The image that I enjoyed most tonight was one you probably didn’t even notice.
Adam Gase on the sidelines, looking like a football nerd, intensity washed over his face, calling plays as fast as his brain could think and his mouth could move.
On the other end, a football cyborg named Peyton Manning: half man, half machine, calculating the defense’s moves three or four steps ahead, changing the play with the mere flick of a hand.
Back in the first decade of this century, Philip Rivers was a very good QB. He had a weird, semi-sidearm motion which convinced some other coaches that QB mechanics don’t really matter, and soon he could it throw a mile with accuracy.
With a younger Antonio Gates, a semi-functional Vincent Jackson, some quality veterans on the offensive line, and a good defense, they were cast yearly as the AFCW favorite. In 2009, they painfully drafted Northern Illinois University’s Larry English in the first round - he just contributed four tackles last season and 24 over the last three.
Happy Thursday, friends. The Twitter world was set ablaze yesterday afternoon right as I was getting ready to attend an assessment where I was evaluated for competency to teach accounting and cost accounting to college students, as a side gig.
I did well, I think, but half the time, I was thinking about how interesting the Trent Richardson trade was, and what it said about the two teams that made it.
For the Colts, it reinforced the idea that they’re all about winning now, and that they don’t value draft picks very highly. Remember, they traded their 2013 second-rounder for Vontae Davis last year too. There are a couple of risks to this approach, and the main one exists because of the (still relatively new) CBA.
Happy Wednesday, friends. I wanted to weigh in briefly on the Ryan Clady news, because it’s obviously of material importance to a Broncos team that’s off to a terrific start this year.
A Lisfranc injury is serious, and it’s definitely the sort of thing that would prevent a LT from performing at a high level, or really, being able to perform at all.
I know what some of you are thinking – did a championship season just go up in smoke with one injury? I’m pretty sure the answer is no. Clady is an excellent player, but he’s not as impactful as several other players on the team. If the defense can survive the loss of both Von Miller and Champ Bailey, the offense can withstand the loss of Clady.
Anyone can hang in the first half.
It’s how you play in the second half that matters.
Under Peyton Manning, it’s become a well-known story. The Broncos come out and see what the defense wants to do. They run, they pass, they do a little dance. They even score a few points.
In the second half, they release the Kraken.
Players, coaches, even little brothers—they all drown in the wake.
No Von Miller? No Champ Bailey?
No big deal.
We’ve been telling readers for weeks now that as Peyton Manning goes, so do the Broncos. We gesticulated the notion that with Wes Welker, the Broncos were going to score more, not fewer points. What we didn’t tell you was that Peyton Manning would be on pace for 112 touchdowns.
Okay, I’m getting a little carried away now, but you get the drift. Bring me a team that puts up 30 points a week, and we can have a discussion about the Broncos losing a game. Otherwise, John Fox is keeping his foot on the gas this time.
The final preseason game—little scheming, fewer names, and absolutely zero meaning.
To make matters worse, a lot of dudes wearing orange and blue tonight won’t have a job tomorrow. That’s a cold reality in a colder football world. It’s a little depressing, frankly—like an afterschool special without the moral lesson.
The good news is that Peyton Manning has been game planning to pluck the feathers out of the Ravens for two weeks.
So take a day and lament the Broncos who won’t have jobs tomorrow. Thank them for their service. Even wish some of them a path to the practice squad.
Then get ready for some big-boy football, the kind they play when the scores start to matter.
Hey, you want in on a little secret?
Come closer. No, closer. Close enough so you can’t feel the spittle from Dan Dierdorf’s lips.
That’s better. Okay, here it is: the Broncos have exactly zero takeaways over their past two games, yet they’ve given the ball away eight times.
If it wasn’t the preseason, and if Peyton Manning wasn’t a Golden God, I’d probably be worried.
So for now, let’s just keep this between the two of us.
This week, the US Government confirmed the existence of Area 51.
It means that weird stuff does happen, not just in the proximity of a Skip Bayless tweet.
Tonight, the Broncos saw just how absurd things can get: a kickoff returned against them for a touchdown, a fumble recovery returned the length of the field for a touchdown, and that doesn’t include the freak injuries to key players.
It got so odd, the Broncos should be happy aliens didn’t land on the fifty-yard line and take Von Miller captive for four weeks of testing.
For now, let’s just hope the Broncos get back to Denver, lick their wounds, get to the next game, and leave the strange probing to Roger Goodell.
I’ve been waiting an entire offseason to write this, but here goes:
Rahim Moore, you’re off the hook. In fact, you’re already victorious in my eyes.
How so? Given that none of us—the organization, the players, the fans—can change the results of last year’s playoff loss, my definition of victory evolved once preseason began.
And once I saw Rahim Moore take the field tonight and play (even just a few snaps) with the ferocity I’d hoped to see from him, I knew he’d already won.