Gut Reaction: Week 3 - Broncos vs Texans

The highlight of today's game came at halftime when the Broncos put Rod Smith into their Ring of Fame.

The rest of the Broncos were in the locker room.  Otherwise, they would have been down twenty to start the third quarter.

Peyton Manning didn't throw three interceptions today, but he still needed to rally late for the Broncos to have any sort of chance.

This week, the defense put themselves in a hole, as Matt Schaub and the Texans took both a sledgehammer and a surgeon's scalpel to the Denver defense.  Dropped passes on offense, mental errors (45 yards in personal fouls on one drive alone), and J.J. Watt took care of the rest.

The game was a lot less exciting than the final score (and the Broncos) would admit.  The truth is this team is still in transition, still adjusting to themselves, and still trying to figure out their basic philosophy.  Are they a no-huddle team?  Are they a blitzing team?

Check back in a few weeks and we'll have a better idea.  Perhaps the Broncos can play well on both sides of the ball for once.  Thankfully, the AFC West will still be there for the taking.

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Game Day Limerick: Rod Smith

In honor of Rod Smith, I completely ignored the Texans and instead wrote a limerick in honor of one of the baddest dudes in Broncos history:

One day in a play came the Rod
on the field from the practice squad.
  No Darrell the Green
  could stop the orange sheen
of a mile-high, hustling god. 

Feel free to take your own shot below.  Go Broncos!

Open Thread: Sunday Week 3

Enjoy the games, congratulations to Rod Smith, and Go Broncos!

Inactive for Denver are G Chris Kuper, C/G C.J. Davis, DT Sealver Siliga, LB Steven Johnson, WR Andre Caldwell, RB Knowshon Moreno, and QB Caleb Hanie. Ronnie Hillman is active for the first time, and Brock Osweiler remains the backup behind Peyton Manning.

Houston's inactives are QB John Beck, WR DeVier Posey, CB Roc Carmichael, CB Brandon Harris, LB Tim Dobbins, T Andrew Gardner, and G Brandon Brooks.

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Scabs love home cooking Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Make sure you've cleared more than three hours from your afternoon for today's game. If you're recording it, set the DVR to go longer than you normally might.

If the season so far is any indication, a potential overtime game could approach four hours.

As we all learned in painful fashion Monday night, one of the many negative outcomes of the officiating lockout is that games are stretching even longer than normal. Broncos/Falcons went 3 hours 27 minutes, while the average game in Week 2 lasted for 3 hours 14 minutes - tied for third longest in the past 20 years. Brutal.

There is one bright spot here for the Broncos - at least for the next two weeks. Home teams have been faring much better in terms of winning games (an unprecedented 14 of 16 were victorious last week), penalty counts (road teams have faced 23% more flags than have home teams), and an unheard of 61.3% of them have apparently covered the point spread.

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Broncography: Rod Smith, Ring of Famer

Roderick ‘Rod’ Smith was born in Texarkana, on May 15, back in 1970. He was all-league, all-area, all-state, and an all-state game choice as a senior at Texarkana High School in Texarkana, Arkansas. He earned two letters in football and basketball, and one in baseball while in high school. He attended college at Missouri Southern State, a Division II school.

While he was there, Rod set conference records with his 3,043 career receiving yards and 34 touchdowns. He broke his own school’s receptions record with 153, and as a senior, he was voted All-American by the AP, Kodak, Football Gazette, and NCAA Division II sports information directors - in other words, nearly everyone who covered Division II. In his senior season alone, he caught 63 passes for 986 yards and 13 TDs. He was a finalist that year for the Harlon Hill Trophy, which is given annually to the top Division II football player.

In 1994, he completed his studies with three degrees - economics and finance, general business, and the third in marketing and management. He was ready for his post-football life, which has been as successful as he was on the field. I follow him on Twitter just for the pleasure of it, and have found him to be one of the most positive and supportive folks I’ve had the pleasure to read.

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Pick play sealed Monday’s game Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Chris Harris says he's ready to play tomorrow; including Harris and Quinton Carter, who were both limited in practice, Denver has listed six players as probable for tomorrow.

Chris Kuper remains out, as he recovers from his forearm injury, and is the only other Bronco on the injury report.

Jack Del Rio says LB Keith Brooking's role will continue to grow; after playing nine snaps against Pittsburgh, Brooking was in for 36 of Denver's 69 defensive snaps on Monday night.

LB Tim Dobbins is questionable for Houston, while eleven others are probable.

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A Second Helping of Denver’s offensive line play

A couple of days ago, I mentioned that I wanted to go over some positive differences in the OL from last year to this. I’m going to touch on some run blocking and some pass protection.

Let me start by showing you something simple.

The initial image is from the first possession of the Pittsburgh game. It’s just typical - the interior players usually are in three-point stances, and the tackles - who more commonly have to kick-step back to defeat a side or a speed rusher - often like to stay in a two-point stance.

Nothing new there - I included it mostly just so that you know where people are starting from.

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This next verse is dedicated to John Tomasik

Happy Friday, friends.  As you read this, it’s likely that I’ll be in the air headed to Cleveland, but I wanted to give you a little something, since I’ll be off the grid for a few days.  I’ll be attending a wedding, and then driving back with my girlfriend to move her down to Florida. 

I’ve occasionally mentioned over the years that I’m an alumni member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, and by number of chapters, we’re the biggest Greek letter organization in the world.  Among our football-related members are Terry Bradshaw, Phil Simms, Marv Levy, and Aaron Rodgers, and that’s not even getting to guys like Ronald Reagan, Elvis Presley, and many other famous people.

I bring this up, because fraternity men have a tendency to drink adult beverages (responsibly, of course) and sing songs with vulgar lyrics and subject matter.  At my chapter at Cleveland State University, we have a song called Godiva, and we always dedicate the last verse to a brother.  It goes:

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Tim Tebow keeps taking his shirt off—for the children, of course

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Tim Tebow = Superman, apparently Lard

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Finally, there's some good news regarding the health status of Chris Harris (ankle).

The nickel corner returned to practice yesterday, albeit in a limited fashion; Mike Klis thinks Tony Carter is likely to see more action again on Sunday. Quinton Carter was also limited (knee). Von Miller, Joel Dreessen, Tracy Porter, and Brandon Stokley were all on yesterday's injury report, but all were full participants.

Because the defense started Monday night's game on their own one-yard line, Champ Bailey's string of having started all of his NFL games was broken.

The league fined Falcons DE Ray Edwards $8K for a late hit, but still nothing for contacting an official, which should have gotten him ejected from the game after Knowshon Moreno's fumble. Let's see, it should have been Denver ball at the Atlanta 32 with the score 10-0, and Edwards tossed. Instead, It was Atlanta ball at the 17, and Edwards got to stick around. Of course, the statistics will show that the refs called a penalty, so everything is okay, right?

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