The Daily Lard 9-28-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! As Legwold reminds us, it's getting about time for the Denver offense to start putting together some longer drives to give its own defense a breather, and to shorten the game for them. Revisiting the drive data I've been going over after games, the Broncos have had 22 possessions the past two weeks excluding the kneeldown to end the win over Cincy. Of these 22 possessions, six resulted in scores, while all 16 non-scoring drives have consumed 2:46 or less of game clock, and the only drive among the 16 that lasted longer than six plays ended in an interception (the one that sealed Sunday's loss). A staggering 10 of the 16 non-scoring drives were three-or-less and out.

Yes, the defense has overall been quite impressive, at least relative to the garbage we became accustomed to in 2008 and 2010. But it's not going to cut it against Aaron Rodgers & Co. unless the offense helps them out a bit, extends some drives and kills some clock, not to mention scores some points. If not, it's going to be a long Sunday for all of us...

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You Got Served - Losing respectably

Happy Rebuilding Tuesday, friends.  Since I got my mind right last week and remembered what was really going on, I found myself significantly less upset about Sunday’s game than I’ve historically been about Broncos losses.  I also decided that I think Foxball is a great way to rebuild, because as TJ pointed out Sunday, it makes it hard to get blown out of games.  As much as I can be a pretty good sport about losing 17-14 on the road when I expected practically that exact result, it remains to be seen how I do with something like the 43-13 stinkbomb against Arizona last season.

In any case, this might be the busiest week that I have all season, because it’s my month-end close, I have a test in my MBA class on Thursday night, and I’m heading out with my girlfriend for a weekend in Key West on Friday morning.  I was a crew member of the original USS Spruance (DD-963), which was the lead ship of the Spruance class, and as such I was invited to attend the commissioning of the second USS Spruance (DDG-111), the 61st ship of the Arleigh Burke class, which will take place on Saturday evening.  I’m going to do the best  I can today and Friday, and I’ll be watching the game on my iPad on Sunday but no other games, because you know, it’s Key West.  Anyway, it’s down to football as time allows.  Ready…BEGIN!!

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The Daily Lard 9-27-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Plenty of injury updates from Mike Klis: Denver is expecting to have Elvis Dumervil, Champ Bailey, D.J. Williams and Knowshon Moreno back in action this week for their game in Green Bay. Obviously, they'll need all the help they can get, so these returns could not come soon enough, although whether having Williams take over for his worthy replacement Wesley Woodyard isn't so clear.

In more great news, Marcus Thomas is expected to practice this week but perhaps on a limited basis - it remains to be seen if  he's anywhere near the proper shape to play after missing most of camp with a strained pec and then missing the first three games with a groin injury. Julius Thomas got rid of his walking boot and could be back next week against San Diego, while the other injured Thomas (Demaryius) is not expected back until Week 7 (after the bye).

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Chewing the Fat: Week 3 - Broncos at Titans

The IAOFM staff discuss the Denver Broncos' 17-14 loss to the Tennessee Titans

TJ: Is it just me or does Elway seem to need a million radio and TV shows?

Ted: I don't really have much of a sense of it, being out of the market.  Is he doing a lot?

TJ: The dude sure does seem to need to be in front of the cameras. He has like 5 weekly deals. Perhaps the real appeal of Fox and Xanders is their deference to Emperor John

Ted: Part of Elway's job is definitely a sales job. They should be selling rebuilding more clearly, but I suspect that they think that Elway's love and goodwill will shield their secret rebuilding program

Doc: Is their rebuilding secret? I thought that Elway was pretty up front about a 3+ year rebuilding?

Ted: Em, I think their initial rhetoric suggested that, but that the messaging since then has strayed way away from it. Well, that's a bad start in staying on schedule

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The Daily Lard 9-26-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! So, welcome to Foxball, everyone. After falling to the Titans in Tennessee 17-14 (box score), Denver's 1-2 record consists of two three-point losses and a two-point victory. Once again, the Broncos' defense did enough to win, and a remarkable lack of discipline by the Titans (11 penalties for 80 yards and three huge first downs) kept Denver in a game where its offense was outclassed (231 net yards on 63 plays for a paltry 3.7-yard average).

Last week against the Bengals, Denver's offense produced two long scoring drives and two quick TDs but sputtered on eight possessions which each took four plays or fewer and consumed 2:13 or less of game clock. Yesterday was much of the same, as the team managed two TD drives but couldn't sustain its other eight possessions, which maxed out at 2:46 worth of game clock. Willis McGahee could gain only 52 yards on 22 attempts, while Kyle Orton's 39 passes garnered a measly 173 yards. That, my friends, is the epitome of inefficiency.

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Gut Reaction: Week 3 - Broncos at Titans

Today was classic John Fox football.

Play tough defense. Shorten the game.

Don't give up huge plays.  Manage field position.  

It's a recipe that will keep you in the game until the fourth quarter.  What it won't do, however, is ensure a victory.

To get the win, you have to make the big play when it's needed.

Tennessee made the big play.  The Broncos' big play was tipped at the line of scrimmage.

You may not like John Fox's cooking.  It may not be tasty.  It might mean that the game will be in question until the final two drives each week.

Get used to it--oh, eat your veggies, too.  John Fox wouldn't have it any other way.

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Open Thread - Sunday Week 3

Enjoy the games everyone, and Go Broncos!

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Fat Pickins (and probability) - Week 3

After two weeks of picking games, I've learned a thing or two.

Now, if I can just remember what they are, we'd be in business.

Welcome to another edition of Fat PIckins, where the guys from IAOFM put themselves up against the experts, the machines, the masses, and a guy who spent all night doing body shots in the parking lot of Sam's Club.  

This week we're adding in some more probability for your amusement along with Baxter McLove's stone-cold-drunk locks.

Let's hit this crack pipe.

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The Daily Lard 9-25-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! I don't often utilize this space to address or respond to comments, but I feel like doing so today. Yesterday, it was stated that pointing out Kyle Orton's shortcomings was becoming a tired exercise, that the Orton/Tebow debate is old hat. That bringing up the sack data from FO was useless. Here's what I have to say about that:

  1. Focusing on the fact that Orton holds the ball too long does not relate to Tim Tebow, nor was it a call for the youngster to play.
  2. It's not hackneyed, because we hear all the time that Orton doesn't stand a chance behind Denver's offensive line, or did you miss all the reaction to the opener versus the Raiders?
  3. IAOFM is about critical thinking. It's not about sticking to positivity, Kool-Aid, or expecting the Broncos to go 13-3 every year. You know where to go for that. And as Ted mentioned yesterday, there's no room for getting emotionally attached to one player or another, at least not for us writers. I'm guessing a lot of you would visit us a lot less frequently if we were to hold to our opinions out of stubbornness and ignore facts and film. Like Ted, I am constantly getting new information from my eyes, and if that means a fluidity to my assessments of Orton and Tebow, then so be it. Honestly, I do not care who is quarterbacking the Denver Broncos - only that he does so for a long time and at a high level that produces lots of wins for our team. That's it. Yes, there are other things to worry about, but in the NFL it's all about the quarterback, and the Broncos are unsettled in that department. So until that changes, we are going to be spending a lot of time here writing/debating the quarterback position.

Now that that's out of the way, let's get to the day's news. Of course, we'll have some Fat Pickins, an open thread and TJ's incomparable Gut Reactions for you today. Have a great day, everyone!

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Fat off the Bone: Week 3 - Titans

Last week, we looked at the Cincinnati Bengals.  Surprisingly, the Bengals stuck to the scouting report and presented the Broncos with few wrinkles.

Perhaps this is why they are the Bengals.  It's one thing to know who you are and stick to what you do best.  It's another thing entirely to fall into such a predictable pattern by Week 2.  The Broncos' advanced scouting department probably deserves some credit for the win last week.

Today we're scouting the Tennessee Titans, who have been the Jekyll and Hyde of the NFL so far.  In Week 1 they barely moved the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars, losing 16-14.  A week later, behind timely turnovers and big plays, they smacked the Baltimore Ravens 26-13.

After charting every one of their offensive plays from both games,  I came to realize that the Titans are not the world beaters they appeared to be last week.

In fact, there's a good chance the Broncos win this game.

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