic lineup: Pittsburgh is in their classic, Okie-based odd-front defense. They’ve got three down linemen and two OLBs, spread wide this time. The ILBs are in their standard, base positioning. The Raiders are in 11 personnel and face 1st and 10 at their own 35. Their formation pulls one safety off into coverage, leaving only Ryan Mundy to handle the deep middle.
Happy Thursday, friends. I’m back from my trip to Cleveland, and I’ve dug out of the two-days-away hole at work, so I decided that it was time to get back on the horse. So have you seen any cases of simultaneous possession lately? I saw one on Saturday night at a wedding reception.
The bride tossed the bouquet, and the maid of honor and my girlfriend both caught it. They both held it for a few seconds, before Laura deferred to the MOH and let it go, which was the right call. The MOH was actually really gracious about the whole thing, and let Laura have the bouquet, which was cool until she left it in a hotel in Charlotte on Monday morning.
As for the garter, who do you think caught it? I got my fifth one in my last seven weddings attended (starting in 2009). I think we can safely say that I have elite garter skills. To wit:
The Broncos have re-signed linebacker Mike Mohamed to their practice squad today; Jacksonville had waived him from their PS yesterday, two weeks after having signed him.
To make room for Mohamed, their own 2011 sixth-round pick, Denver waived TE Cornelius Ingram.
With the one-game suspension of Joe Mays and the injury to Nate Irving (concussion), Denver is currently down to five healthy linebackers. Von Miller, Keith Brooking, and Wesley Woodyard are expected to start on Sunday, with sixth-rounder Danny Trevathan and undrafted rookie Stephen Johnson as backups.