The Daily Lard 11-21-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The AFC West games went about as expected, as the Raiders defeated the Vikings 27-21 and the Chargers lost to the Bears 31-20. Oakland is now 6-4 and a game up on the 5-5 Broncos, who are now one game ahead of San Diego. Denver remains a half-game ahead of the Chiefs, who face the daunting task of playing at Foxboro tonight with Tyler Palko starting for them at QB. Carson Palmer threw and ran for a score, while Michael Bush racked up 129 total yards and a TD for Oakland. Christian Ponder rallied Minnesota back from a 27-7 hole with two TD passes but was also picked off three times.

Meanwhile, Jay Cutler got a measure of revenge on the Chargers and his old nemesis Phil Rivers, but the satisfaction was shortlived and overshadowed by the fact that Cutler broke his right thumb late in yesterday's game, will have surgery to repair it, and will not be playing when the Bears come to town on December 11. It'll still be a big QB homecoming, just not for the Broncos - they'll instead be facing Cutler's backup, former CSU Ram Caleb Hanie. So, all Tim Tebow will have to do that day is outscore Devin Hester. Piece of cake, right? Matt Bowen breaks down the Bears' victory, plus he considers the Bears' plight without Cutler.

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Open Thread - Sunday Week 11

Enjoy the games, and Go Vikings Bears!

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Fat Pickins (and Probability) - Week 11

I'll disperse with the trivialities today and just say that Doug Lee is within one game of Mike Silver.

Will I see an elephant fly?

No way.  Doug spends a grand total of three minutes per week picking these games.  If only my brain worked so fast.

You may not like his take on Tebow, but all he does is win (pick 'em) games.

I apologize in advance for not getting to the probability and Baxter's locks.  There are several reasons for this.  Some could be true.  First, I can't get in touch with Baxter this morning.  When I left him last night he was dancing on top of a table and mumbling something about goldfish.  Second, I really wanted to bask in the glory of Doug Lee.  Third, now that the Broncos' game is over for the week, I don't care so much about the probabilities of the other games.  And finally, I woke up about thirty minutes ago and didn't have time.

Enjoy the games today, everyone.

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The Daily Lard 11-20-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Yesterday we covered the crucial Chargers/Bears game, so today let's take a quick peek at the game with the most immediate impact on Denver's season: Raiders/Vikings. An Oakland loss would drop them to 5-5 and into a first-place tie ZOMG with the Broncos, and they will be without several key players in RB Darren McFadden, WR Jacoby Ford and CB Chris Johnson, while three others are listed as questionable but expected to play: K Sebastian Janikowski, DT Richard Seymour and S Michael Huff.

As Jerry McDonald stresses, Oakland's first priority will be keeping pass rusher extraordinaire Jared Allen away from Carson Palmer, who will benefit from the absence of starters CB Antoine Winfield and S Husain Abdullah from Minnesota's secondary. The Vikings have struggled to put points on the board all year, but they also also lost to Detroit and Green Bay by just nine combined points, while Adrian Peterson has 11 TDs and nearly 1,000 yards from scrimmage; so you never know. Either way, how great/wild/unimaginable is it that we're talking about the Broncos potentially ending the day today in first place in the division?

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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.

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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.

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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

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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).

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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.

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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.

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