Happy Tuesday, friends. You have to like a start to the week that includes a win, even if it was a fairly ugly one. I like the pushback on Monday from John Elway that any Broncos fan who is disappointed with a win isn’t really a Broncos fan. I agree with that, and I’ll never root for the team to lose for any reason. Beyond the game at SAF, it was an interesting NFL weekend, and there’s much to discuss. Ready… BEGIN!!
1. I’m guilty, and I have to admit it. I’m the guy who, particularly on my old WordPress site, has relentlessly beaten the drum about how the Broncos media and fan base lack the ability or inclination to allow the team to undertake a real rebuild, or to admit that one is needed.
b. Broncos fans are spoiled and entitled, after 30 successful years, which included 7 AFC championship appearances, 5 Super Bowl appearances, and 2 victories. They unreasonably demand winning now, while mostly not understanding that every team has eventually had to rebuild.
Then, during the preseason, when the Broncos’ primary players looked good, I let myself get a little overexcited about the team's prospects. Last week, when the team spit the bit against Oakland, I let myself get down more than I should have. Today, I’m happy to have witnessed a win, but I’m not letting myself get too high about it. Perspective has returned.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Unfortunately, the news of the day was that WR Eddie Royal will be out at least two weeks with a strained groin, with his return figuring to be Week 5 against San Diego or Week 7 at Miami following the Broncos' bye week. Obviously, Royal's injury underscores the urgency for WR Brandon Lloyd to return from his groin strain this week; according to LJ, there's a chance Lloyd, DE Elvis Dumervil, RB Knowshon Moreno and LB D.J. Williams will be back practicing sometime this week. As for Denver's other serious injury from Sunday, TE Julius Thomas is also out for at least two weeks with a high ankle sprain, and he was in a boot and on crutches yesterday.
Meanwhile, John Fox said yesterday the Broncos wouldn't again make the glaring mistake of entering a game with only three healthy WRs - and since Lloyd's return to health is not guaranteed, it's probably a safe bet the team will call up Eron Riley or D'Andre Goodwin from the practice squad to supplement the current group of Lloyd?, Eric Decker and Matt Willis for Sunday's game at Tennessee. It will also be interesting to see if the team is willing to enter Sunday with only Daniel Fells and Virgil Green healthy at TE, as doing so would likely hamper Denver's ability to utilize two-TE and max-protect sets. If the team were to make a pair of moves, DT Mitch Unrein and RB Jeremiah Johnson would figure to be prime candidates to be waived and stashed on the PS if they were to clear. Is Richard Quinn healthy and/or in football shape?
The IAOFM staff discuss the Denver Broncos' 24-22 victory over the visiting Cincinnati Bengals. Denver opens with a 15-play, 85-yard drive and scores on a Willis McGahee 1-yard TD run; 7-0 Broncos
TJ: I hope John Fox calls a great game. Last week was not pretty. He just admitted on pre game he abandoned the run too quickly. Good catch, Fox. Nothing gets by you. JD Walton needs to step up today. I'm beginning to start to wonder about that one.
Ted: All 3 interior guys do. They were all terrible last week
TJ: Broncos making good plays - used 22 look, now 21. Now 3rd and 3, and they used--smartly--113 package but went max protect with two outlets. A little stretch bootleg to Julius. Zane Beadles penalty - well he didn't have one last week, so get it out of the way, haha
Ted: Stop me if you've heard that one before
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Who said Denver doesn't have any depth? The Broncos had to resort to lining up Tim Tebow at WR yesterday as they eked out a 24-22 victory (box score) over the Bengals, and they sit in a tie for first place in the AFC West (probably won't be able to write that again this year). Denver lost Eddie Royal to what appeared to be a groin injury, while Julius Thomas suffered a high ankle sprain; both left the stadium on crutches.
The victory came on the strength of two beautiful Kyle Orton TD passes to Eric Decker, 101 patient and hard-fought rushing yards from Willis McGahee (who also punched in Denver's first touchdown), and Dennis Allen's defense holding Cincy to 1-of-11 on third down and making just enough plays to hang on for dear life in the fourth quarter. Wesley Woodyard (10 T, 3 A, 1 TFL, 1 PD) showed why D.J. Williams is overpaid and expendable for these Broncos, while Joe Mays (5 T, 3 A, 2 TFL) continued to thump and dole out statement-making hits.
Pulled groins to the left of us, twisted ankles to the right, and here we are stuck in the middle with who?
Yeah, that was Tim Tebow you saw split wide today.
Who says John Fox isn't creative on offense?
A plague of
locusts injuries forced the Broncos into the unconventional today. So did two turnovers and some sloppy penalties. In the end, they survived, 24-22.
Kyle Orton said it was one of the best wins of his career.
Given that one more injury at tight end would have forced Russ Hochstein into the role, Orton is probably right.
Let's take the win and get out of here, Broncos fans. I can't stand the thought of Hochstein trying to beat a linebacker up the seam.
Enjoy the games everyone, and Go Broncos!
8:55pm ET - Not sure we'll be able to say this again this season, but the Denver Broncos are tied for first place in the AFC West!
7:20pm ET - Denver holds off a late Cincy drive and gets their first victory of the year! Final score 24-22 Broncos
Good Morning/Afternoon, Broncos fans! Apologies for the late Lard, but I was out of town, back just in time to catch the day's games - this will be an abbreviated edition. Of course, the big news is that the Broncos have given up on the already slim chance that Ty Warren would be able to return to health in time to have an impact on the 2011 season while wasting a roster spot for much of the year. Instead, they placed him on IR yesterday to open a spot for RB Jeremiah Johnson, who was promoted from the practice squad for today's game.
In other injury news, Marcus Thomas had been expected to rejoin the team before last week's opener, but he apparently suffered a groin strain during his conditioning test - that is what kept him out Monday night and will cause him to miss today's game as well.
We have met the enemy and he is Mike Silver.
The Berkeley nerd picked fourteen out of sixteen games correctly last week, proving--at least for one week--he's not a fourth-string journalist.
Can he repeat the feat in Week 2?
I'm not saying he won't, but if he does, I'll get very angry.
Don't make me angry, Mike Silver. You don't want to see me when I'm angry.
Let's review the results from last week and give you our "expert" picks for Week 2.
Last week we took a look at the Raiders and their preference for motion and use of the single tight end in most of their personnel packages.
In order to give the Broncos something they hadn't seen on tape, the Raiders started the game with even more motion and several three-back sets. It was a sound strategy by Hue Jackson; it took the Broncos several series to adjust.
You should expect to see a wrinkle like this each week from the Broncos' opponents. They know the Broncos watch their last three to four games and chart formations, packages, and tendencies, just like we are doing. So they've got to surprise the Broncos, even if only for a drive or two.
This week we take a look at the Bengals. Unlike the Raiders, it does us absolutely no good to scout any games from last year. The Bengals have a new offensive coordinator with a West Coast philosophy and a different quarterback in rookie Andy Dalton. Anything we might have learned from last year would have been wasted.
So we've got a one-game sample from which to scout these cats--not preferable, but better than a kick to the family jewels.
Let's see what we can glean.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! The team is apparently scheduled to work out veteran safety Darren Sharper on Tuesday along with at least one defensive lineman and several backs, including former Pats/Seahawks/Niners RB Thomas Clayton. But according to Jason La Canfora, it's highly unlikely the Broncos will sign Sharper, who most recently worked out for the Patriots and apparently turned down contract offers from two teams this summer. La Canfora figures the Broncos are simply working Sharper out in case of an injury later in the season. Of course, Sharper is plenty familiar with Dennis Allen, who was his secondary coach with the Saints for the past two seasons.
Bengals QB Andy Dalton was a full participant in practice yesterday and has been cleared to start on Sunday, while DE Robert Geathers is doubtful to play and T Andrew Whitworth is listed as probable.