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.
I've been steadfast in my defense of Tim Tebow in one area of his game--pre-snap reads.
Accuracy is another issue, but let's put that aside for the moment. Let's continue to focus on Tebow's ability to read a defense when he comes to the line of scrimmage.
Last week's game against the Jets presented a greater challenge than Tebow had faced in previous weeks. The Jets typically mix their coverages pre-snap; they did so again when facing the Broncos.
The challenge for Tebow then (as with any quarterback, for that matter) was getting to the line of scrimmage and knowing where he needed to go with the ball.
We'll take a look at the first play of the game last week, which resulted in a 28-yard gain. Was it just luck? Or was it Tebow?
The Broncos are undoubtedly in the thick of things in the AFC West, and a victory tomorrow could all but end the Chargers' chances to take back the division they had ruled for five out of six years prior to last year's stumble. San Diego is reeling, having lost five straight games (the first four by a single score) and turning the ball over an astonishing 14 times during that stretch. Of course, the Broncos are on the upswing, have won four of their last five, and they've given it away just once in three games. Just how likely is Denver to pull of their (previously unimaginable) third road divisional win in four weeks' time? Let's check out the Stats That Don't Lie to find out:
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Chris Benson previews Broncos/Chargers for PFF, and he says a loss will be close to a death knell to either team's playoff chances, especially so in San Diego's case. Benson theorizes that Denver isn't necessarily setting out to run the ball so many times, but they're just going with the flow rather than sticking with a pass-heavy game plan when it's not working. He also points out that both teams have been successful in defending the run, while on offense both squads are featuring running back corps that resemble MASH Units. Finally, Benson ponders the age-old question for Denver whenever they face San Diego (Who will cover Antonio Gates?) and wonders if the answer could be Von Miller.
Happy Fat Man Friday, friends. On Sunday, the Broncos will plays the Chargers for the second time this season. What’s changed since October 9th? Well, on the surface, the answer is everything. Tim Tebow took over the Broncos offense in the second half of that game, with his team trailing 23-10 and looking sluggish. Tebow then rallied the team to fall just short of winning at 29-24, as a pass into the end zone on the game’s final play was nearly caught by Matt Willis in the typical Hail Mary crowd. On that day, the Chargers improved to 4-1, and the Broncos fell to 1-4.
Since then, the Broncos are 4-1 on the strength of an improved defense and running game, as well as some timely plays by Tebow. The Chargers are 0-5 in that same period and have gotten really banged up in the process. I can’t see any way that their season isn’t over, in terms of playoff meaning, at this point.
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! John Elway told Dave Krieger that he's stopped reading his Twitter account, and who can blame him? Krieger writes,
Trying to have a rational public conversation about Tebow is mostly futile these days. The subject has passed into a realm normally occupied by politics and religion, where people already know what they think and once the usual talking points are exhausted, the argument often devolves into personal insults. Because Elway shares the doubts of many league insiders about long-term success without a robust passing game, and because he's forthright enough to say so, he is now routinely accused of being jealous of Tebow's popularity and wanting him to fail...Maybe the Twitter loudmouths are just the lunatic fringe. But it would be understandable if Elway has reviewed his most recent career choice lately and wondered to himself, "What the heck was I thinking?"
I couldn't agree more. However, if in fact Tim does not have the ability to be a franchise QB anytime soon (and you know what I think of that), then there's nobody aside from Elway who has the political capital to move on from the Tebow experiment. Well, except among the Twittersphere, of course...
Enjoy the games and your meals, everyone!
Happy Thanksgiving, Broncos fans! I'd just like to take a moment to selfishly give some IAOFM-related thanks - I'm thankful that TJ came up with the idea to pursue this project, that Doc was all for it from Day 1, and that Ted rounded out our writing crew back in January. I'm thankful to be able to legitimately call Ted, Doc and TJ my friends, guys that I can talk to daily about life just as much as football. I'm thankful that my great pal David was willing to usher us four noobs into the world of running a website, especially when he's so busy with a demanding day job, a young family, and a humongous site of his own.
Of course, I'm thankful that all of you choose to spend so much of your valuable time reading our work and sharing your opinions and reactions, even when we don't see eye-to-eye on things. It's your readership that makes this all worthwhile, and we appreciate each and every one of you. So, on behalf of the five of us, I'd like to wish all of you a wonderful holiday - enjoy the great eats and football, and please drive safely.
Per Adam Schefter, the Kansas City Chiefs have claimed Kyle Orton off of waivers.
What does this mean for the Broncos? Stay tuned. Kyle Orton says he may not report. I have a feeling he will find a way to get motivated. There are a few million reasons.
Either way, it clears some dough off Denver's back.
UPDATE 3:53PM MST: Orton is reporting to KC by Thursday it appears.
For those that care, officially, the Chiefs, Cowboy, and Bears all put claims in for the services of Mr. Orton.
Given that the Broncos are facing a divisional rival this weekend and are still, almost impossibly, in the hunt for the division title, I thought that I’d chime in on the SD contest and why the Bears/Chargers game mattered to the Broncos (other than the race for the division). There were some points I wanted to cover from that game that bear on both teams’ upcoming battles with the Broncos. It was a good chance to get a preview of each, although Chicago’s new QB (whether Caleb Hanie or Kyle Orton) may change some things.
The SD/Chicago game was both a preview of the Broncos' following opponent, and of Chicago, who comes to Mile High on December 11 and has struggles of its own, despite a winning streak that was prompted by a combination of Mike Martz making some changes to help out his QB and the Bears' excellent defensive play. Lance Briggs had a monster game against SD, and he’s playing at a very high level - as well as a very good streak by Jay Cutler which was ended by a broken thumb late in Sunday's game. San Diego didn’t help themselves, having two fumbles from RB Ryan Mathews (with one of them lost) and two INT from Philip Rivers. Chicago had a single INT, and the old adage about turnovers winning games held in this one.