I had some family stuff that stopped me from watching all of the game. I caught the first Philly TD, and then I was called away for a while. Heard that we were down 10-7 and then I came back in the third quarter when we were down 27-10. Watching that second half, heartbreaking as it was, was a great experience for me. 4 seconds left when the Eagles kicked that field goal, but you already knew how it would end. It's not the end of the mathematical chances of a playoff slot, but it ended, for me, any thoughts of a last surge. I didn't have many such thoughts anyway. Too many problems are still out there. But, I knew that going in, and didn't give the Broncos much more than a puncher's chance. It was a slugfest in the second half, but we took too many body blows during the first half to matter.
I am writing this pre-launch, to accomplish a few tasks, actually, but I hope it's a value-adding piece of content, and not just a throwaway for taxonomy building's sake. I was talking to my father over Christmas about coaching trees, and their associated ideologies, and it struck me as something worth exploring, and writing about. For all 32 teams, each coach came from somewhere, and learned distinguishable strategies and schematic ideas. We're going to look at each team, and try to make some sense of this landscape.
"Are you here to tell me what a bad statoogoolizer I am?"
In the NFL, I'm pretty sure there's more to life than being really, really ridiculously good-looking. Week 16 proved this if nothing else. Two teams were caught staring at their reflections for too long (New Orleans and Minnesota). Another team was tragically lost to the playoffs in a freak-gasoline-fight accident (Giants). And the Oakland Raiders were back to normal, showing us all why they are still reserving spots in the Derek Zoolander Center-For-Kids-Who-Can't-Read-Good-And-Wanna-Learn-To-Do-Other-Stuff-Good-Too. In other words, don't expect any playoff help from the Silver-and-Black next week.
Happy Tuesday, friends, and welcome to the triumphant finale of Shallow Thoughts & Nearsighted Observations on MileHighReport.com. I'm obviously excited for my new venture, but I'm a little sad to have just typed that sentence. The feedback I've received has been very positive, and I particularly thank those who emailed me offline with encouragement on my new direction.
For today, I'm still very proud to be part of the staff of the best Broncos site in the world, and tomorrow, I'll be just as proud to be an alumnus of it, and a branch from the John Bena tree. (More branches are coming, trust me on that; quality like we have on this site breeds it.) Taking my MHR responsibility very seriously, and recognizing that some might not care a whit about my new site, I am going to hold off on the details of it for now, and include it as a postscript to this ST&NO, for those who are interested. Those who aren't can simply skip it, and not feel like I subjected them to undue pain and suffering. I think that's a fair deal, and I'll assume by your silence that you assent to its terms.
Are there problems with the Broncos? As Willie the Shake said, let me count the ways....they have troubles like the Louvre has art, like a lodgepole pine has needles or a hound has fleas. But all is far from dim -- they have a lot more good pieces than they did last year. They need a few more, so I thought that I'd put a little thought into just what the problems are. It makes it easier to decide what to do about them.
Divisional opponents inspire hate. And mockery. So let round two of the Chiefs' Limericks begin!
Here are five that I created. Please feel free to make up your own. It's the last game of the year, so if you've got something to take out on the Broncos, do it. And Chiefs fans, please participate if you're still not busy counting how many 3rd downs you haven't converted.
In all seriousness, Chiefs fans, you are some of the coolest cats rolling, so I know we will have a good time, once again.
I triple-dog dare ya to beat the Philadelphia Eagles!
Like putting your tongue to a flagpole in winter, beating the Philadelphia Eagles could get real sticky indeed.
But it's feasible. And if it happens--barring a meltdown against the Chiefs--Denver will be staring its first playoff berth in the face since 2005, when another quarterback with a penchant for neck beards (and handball) took the Broncos all the way to the AFC Championship Game.
I wrote a bit today on the subject of the improvements that can be seen in the Broncos this season over last, but came across this today and thought that it was worth sharing. One area where the Broncos were having a lot of difficulty last season was in the area of dropped passes. Brandon Marshall, in particular, had too many and received a lot of fairly just criticism for that.
I was musing over the vagaries of the Broncos' fall from grace on Sunday. Losing a second year in a row to the Raiders late in the season, at home, is about as unconscionable as anything I can imagine. It hurts on a deep level, and for a lot of reasons. Let's face it - when you can't stop JMR on one drive for the win, you shouldn't have won. Denver's loss was by far the most disappointing of the season.
Like the lists of player problems and mistakes that I've been making as I work through the film room material each week, the list of miscreants from this game was long. I don't tend to easily abandon hope and I generally can see the brighter side of things. There weren't a lot of things to celebrate this time. Most of the problems are just the same mistakes from the same offenders that I've seen each week. We have often won in spite of foolish errors. This time, we threw away a game that we could have and should have won.
"You stats shouldn't play so rough. Somebody's gonna start crying."
Some teams bark all day, little doggy. And some teams bite.
Week 15 was supposed to be an easy caper for the playoff-bound teams in the NFL. Minnesota, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Indianapolis were all looking to get in, do their job, and get out--unscathed and without too much gun play. Only two of these teams (Philly and Indy) actually escaped with a win.