Good Morning, Broncos fans! Happy Belated Birthday to Kyle Orton, who turned all of 28 on Sunday. Perhaps it's the neckbeard, or perhaps it's just my incorrect perception, but it seems easy to forget just how young Kyle is. In other words, there's plenty more room on the growth and learning curves for him - hopefully we'll see him continue to improve as a QB over the next 7 games and beyond. FWIW, Kyle ranks third in the NFL in PFR's all-important Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt (ANY/A), which accounts for both interceptions and sacks. Who's ahead of Kyle? Monday night's star Michael Vick, and next Monday's opponent Philip Rivers. Pretty good company.
Josh McDaniels' Monday presser gave rise to a brand-new movement to bring orange jerseys back to Denver on a permanent basis. As mentioned earlier in today's Daily Lard, Dave Krieger wrote a column in the DP today in order to
sell papers get something going along those lines. After all, it was Krieger who posed the question to McDaniels yesterday about the possibility of making the switch back to orange.
To everyone's delight, McDaniels responded with the following:
"I love the orange jerseys. I know we're only allowed to wear them twice in the regular season and once in the preseason unless we make that our standard uniform. But I think our guys kind of like wearing the orange. I like the orange. But that decision to make that our permanent uniform is going to come from Pat (Bowlen). I love to wear the orange, I do. I wouldn't mind it at all. I think you're right, we kind of get excited. Everything, from when you walk in the locker room, it looks different when you've got all the orange jerseys and all that. It wouldn't bother me at all." (emphasis mine)
Sunday’s game made the opportunity to choose the two top Heavies, and brought with it the impossibility of choosing only one from each side of the ball. Both the renewed offensive line and the play on the defensive line were absolutely top drawer. Kyle Orton barely got a grass stain on his uni, while Matt Cassel was sacked 4 times and hurries and knockdowns came with clockwork regularity - a fitting outcome to the Broncos cleaning his clock, and those of the team around him.
KC just wasn’t ready for Denver. It might have been the expectation that a 2-6 team with multiple problems wouldn’t be much of a challenge. It might have been that Josh McDaniels just plain out-coached Todd Haley, Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis. The Chiefs fans that I’ve talked to have in great part blamed their injuries, particularly in their defensive secondary and the need to bring Shaun Smith to the DL, but given what Denver has dealt with this season, their cries have fallen on deaf ears in my case. I’m sorry to not be buying, but Denver is still missing Elvis Dumervil, Robert Ayers, and Andre' Goodman. At this point in the season, it’s a rare - and usually winning - team that hasn’t suffered some major injury difficulties. Some of them have greater depth than Denver or KC, some just have been fortunate in this area.
Imagine there's no Hillis
It's easy if you try
Al Davis still below us
Above us playoff sky...
You may have remembered--just for a flash--on Sunday that the Broncos have a running back named Knowshon Moreno, who ran for 106 yards.
Another silly thought (a reverie perhaps?) probably entered your mind, too: the Broncos can still win this division.
Yes, it's true. With 7 games to go, the Broncos can technically win this thing.
The stats, though, have other ideas.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! During Josh McDaniels' Monday presser, the subject of the orange jerseys came up, and the coach said he'd be all for switching to them permanently. But unfortunately, it's not his call - it's Pat Bowlen's decision. Mr. B must realize that anyone old enough to remember the pre-1997 jerseys firsthand associates the Broncos with the color orange, John Elway, Mile High Stadium, the altitude, the South Stands and a magical home-field advantage. Unfortunately most of those are gone, and the only ones that could be making a Broncos comeback would be the color and the advantage. Well, how about it? Personally, I'd prefer to turn the clocks back completely to 1996 and bring back the old logo as well - I find that the current logo and uniforms are too 1990s-ish and call to mind every major sports franchise formed during that decade - the Panthers, Jaguars, Ravens, Rockies, Marlins, Devil Rays, D'backs and so on. Heck, the day Mr. B unveiled the Swoosh-y new uniforms, the entire NFL world laughed as he called them "predominantly orange." So, I say let's go back to orange - if not all the way back to the old jerseys and logo, then at least to the third jerseys. What do you think?
Sometimes, just a few items need to change in order to alter the fortunes of a team. Oftentimes, we as fans don’t have a chance to see those things - they happen in practice, in the halftime locker room and off camera. But against the Chiefs yesterday, fans got to see the parts that counted - from the 35-0 start to the final gun, the Broncos showed that even with some of its key players still hobbled or out (including Elvis Dumervil, Robert Ayers and Andre' Goodman), they are a far better team than their record to date has shown. The simplest thing that changed was the return of Ryan Harris and the LG debut of Zane Beadles.
Usually I spend each Monday analyzing some aspect of the previous day's game--a formation, a player, or a play.
Yet, today I'm compelled to discuss something that has received a lot of attention over the past 16 hours. Why did Todd Haley neglect the time-honored tradition of coaches shaking hands after yesterday's game? There are likely many reasons (aside from getting out-coached), but the main one is that Haley didn't like the fact that the Broncos left their starters in the game for all 4 quarters. As we learn from this article from Gregg Rosenthal at Pro Football Talk:
Haley apparently was not pleased with how Josh McDaniels handled a big lead in Denver's 49-29 victory over the Chiefs. The Broncos were still throwing plenty, max protecting, and blitzing on defense with a comfortable fourth-quarter lead.
Haley's response? Instead of shaking McDaniels' hand after the game, the Chiefs' coach pointed his finger at him and turned his back.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Somehow, some way, the Broncos eked out 49 points yesterday in slipping past the Chefs of Kansas City yesterday. It was an incredible display by Denver's players, who managed to beat KC despite their coach having lost them weeks ago, and without the services of future Hall of Famers Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall and Peyton Hillis. In fact, the Broncos likely won just to spite their coach, who has made several of the worst trades in sports history over the past 21 months. While Kyle Orton threw four TD passes and Knowshon Moreno topped 100 yards rushing for the first time in their respective careers, Cutler clearly would have thrown at least five TDs and Hillis would have hit 100 yards with four broken limbs. Tim Tebow both passed and threw for a touchdown yesterday, but a less-arrogant coach would better utilize the young player en route to a far superior won/lost record </sarcasm (for now)>.
Two weeks is an eternity in the NFL.
It's time enough to get healthy; time enough to recommit to the running game; time enough--if you're Josh McDaniels--to regain the faith of an entire city, fan base, and organization.
To say that Josh McDaniels was coaching for his very job is to overstate the importance of today's game.
To say that today's game was just another game, however, is to ignore the obvious. Josh McDaniels--no, the entire Broncos organization--needed today's win.
They needed the win so badly that McDaniels brought in none other than John Elway to give the Broncos a pep talk earlier in the week; despite the disappointing off-field actions of DJ Williams, everyone must have listened.
If today's game is what we'll get from an inspired Broncos team, I say bring in The Duke for the remaining 7 games.
Welcome back to the AFC West, Denver.
Enjoy the games, and Go Broncos!! Plus, some Week 10 humor courtesy of IAOFM friend Joe Howard. Thanks, Joe!