"What did you say, Stats Champion? I'll beat you like a dog, a dog, you fool!" --Clubber Lang
I pity the fool that believes in league parity.
Let's be honest. Outside of a few games, Week 14 was a complete bore. The winning teams won by an average of 15 points. While the storyline of the two undefeated teams continued to be compelling, most of the games were as forgettable as a JaMarcus Russell seam pass or a Jay Cutler trip to the red zone. Roger Goodell should have donated some of his TV revenues back to charity. At least fans would have felt better about the six hours of their lives they won't be getting back.
However, we did learn something about the Denver Broncos. They stand more than a puncher's chance in the playoffs.
Welcome to another round of The Stats That Don't Lie, your statistical Mister T. These are the stats that hit below the belt. They are the stats that never have to go to the judges. In short, they beat you like a dog, fool. As always they are Turnovers, Field Position, Time of Possession, and 3rd-Down Efficiency.
Happy Tuesday, friends, and welcome to another edition of Shallow Thoughts & Nearsighted Observations. Christmas is coming - and I, for one, am hoping for a much more joyous holiday season than I experienced last December. All I got for Christmas last year was the Broncos' historic collapse, and all I had to give was the one scenario that could possibly be worse than the season-ending Chargers game (it involved hypothetically cutting an apple, slipping, and stabbing myself in the groin WHILE watching that game).
I'm not much for moral victories, but today in Donny Deutschland, I will talk about why I feel better about Sunday's loss than I have about any Broncos loss in years. There's no time to waste, so let's not waste any time. Out of the echo chamber, and into the fire, y'all. Ready..... BEGIN!!!
Divisional opponents inspire hate. And mockery. So let round two of the Raiders' Limericks begin!.
Here are five that I created. Please feel free to make up your own. And Raiders' fans, please participate if you've passed the 8th grade or aren't currently wearing an orange jacket and carrying a garbage sack.
At the end of the season, I'll do a post with the top-10 limericks from all the division opponents to vote on, so please rec the limericks that you like the most.
These five should help you get the hang of it (if you have an extra syllable or two here or there, who cares):
Yesterday, Josh McDaniels made one of his most interesting coaching decisions before the bodies even began hitting the turf of Lucas Oil Stadium.
He deferred the kickoff.
Although this decision is not controversial at the college level (Urban Meyer and many other coaches always defer), apparently it causes quite a stir when done by an NFL head coach. As Mike Klis wrote today in the Denver Post:
The officials gathered the respective captains for a coin toss to see who would get the ball first. The Broncos called heads. It came up heads. What a break. The great Manning would have to wait . . .
What's that? McDaniels deferred. McDaniels' research had shown that the team that kicks off at the start usually has the final possession of the first half, and then gets the ball again to start the second half.
Score at the end of one half, score at the beginning of the next. Double-up the points while Manning waits on his sideline.
But even at its best, such decision would have to be considered counterintuitive.
The Broncos are like a bomb, baby, come and get it on.
What happens if the Broncos actually pull a miracle and beat the Colts tomorrow? How will they have done it? Is it actually possible?
Not only is it possible, I can already tell you what the game will look like. As the lead singer for the band Def Depard (one of the finest poets of his generation) would say,"Red light, yellow light, green-a-light go."
Since 2005, the Indianapolis Colts have finished 55-16, including the playoffs and Super Bowl season of 2006. That means the Colts have won 77% of their games. That's an insane number of wins in a 4-year stretch. If it helps you bend your mind around just how good this is, just imagine the Raiders losing percentage over the last 4 years and think about the exact opposite. The Colts have been as good as the Raiders have been useless.
There's nothing quite like back-to-back wins to put a shine into the work in the film room. The glow of the past two wins hasn't faded at all, but the upcoming contest against the Indianapolis Colts is starting to loom large. Before we get into our matchups and needs against the next foe, let's take some time to look back over what we've accomplished. Special teams, the nose tackle position and even raiderology are on today's menu. Let the feasting begin!
"Stats washed over The Dude...darker than a black steer's tookus on a moonlight prairie night..." Sam Elliott
In almost every Hollywood movie there is a moment that comes, about three-fourths through the movie, in which the hero or heroin appears defeated. This moment is called the "dark moment," and if you're paying attention, it appears in almost all stories. The great mythologist, Joseph Campbell, wrote a book called The Hero With a Thousand Faces, in which he described the hero's journey, and briefly, the dark moment:
Beyond the threshold, then, the hero journeys through a world of unfamiliar yet strangely intimate forces, some of which severely test him...(page 246)
For modern day storytellers, this is the moment in which everything appears bleak and all is lost. In the greatest movie ever made, The Big Lebowski (Citizen Kane, stay down), the dark moment occurs when The Dude is drugged by Jackie Treehorn (don't ask me for the rest of the plot, or you'll be here for hours).
Happy Tuesday, friends, and welcome to another edition of ST&NO. After being sick last week, and running an abbreviated version on Wednesday, I am back in full effect this week. I feel kind of like Stringer Bell in season 2 of The Wire, when Avon Barksdale was locked up, and their supplier cut them off. Stringer said he needed to put out a smoker to hold the towers, and I feel like a smoker is similarly needed this week with ST&NO. After all, I can't really do what Stringer actually did, when he couldn't get his raw dope, and change the name. Nobody is going to read a column called Death Grip, you know? (Really, I don't know what kind of drug addict would buy dope called Death Grip, but that's neither here nor there.) Anyway, here comes the high test stuff, with the same name as always. So fill up your coffee, get comfortable, and let's get right to it. Ready.... BEGIN!!!
This week brought some colder, wetter autumnal weather to southern California. It put me in the perfect mood to watch a lot of film and to take in all of the facets of a massive, overwhelming Broncos beatdown of the Kansas City Chiefs, right on their own turf. Despite all the press about the past, this is a new team and they took the opportunity to prove that to KC and anyone else who was willing to watch. It was close right up to the end of the first quarter, and quickly turned into a rout during quarter 3. I enjoyed every minute of it. While I wanted to have the Broncos put a headlock on the Chiefs I didn't expect Ryan Clady (photo) to take it quite so literally.
It's good to be the king--of sacks.
That's because sacks are critical in today's NFL. Sacks have become such an important part of football, that today they are cause for orgasmic euphoria on the part of players and fans. It seems that this single act of taking the opposing quarterback down two-to-ten yards behind the line of scrimmage is almost on par with touchdowns themselves. Gyrating, break-dancing, and in the case of Shawn Merriman, outright seizures disguised as celebrations are in order after just a single sack.
Deacon Jones might have fathered the sack. Lawrence Taylor might have raised it through adolescence. And Michael Strahan might have helped it pay for college. But today, every roster is filled with a least one player trying to make a real man out of the sack.
That's because some sacks are hellaciously important. Not because Ryan Clady makes a lot of money defending against them. Not because Michael Lewis says so. But because a sack has real value.
So much value, in fact, that the Denver Broncos should resign Elvis Dumervil--before the king leaves the building.