Happy Victory Tuesday, friends. Are you getting used to Victory Tuesdays, yet? I kind of like them, personally. Those of you who had your hearts set on a Top-5 pick may not, but football is funny. Players and coaches like to win, and they try really hard to make that happen, and sometimes they get it done, even if some find it to be strategically unpreferable. In this space, we’re always pro-#winning, so deal with it. Ready… BEGIN!!
1. Today, I want to share some thoughts about why the Broncos are winning, and why it has seemed like a tale of two seasons. There are a number of reasons for it, and it qualifies as a confluence of all of those reasons. I’m one guy with an opinion, but here’s my list:
a. It took a little while, but the team has taken very well to the new defensive scheme. The Broncos tried to use even-front players in a Fairbanks-Bullough 3-4 scheme for two seasons and didn’t have great results. This staff came in and installed an aggressive 4-3 that has a very simple and sound approach to gap control.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his latest mailbag, Mike Klis goes all Woody Paige in responding to a reasonable and intelligent question about the Broncos' struggles to score points and extend drives beyond three plays with Tebow at the helm. He does so by cherry-picking some numbers which make the Tebow-led offense appear more productive than it's been; according to Klis' calculations, the Broncos have scored 21.2 points in their five wins under Tebow, as if points per win ever mattered. For one, this removes the 10-point effort against the Lions, which when included brings the figure down to 19.3 points. Secondly, two of the touchdowns scored during this time were provided by Eddie Royal's punt return in Oakland and Andre' Goodman's INT return against the Jets. Without those, the offense is down to 17 points per game, and then there's the issue of two games having gone to overtime, without which the Denver offense is scoring 16 points per game since Tebow took over.
Do all those other scores count? Of course! Should the Broncos give them back because Tebow wasn't responsible for them? Nope. But really, let's not say the offense is scoring 21+ points a game, okay? I can just see the water cooler conversations now. Fan A: The wins are nice, but we need to score more points to beat the good teams. Fan B: You're an idiot! They're scoring 21.2 points with Tebow! Mike Klis said so, must be true ZOMG!!
Denver has placed CB/KR Cassius Vaughn on IR and signed S Kyle McCarthy and LB Mike Mohamed to fill the roster spots previously occupied by Vaughn and Kyle Orton. McCarthy dressed for eight games last season but was a casualty of final cuts in September, while 2011 sixth-rounder Mohamed was active for two games in the absence of the injured D.J. Williams. Interestingly, the Broncos chose not to promote Adam Weber and will instead stick with just two QBs despite the fact that Tim Tebow runs as much as he does - his 22 carries yesterday were the most by a QB in at least 60 years.
The IAOFM staff discuss the Denver Broncos' 16-13 overtime victory over the San Diego Chargers
Doug: I'm sure happy for the 4:15 start so we can see all these great finishes
Ted: Yeah it worked out pretty well
TJ: Wow, this game just got going quick, haha...and we're off!
Ted: Weather looks nice in Whale's Vagina
TJ: Shift shift shift, SD loves that
Ted: They really like to get quick separation with it
TJ: Goody jumped that
Doug: Pretty terrible throw. Oh my - Ryan Mathews does Denver like Knowshon does KC - Mathews has two 100-yd games, both against Denver
Good Morning, Broncos fans! If yesterday felt like Groundhog Day, that's because it basically was. The Broncos have found a winning formula, one with several parts stellar defense (22 tackles from Von Miller and D.J. Williams, three sacks from Von and Elvis Dumervil, 36 points allowed in three weeks), a few parts punishing running attack (208 yards including 117 from Willis McGahee), one part excellent special teams (a huge 31-yard PR by Eddie Royal which led to their first score), and a dash or two of luck (two missed FGs by Nick Novak, two Denver fumbles but none lost) and opponent blunders (Norv Turner's Andy Reid-style handling of the clock before halftime) thrown in for good measure.
Denver and San Diego needed OT to reach a combined 300 net passing yards, and the Broncos did Herman Cain proud with their continued offensive futility: nine pass completions, nine punts, nine penalties. But no matter, because a win is still a win, and this 16-13 victory moves the Broncos over .500 for the first time since being 8-4 in 2009 and losing four straight. It should be mentioned that Tim Tebow made some key throws late in the game, and seven of his nine completions went for first downs. Denver has now won five of six and four straight, including three road division victories in a four-week span - a remarkable feat in any season and no matter the circumstances.
Quick, I know how we can settle this Broncos quarterback controversy very quickly.
Clone Von Miller.
Miller did a little bit of everything today except throw the football. He got to the quarterback. He beat the double team. He made the Chargers' offensive linemen look like they were on skates. And when the Broncos needed him most, he slithered through the line and knocked the ballcarrier out of field goal range. As a result, the Broncos won in overtime 16-13.
Miller is pure mayhem. He changes games the way Lawrence Taylor did. He's the single best draft pick of the 2011 draft class.
Watching Miller play requires you implant a swivel on your neck and suspend your belief that a linebacker can be out of this world against the run or the pass. He's turned the Broncos defense into a dominant force in a matter of months.
Before I prop up his candidacy for President of the United States, let me say one more thing.
It doesn't matter who the quarterback is as long as the Broncos have Miller in the game.
Enjoy the games everyone, and Go Broncos! Here are the day's inactives.
Denver has not promoted QB Adam Weber from the practice squad, and they will dress only 52 players and two QBs today. They will be without Quan Cosby, Quinn Johnson, Manny Ramirez, Tony Hills, Julius Thomas and Derrick Harvey today, while San Diego WR Bryan Walters, CB Marcus Gilchrist, G Louis Vasquez, G Tyronne Green, T Marcus McNeill, WR Malcom Floyd and DE Luis Castillo are inactive.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Nate Winkler previews Broncos/Chargers for CHFF, and he points to the ludicrous fact that Tim Tebow has averaged more yards per rush than per pass. Now, granted - part of that is because Tim is sporting a remarkable 6.9-yard average on his carries, but the flip side is that Blaine Gabbert is the only other QB to have thrown 100 passes this season with a lower YPA. But as Winkler stresses, Tebow has also done a great job of not turning the ball over, and his only two giveaways since taking over as the fulltime starter came during the blowout loss to Detroit.
Winkler believes the game will come down to third-down conversions, and there may be no better medicine for Denver's woes there than the San Diego defense. He also says it's a prime opportunity for Tebow to show he can chuck it better, as both the Chargers and next week's opponent (Minnesota) have allowed opponents to post very high QB ratings (unfortunately, so have the Broncos - 96.4 ZOMG!).
Stop me if you've heard this one.
Doug Lee, TJ Johnson, and Mike Silver walk into a bar.
Lee and Silver walk out a little happier. TJ just gets wasted.
Welcome to another week of our staff picks, where we're out to prove you really can screw up your picks when you use shot glasses.
This week, the numbers say the Broncos have roughly a 33% chance of winning.
The numbers are wrong; the Chargers are in meltdown.