A first look at Year 2 of the Broncos’ rebuild

I suppose that each week, at least a simple statement is warranted on the OL. Before the KC game, they had exactly eight regular season games together under their belts - one half of a single season. Many of the best lines in football have been together for several years, so when I talk about the fact that every player has visibly improved, it’s more than just a good sign. It fits with the other facts about the line. Denver’s OL has the signs of it turning into being a serious group. The run-heavy offense seems to excite and fit the players, although there’s been an emotional factor at work. But four of the five starters have been improving both statistically and on film, and when the Broncos look at their OL this offseason, I tend to doubt that there will be any major surprises. I don’t see them making many changes, but that, like all specifics, should wait for after the season.

They took the beating they received in Week 1 from the Raiders quite personally, and everyone got to see the outcome of that one when they played again in Oakland. I like seeing a team that feels like it has something to prove:  It almost always shows. It wins games, too. John Elway called the OL ‘unsung heroes’ last week - I guess he isn’t a Fat Man convert yet.  We’ll work on him: around IAOFM, the OL sings the body electric, as Ray Bradbury once wrote: there’s an electrifying current of strength coming from these young men. They’ve bought into the offense, and Tebow has bought into them - he trusts his guys, and they earn it.  Just ask the Jets.

Continue reading "A first look at Year 2 of the Broncos’ rebuild"

The Daily Lard 11-19-11

Good Morning (barely), Broncos fans! If there's one game for Denver fans to narrow in on tomorrow, it's the Chargers at Bears at 415pm ET. Denver heads to San Diego next Sunday (Week 12) and hosts Jay Cutler & Co two weeks after that. So aside from scouting Denver's future opponents, a Bears victory would put San Diego a full game behind the Broncos in the AFC West standings and give Denver the opportunity to go up two games on Phil Rivers and the Bolts with a win next week.

PFF's Rodney Hart is interested to see how the Chargers' offensive tackles fare against pass rusher Julius Peppers, which of course will suggest how they'll contain (or not) Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil. Looks like a brutal pair of Sundays for Marcus McNeil/Brandyn Dombrowski and Jeromey Clary. Vincent Jackson also draws some tough assignments, as he'll be up against Bears CB Charles Tillman on Sunday and Champ Bailey a week later. Finally, Hart is interested to see how San Diego manages Devin Hester and the Bears' kick return game; as we all recall not so fondly, Hester torched Denver in the teams' last meeting to the tune of two TDs - one on a punt and the other on a kickoff.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 11-19-11"

Chewing the Fat: Week 11 - Broncos vs Jets

The IAOFM staff discuss the Denver Broncos' 17-13 Week 11 victory over the Jets

Ted: Happy football Thursday

TJ: Hey, dudes - and I mean that in the old school way. Really old school

Doug: I’m not excited about staying up so late haha

Ted: I'm up till 1 AM most nights - I'm used to it

TJ: The MBA, Ted? Or you just like Zombie movies a LOT!

Ted: I thought kickoff was at 8. WTF?

Doug: Nah, it’s 8:20

Continue reading "Chewing the Fat: Week 11 - Broncos vs Jets"

The Daily Lard 11-18-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Hard to believe it, but after beating the tired and bumbling Jets 17-13 (box score), the Denver Broncos are 5-5 and a half-game behind the Raiders for first place in the AFC West, pending this weekend's games. That makes three straight wins and four out of five, and the formula remains the same: dominant play from Von Miller and timely, fortuitous plays on both defense and special teams.

I mean, how else do you win a game in which your offense generates 10 points, 229 net yards (134 before the 95-yard game-winning drive), 4.1 yards per play, 11 first downs, nine pass completions, eight possessions of three plays or fewer, and eight punts? At this point, maybe it's just best not to ask why, and roll with it. Because Andrew Lady Luck is most definitely on Denver's side right now, and you're not supposed to look John Elway in the mouth or you may find that lady is really Sexy Rexy singing, right? BTW, you know who else was on the Broncos' side last night? The NFL schedulers, who did the Jets (SNF game followed by a Thursday game at altitude) like they did the Chargers (three games in 11 days).

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 11-18-11"

Gut Reaction: Week 11 - Broncos vs Jets

When you are winning a war, almost everything can be claimed to be right and wise.

John Fox is the wisest man in the land tonight.

I really am at a loss for words right now, but I swear I saw this film in Miami.

Can we save Broncos fans the drama and just throw out the first fifty minutes of each game?

I prefer to watch the good stuff, if you don't mind.

Let's rewire Tim Tebow's internal clock.

It was a great win by the Broncos.  Look out, Oakland.  The Broncos are coming. And Von Miller hits hard.

Continue reading "Gut Reaction: Week 11 - Broncos vs Jets"

Open Thread - Thursday Week 11

Enjoy the game, everyone - and Go Broncos! RB Willis McGahee is active tonight, while the inactives are WR Quan Cosby, S Rafael Bush, FB Quinn Johnson, G Manny Ramirez, TE Julius Thomas, OT Tony Hills and DE Derrick Harvey. The absence of Cosby means that Eddie Royal is likely to handle the PR duties, with Eric Decker also available for returns. The other surprise is Orange Julius, who had been listed as probable with an ankle injury. For the Jets, WR Jeremy Kerley, RB LaDainian Tomlinson, S Brodney Pool, TE Shawn Nelson, CB Ellis Lankster, QB Kevin O'Connell and DT Martin Tevaseu.

Continue reading "Open Thread - Thursday Week 11"

STDL: Week 11 - Broncos vs Jets

The Broncos and Jets open Week 11 tonight, and the rest of the country will get its first look at Tim Tebow as a starting NFL QB. What will they get? Three yards and a cloud of dust from both teams, with the defenses and punters as the stars of the show? Or will Sexy Rexy's defense dare Tebow to air it out and find a willing adversary? Some are suggesting that Rexy's D won't allow the Broncos to run the ball with any sort of success, while the extra-short week (the Jets played Sunday night) and travel across two time zones and up to altitude could help to level any talent deficit Denver may be facing. Let's see if the Stats That Don't Lie will offer any hints:

Continue reading "STDL: Week 11 - Broncos vs Jets"

Prime Cuts and more ways to follow

By now, most of you have noticed Prime Cuts, our new link blog.  We wanted to serve up some quick news items throughout the day, sometimes with commentary, sometimes not.  We've made each source clear for those wondering where we might be linking to.

Today we've started including Prime Cuts in our Twitter feed.

We will not be including it in our RSS feed, instead we've created a separate feed for it:
http://www.itsalloverfatman.com/feeds/prime-cuts

Also, if you're looking to skip over Prime Cuts you'll notice the recent entries list on the right side of the site.  Those will only show our original pieces of content.  There will be a menu item for that shortly.

The Playbook Abides - Cover Zero

Tonight's game should be fascinating if speculation about Denver seeing a Cover 0 from the Jets is true.

The thinking is that in order to stop the Broncos' running attack, Rex Ryan is going to go to the Cover 0 more often than not.

If that's the case, it won't be boring.  Exciting football is dangerous football, in which the defense operates on the razor's edge of risk and reward.

The Cover Zero says, Throw at us, we dare you.

Let's take a quick peek at what it looks like:

Continue reading "The Playbook Abides - Cover Zero"

The Daily Lard 11-17-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Greg Cosell was likely speculating when he suggested during his weekly podcast with Doug Farrar that Rex Ryan's Jets might keep nine men in the box and run Cover-0 with Darrelle Revis and OctoDad. Because as Ryan Wilson pointed out in a post yesterday, Sexy Rexy's book Coaching Football's 46 Defense has an entire chapter devoted to defending the option, and as part of the lead-in to the chapter, he writes:

As a DC, you should avoid rigging a "special" defensive plan versus the option. Every defensive scheme can be manipulated to meet the demands of stopping an explosive option attack. Generally, it is a bad idea and an unsound premise to structure a special defense for the option. With the 46 pressure defense, you don't need a special plan or a gimmick, you only need practice at the sound strategies available inside the package...The 46 allows you to plan various strategies to attack the option. These looks are accomplished through varying the individual responsibilities of your perimeter and second-level players...Just as the DE can be assigned different responsiblities, so can the free safety and linebacker.

I think you get the picture, but if not then sign into your Amazon account, click on Search inside this book, submit option and you'll find that Rexy devotes more than eight pages to the weakside option. Hopefully Mike McCoy or one of his assistants brushed up on this chapter, because frankly they'll need some creative wrinkles to outscheme a guy who literally wrote a book on defense. Either that, or they'll need to have superior personnel or out-execute the Jets defense, which is tied with Denver for eighth-best in terms of yards per rush allowed. Which one do you think the Broncos are counting on accomplishing?

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 11-17-11"