Happy Friday, friends. It’s Chargers week, and today we’re going to Digest the Bolts. After watching the film, I have some reasons to be cautiously optimistic, and I get the impression from some comments on other articles that I’m not the only one.
As with any week where I come back from vacation, it’s been hellacious. When you sign up to be a salaried employee, they don’t explicitly tell you that your pile only grows when you’re away, but you figure it out pretty quickly - and taking Friday and Monday off means doing six days of work in four days when you get back. Anyway, on to the analysis. Between my job, this site, and my Marketing Strategy class for my MBA program, my brain has been analyzing nonstop this week, and the hamster is getting a little tired. Still, for you, I press on.
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Brian Dawkins again did not practice due to his ankle injury, while Rahim Moore joined Jonathan Wilhite on the sideline; both were described by John Fox as being out due to "illness." Quinton Carter saw more action in Dawkins' absence, while Daniel Fells was back at practice, giving the Broncos a full complement of tight ends. Remarkably, Orlando Franklin practiced yesterday despite mourning the loss of his younger brother.
Meanwhile, Vincent Jackson did not practice for the Chargers but is expected back today, while Antonio Gates is still foreseen as missing Sunday's game. CB Quentin Jammer missed practice with the flu but is expected to play.
Welcome to Week 5's Stats That Don't Lie, already featuring changes from last week's edition. As I explained on Sunday, I'm actually not that wild about using penalty yardage to assess teams, so in the spirit of wanting STDL to be a simple and svelte tool to help visualize the Broncos' chances each week, I've decided to axe that category. I've also changed the rushing metric from CHFF's rusher rating to PFR's Adjusted Rushing Yards per Attempt (ARY/A), also expressed as a differential between offense and defense.
You know it was only a matter of time before I got involved.
After our Gut Reaction to last week's game, I had several requests to create more Tebow billboards.
Since I never turn down readers' requests when they ask nicely--or correct typos--I thought I'd give the people what they want.
Are you not entertained?
Hit it after the jump and find out.
Oh, and since this billboard thing isn't going away anytime soon, I'll keep beating this dead bronco until it's really dead--you know, dead like Todd Haley's head-coaching prospects after the season.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! The team is gradually getting some more key players back, as Champ Bailey, Marcus Thomas and Knowshon Moreno practiced fully yesterday and figure to play on Sunday. Brian Dawkins, Daniel Fells and Jonathan Wilhite did not practice, while Eddie Royal, Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas still figure to return after next week's bye. According to Andrew Mason, if Fells is kept out by the knee injury he sufferd in Green Bay, there's always the chance that T Chris Clark sees some action at TE, and Quinton Carter would likely step in for Dawkins if his ankle injury prevents him from playing. But Klis says Dawkins, Fells and Wilhite are all expected to suit up.
Meanwhile, Orlando Franklin was excused from yesterday's practice due to the death of his 20-year-old brother. No word on his availablity for Sunday's game, and of course our thoughts go out to Orlando and his family.
So, what do you say when the Super Bowl Champs kick your tail all the way down the street? When you’re playing Aaron Rodgers and the Packers right now, you say hello to all the company you’re in - Green Bay is playing like the champions that they are. Continuing on what they showed last season, they put up 42 points on the New Orleans Saints, won two on the road and then destroyed Denver at home. They’re headed to Atlanta this weekend, and if anyone wants to take the Falcons, I’m open. I’m not a betting guy, and there’s always the ‘on any given Sunday’ fact, but betting against Rodgers and Company right now is just a bad, bad idea.
Sure, there were things that Denver did to themselves, too. Kyle Orton had a couple of pretty bad interceptions. That’s something that’s new this year - like, love or hate him, Orton had always taken care of the ball. The fumbles (two) and INTs (six) are a concern as much because they are so unlike him with regard to the game that he’s always played. Denver could have had a couple of more TDs and Green Bay one less and the Broncos would still have lost, so it was a whole lot more than Orton, who also made some very nice throws, but the ball issues bother me.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! You know what helps empower fans into thinking they have a vote as to whom their team's QB or head coach is? Writers like Dave Krieger and his column today, that's what. Krieger is now framing the Orton/Tebow debate as a "war" between the Broncos and their fans, and in a continuation of the sentiments expressed by his colleagues Paige and Klis, Krieger suggests that a win over the Chargers on Sunday is the only way to keep the hounds at bay.
Krieger takes umbrage at John Fox's assertion that Kyle Orton won the starting job in training camp and that's why he's got it now. But really, what is the guy supposed to say? That the team is re-evaluating the QB situation every week throughout the season? That the team has to start winning or else Orton's gonna be riding the pine? What, pray tell, would that accomplish? Look, Fox is clearly not a juicy quote guy, and we've known that from prior to Day 1. So to parse every word the guy utters is an exercise in futility, or mental masturbation at best.
Really, this is skipping ludicrous and going right to plaid. There are twelve games remaining. For all those clamoring to "see what we have" in Tebow, is there going to be a huge difference between an eight-, nine- or 10-game glance? If this team is 1-7 and Tebow hasn't taken over by then, perhaps we've got a beef...
Happy Tuesday, friends, and welcome to what will be a somewhat abbreviated version of You Got Served. The Broncos lost, and frankly, my Digesting preview from Friday had it pegged. I got a bunch of reaction that thought I was underselling the Broncos, but I wasn’t. I just had it right; this Broncos team isn’t ready to compete with the Super Bowl Champions in their building yet. Hilariously on Sunday, one of my least favorite trolls from my four years of writing about football accused me of “blatant homerism” in the Lard comments because I can see that Robert Ayers is a good player, and I frequently say so. I got a good laugh at that when I was sitting in the Key West airport on Monday morning waiting to come home. Evidently, I’m a homer who has somehow picked the Broncos to lose three of their four games this season so far. I had a win against Oakland and a loss against Cincinnati, but otherwise I’ve had it right, and in the case of the Tennessee and Green Bay games, I’ve had it very right.
I’ve got rebuilding fever, even if John Elway doesn’t really like that word, because he feels like it provides a built-in excuse. At least his objection was of a semantic nature, and he didn’t just dismiss the idea out of hand that a clear transition is underway. Teams have to be honest with themselves about what they are, and since our analysis here aspires to be of a similar quality to what teams are seeing themselves, we also have to be honest about what the Broncos are.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! With the Chargers looming and the bye week to follow, the drumbeat for Tim Tebow to take over as Denver's QB is growing. In his latest mailbag, even the mild-opinioned Mike Klis suggests that the Broncos may have to go with Tebow should they lose again on Sunday. Or, at the least he thinks the fans may show up at Dove Valley with pitchforks and battering rams should the team not make the switch. What he doesn't see happening, however, is a trade of any of Denver's signal callers, because who trades for a quarterback midseason? Klis also confirms that there will be no changes to the Broncos' orange jerseys next year when Nike takes over, and incredibly he's not sure the Colts would take Andrew Luck should they land the first pick in the 2012 Draft.
Meanwhile, Woody says that as much as John Fox would like to stick his fingers in his ears and not hear the clamoring for Tebow, it's just not going away. But at the same time, Woody acknowledges that benching could potentially create something of a locker room problem. Ah, what to do...what to do...
The NFL has officially approved the Broncos' switch back to orange home jerseys for the 2012 season. As was reported last year, Nike will be taking over the licensed manufacturing of jerseys from Reebok, but according to ESPN Page 2's Uni Watch, big design changes are not in the works. Rather, the word is that jerseys will only be tweaked in terms of tailoring, so expect that the Broncos' current third jerseys, which they wore in the opener against Oakland, will become the team's primary home uniforms.