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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The Daily Lard 9-24-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Here's something to consider when figuring out where to assign blame for the 70 sacks Kyle Orton has taken during his 31 games as a Bronco - how long do the sacks of Orton take to play out? Obviously, there's been plenty of chatter here about Orton and pass protection, and it's been my assertion that Kyle "walks into" too many of them due to his poor pocket awareness and mobility within it, while Ted has focused on Orton's tendency to hold the ball too long and his reluctance to check it down.

Well, as the data from J.J. Cooper of Football Outsiders points out, the overwhelming majority (80.49%) of sacks Denver allowed in 2009 and 2010 took more than 2.5 seconds to play out, which is the fifth-highest such figure among all teams, trailing only the Chiefs, Titans, Ravens and Vikings. At the other end of the spectrum is the Colts and their craptastic offensive line - and although Indy didn't allow a high number of sacks, we all know that's a credit to Peyton Manning's awareness and quick decisions. An incredible 61.76% of their sacks allowed took less than 2.5 seconds to occur, or when Manning just didn't have time to get the ball out. So, Kyle...just get rid of the damn ball!

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Mohamed to PS; Nalbone released

As expected, LB Mike Mohamed has cleared waivers and was signed to the Broncos' practice squad today, while TE John Nalbone was released from the PS to create room for him. Denver waived Mohamed yesterday in conjunction with the return of D.J. Williams to practice and the re-signing of TE Dante Rosario, whose addition also facilitated the release of Nalbone. Mohamed had been the Broncos' sixth-round draft choice in April out of Cal.

On the injury front, Elvis Dumervil was declared out for Sunday, Champ Bailey, Knowshon Moreno and D.J. Williams are listed as questionable, and Brandon Lloyd is probable. For the Titans, RB Chris Johnson and WR Kenny Britt are probable while DE Williams Hayes, WR Damian Williams and S Chris Hope are questionable.

Digesting the Titans

Happy Friday, friends.  I hope you enjoyed Tom Gower’s thoughts on the Titans that we posted earlier today.  He’s a respected writer who contributes to Football Outsiders, and we’re happy to have his work appear at our humble site.  My work likewise appeared over at his site, and I only hope that the readers at Total Titans find our contribution up to their normal standards.

Since Tom gave us some Titans thoughts, I said to myself, “Self, maybe you should go light, or even skip the Digesting piece, and just leave it to their “inside” guy who’s really familiar with the team.”  I considered doing so for a few minutes, but y’all know me: I like excess.  More is better than less.  That said, here are some observations on the Titans:

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Titans Q&A with Tom Gower

Total Titans approached us about collaborating with their site to preview Sunday's game by exchanging some questions and having a writer from each site provide insight on their respective teams.  Below are my questions to Tom Gower and his answers; Tom writes for TT and also contributes to Football Outsiders, and we appreciate his time and effort.  In turn, I answered some questions from Tom which have been posted here.

Ted - Would you say that the schemes of the Titans have changed significantly with the new coaching regime in place, and if so, how?

Tom - In the run game, I haven't seen much of a change.  In the passing game, the wide receivers are having to do much more reading of the defense and route adjustments than were apparent in Mike Heimderdinger's offense, where they pretty much had to run the route of the play as it was called. As you might expect from a wide receiving corps that doesn't have a lot of experience, that's been a work in progress.  Matt Hasselbeck is also a much different quarterback than Kerry Collins and Vince Young.  Particularly with Young, the Titans were a downfield passing team (they led the league last year in frequency and success rate of passes 21-30 yards downfield).  Hasselbeck doesn't have the arm to threaten defensive vertically like that, but is a much more precise thrower on short and intermediate passes, which he used to great effect in picking apart the Ravens' zones last week.

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The Daily Lard 9-23-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Denver's injury situation is gradually improving, with Brandon Lloyd a full participant in practice and limited participation from Elvis Dumervil, Knowshon Moreno and D.J. Williams yesterday. It's not clear whether Williams is expected to get the start over Wesley Woodyard, but Dennis Allen says D.J. could face some conditioning issues, so figure to see at least a decent amount of Woodyard come Sunday.

On the flip side, Champ Bailey has still not practiced since injuring his hamstring, although he's at least running and cutting. Basically, Champ sounds like he's not going to play, but that he would if it were a playoff game.

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