Gut Reactions

Immediate analysis of NFL games and news

Gut Reaction: Week 12 - Broncos at Chargers

Quick, I know how we can settle this Broncos quarterback controversy very quickly.

Clone Von Miller.

Miller did a little bit of everything today except throw the football.  He got to the quarterback. He beat the double team.  He made the Chargers' offensive linemen look like they were on skates.  And when the Broncos needed him most, he slithered through the line and knocked the ballcarrier out of field goal range.  As a result, the Broncos won in overtime 16-13.

Miller is pure mayhem.  He changes games the way Lawrence Taylor did.  He's the single best draft pick of the 2011 draft class.

Watching Miller play requires you implant a swivel on your neck and suspend your belief that a linebacker can be out of this world against the run or the pass. He's turned the Broncos defense into a dominant force in a matter of months.

Before I prop up his candidacy for President of the United States, let me say one more thing.

It doesn't matter who the quarterback is as long as the Broncos have Miller in the game.

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Gut Reaction: Week 11 - Broncos vs Jets

When you are winning a war, almost everything can be claimed to be right and wise.

John Fox is the wisest man in the land tonight.

I really am at a loss for words right now, but I swear I saw this film in Miami.

Can we save Broncos fans the drama and just throw out the first fifty minutes of each game?

I prefer to watch the good stuff, if you don't mind.

Let's rewire Tim Tebow's internal clock.

It was a great win by the Broncos.  Look out, Oakland.  The Broncos are coming. And Von Miller hits hard.

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Gut Reaction: Week 10 - Broncos at Chiefs

If today's game were a movie script, I'd pitch it as Nine Men In The Box meets Three Tight Ends and a Little Tebow.

The Broncos wrote a high low-concept treatment that included great field position, a run-stuffing defense, and a whole lot of ground game.

The theme of today's flick?  When the other team can't stop you from running, why stop running?

The Broncos attempted four pass plays in the first half, but were up 10-0.

That's one hell of a first act.  For their second and third, they gave more of the same.  On the day, the Broncos completed just two passes.

Is this John Fox football?  Mike McCoy madness?  Tim Tebow intangibles?

Whatever it is, it's enough to keep the Broncos one game out of first place.  And the game is over so fast, you've still got time to run Sunday errands.

Let's get to The Postives, The Negatives, and The Who The Heck Knows.

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Gut Reaction: Week 9 - Broncos at Raiders

There was a quarterback today who looked lost,  threw multiple interceptions, drowned in the pocket, and lost the confidence of his entire organizaton and city.

His name wasn't Tim Tebow.

Tebow was all but given up on a week ago; multiple reports had him walking the plank by halftime.

Those reports have been greatly exaggerated.

Yo, ho, ho, and a bottle of Broncos Kool-Aid.  Tim Tebow used the zone-read option to escort the Raiders dancing pirates to Davy Jones' Locker.

Avast, Broncos fans.  Tebowmania is back for another voyage.

Let's get to the Positive, the Negatives, and the Who the Heck Knows?

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Gut Reaction: Week 8 - Broncos vs. Lions

A day before Halloween, the Broncos dressed in orange.

They got smashed like pumpkins.

We knew ahead of the game that John Fox was going to feed his Frankenstein and implement a mish mash of several college offenses to attack the Lions and unleash the Tebow.

Instead he unleashed a nightmare.  He got the same ugly first half as last week.  It sent children screaming into the night.

The second half wasn't any better--no miracle catches, no onside kick recoveries, and no mental errors by the other team.  Nada de nada.

Intangibles?  Leadership?

Does it matter?  Detroit brought guns.  The Broncos got murdered.

Happy Helloween, Denver.

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Gut Reaction: Week 7 - Broncos at Dolphins

Confirmation bias isn't just a river in Egypt.

This week, every Broncos fan will have a legitimate claim to their view.

Does Tim Tebow have what it takes to be the Broncos starting quarterback?

The score says yes.  So do the thousands of Tebowites who skipped church this morning to witness Tebow's 4th-quarter comeback.

But the game plan says no.  John Fox and Mike McCoy called this game like they couldn't trust their quarterback--or their team.  Without an onside kick recovery, an OT turnover, some amazing catches by Demaryius Thomas and Daniel Fells, and a Dolphins team that ran a prevent defense that only prevented them from winning, this game is a loss to a brutally bad team.

The Broncos had fourteen days to create a game plan for the Miami Dolphins.  It was clearly thirteen days too many.  They could have done better by simply letting Tebow use his old Florida playbook and flying in Urban Meyer.  At least they would have converted a 3rd down before the fourth quarter.

This game did nothing to resolve the quarterback issue for the Broncos, but at least it was exciting in the end.  That's more than the Broncos have had in a long time.

(Update & Correction:  The coverage noted in the last two drives was clearly NOT prevent, quarter coverage, it was nickel, deep-zone coverage)

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Gut Reaction: Week 5 - Broncos vs Chargers

After five games, I've seen enough.  The Kyle Orton era is over in Denver.

Orton may very well play more games this year as the starting quaterback.  Today, though, things broke bad--really bad.

Today's NFL is about making plays, whether they are scripted or not.  The Broncos simply don't have enough time build the perfect offensive line around Orton so he can become the next Troy Aikman.  They've barely got enough draft picks to fix the defense.

I've said this before: In a vacuum, Kyle Orton is the perfect quarterback.  If he has time to sit in the pocket for four or five seconds, he'll rape and pillage.  Unfortunately, that's not the game of football.  You can't call max protection on each and every play.

The game is messy.  Half of the plays the offensive coordinator calls are going to bust.  In short, the vacuum Kyle Orton needs doesn't exist.  It never will.

It's got nothing to do with Tim Tebow.  Tebow may or may not be the answer.  This is Kyle Orton evaluated against Kyle Orton.

He might be the best quarterback on the roster.  But he's not the quarterback 11 games from now.  He's probably not the quarterback in two weeks.

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Gut Reaction - Al Davis is gone

My biggest punch line is gone.

Goodbye, Al Davis, we're going to miss you.

Davis died today at the age of 82 at his home, presumably with his middle finger still pointed at the NFL and at Roger Goodell.

If you were hoping for a rosebud moment, keep hoping.  Davis wouldn't give Goodell the pleasure.

That's exactly why Davis was good for the game, of course.  Unlike today's NFL, replete with waves upon waves of lawyers, and a commissioner whose plastic emotions--whether they're reserved for concussions or for passionate fans--are as transparent as bottled water, Davis was a football guy first.

He wore his emotions on his jumpsuit.

Davis used lawyers, but only because he knew that punching Goodell in the face would result in wounds that would heal.

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Gut Reaction: Week 4 - Broncos at Packers

He pulls a knife.  You pull a gun.

Unless all you've got are plastic spoons.

He sends one of yours to the hospital.  You send one of his to the morgue.

Unless all you can do is help them to the end zone.

The Denver Broncos tried to play with the big boys of the NFL today.  What they got was the Packers' way.

Today's loss shows just how far the Broncos have to go before they solve any conflict through violence, coverage and tackling.

The final score matters little at this point.  All I can remember is the image of Aaron Rodgers showboating in the endzone with his title-belt celebration.

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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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