Last week I was guilty while watching the Broncos and Bengals. While I hadn't descended into the abyss that is being a Raider fan, I made a pair of very silly mistakes:
I made snap judgements on both Champ Bailey and Brandon Marshall.
And my evidence? A few plays. For Bailey, it was one play in which he cheated to the inside on a deep out (level 3) run by Chad Ochocinco. Yes, Ocho beat him on the play (not badly). But it happened to be the only play in the entire game that Bailey got beat. The only damn play! But, of course, when you are caught up with the emotion of the game, you tend to make snap judgements like this that are not normally in your character.
Happy Saturday, Broncos fans, and other distinguished guests. I said I would have something up this weekend, and I do. Since Hoosierteacher runs Chalk Talk on Fridays, I think I am going to regularly run this feature on Saturdays. Please look for it if you like it. I mentioned in ST&NO that I have been having technical difficulties with this project. Unfortunately, my Madden footage came through in black and white for some reason this week, and I didn't realize it until last night. Last week, the Pinnacle rendering software was freezing up; so, I guess this is better. At least I got SOME video. I will work on figuring out the problem for next week.
I never keep a scorecard or the batting averages. I hate statistics. What I got to know, I keep in my head.
There are some stats that are meaningful, and there are some that ain't (the blood alcohol content of a Raider fan, for instance).
I'd like to bring you each week the stats that matter. These are the stats that don't lie. These aren't your QB ratings or your road/dome winning percentages. No way.
Statistics are like women; mirrors of purest virtue and truth, or like whores to use as one pleases.
There were 16 games played in Week 1. Here's the big picture with respect to Turnovers, Time of Possession, 3rd Down Efficiency, and Field Position:
Happy Tuesday, friends. It's a happy week in Broncoland, hopefully one of many to come this season. There was some good, some bad, some lucky, and some spectacular on Sunday. We'll discuss it all, like we always do, and we won't apologize for winning, because a win is a win. Ready.... BEGIN!!!
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." -- Teddy Roosevelt at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910
Those who watched Brian Dawkins exhorting the Denver Broncos on the sideline before the game got a brief glimpse into one of the best reasons that the Broncos defense on Sunday looked anything but similar to the group of lost travelers that inhabited Broncos uniforms during the last 5 games of 2008. Dawkins screamed, cajoled, entreated and demanded from them their own best efforts. He waved his arms, and slapped his hands against his own helmet in a berserker's rage. They would take the game into their own hands. Nothing else would do, no other outcome was acceptable and in his mind it was clear that he would never, ever, under any circumstances permit the team to give up. The irony of the day was rich. By never giving up, the rote formality of a second receiver following the play in case of a tipped ball was the difference between winning and losing. Sometimes, a refusal to surrender can create victory, regardless of circumstances.
It was everything we didn't really expect. After the victory against AZ, you had to be willing to consider that the defense has come light years since the wrenching dives of the last 5 games of 2008. Much as many on MHR has said, this is NOT the 2008 defense. Given the tools that Cincinnati has and the effectiveness that they can bring, the Broncos had to really step up to finalize this incredible, shocking victory. In the final analysis, they did. What a change from last season! We showed a dominating D, an offense that was out of kilter and out of rhythm and special teams that aren't special yet.
Question - Is Mario Haggan an ILB, an OLB or a coach? Answer - he sure is. And that explains a lot. It explains why the Broncos were glad to give him a contract extension on Wednesday and why he was also announced as a team captain on the same day.
He is a product of relative poverty, a man who knew that sports were a way upward in his life. Mario Marcell Haggan was born on March 3, 1980, in Clarksdale, Miss. He comes out of the Deep South, a man who went to college at Mississippi State following an All-American status while at Clarksdale High School. While there, he was named first-team all-state by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger and played in the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Game... Mario also led his team to the state Class 4A championship in 1997. As a senior, he recorded 158 tackles with three fumble recoveries. He also earned All-American status with USA Today. Even so, the offers to play in college didn't exactly roll in, but he found interest from a few. As is his way, Mario wanted to stay near home.
Bronco fans, our 2009 opponents are about to enter a world of pain, but rather than try and predict where the Broncos will finish this year (10-6), I thought I would instead invest some time developing a general guide to this 2009 Bronco Season...Lebowski style.
It's a regular season Football Tuesday, friends. What could be better? Welcome to another edition of ST&NO. I didn't watch a lot of Week 4 preseason football this week, because, let's face it, most of those games feature very little play by regulars. I did get into college football though, and I did put together some thoughts toward a season preview. Without further ado, let's jump right into it. Ready......... BEGIN!!!