Gut Reactions

Immediate analysis of NFL games and news

Gut Reactions - Week 16, Broncos-Texans

ralphie And God said, "Let there be two halves."

How could the Broncos look so bad in the 1st half and so good in the 2nd?

They let their quarterback play one on TV.

The first half was one of screens (slip, bubble, running back, silver?).  The Broncos' coaching staff either didn't trust their young quarterback or they simply wanted to continue to take his development as slowly as possible.  Did they realize they were facing the league's worst defense in the Houston Texans?

The 17-0 deficit was actually a blessing in disguise.  It forced the Broncos' coaches to finally unleash the Tebow.  In the 2nd half, they had no other choice.    

Tim Tebow may be a lot of things (young, inexperienced, and still under development), but there's one thing he's not--boring.  He gave the Broncos energy today.  Energy to burn.  

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Gut Reactions - Week 15, Broncos-Raiders

Bill Walsh, the original gangsta of QB evaluation, once wrote:

Gothiest-Count-Dracula_imagelarge

"He [the quarterback] must be courageous and intensely competitive. He will be the one on the field who is running the team. His teammates must believe in him or it may not matter how much physical ability he has. If he is courageous and intensely competitive, then other players will know and respect that. This will be a foundation for becoming a leader."

Today, Tim Tebow proved he's a leader.  He made plays; he was intensely competitive; he was courageous as hell.  I think most would agree that the foundation that Walsh spoke of is there in the Broncos' first-round draft pick.

But we ought not confuse intensity with the passing tree.

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Gut Reactions - Week 14, Broncos-Cardinals

Without Josh McDaniels around, we've been told that Dove Valley was like an episode of Leave it to Beaver this week.

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How appropriate then, that their opponent brought out an offense from the 1960s.

With only a Skelton crew, the Cardinals pared their playbook down so far, even Eddie Haskell could have called signals.  The Broncos should have given the Cardinals the business today.  

Instead, the Broncos were the ones on the business end of yet another hunka junk.   Four turnovers in the first half?  Six for the game?  Gee, Broncos fans, that's swell.

Ellis, I think you were a little hard on the Beav Josh on Monday.   You can spin "integrity" and "passion" all you want, but that narrative has already gone stale.

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Gut Reactions: Action without action

Forgive me if I'm not blown away by Joe Ellis' press conference today.

Although I understood the words that were coming out of his mouth, I ended up missing most of the meaning.

Let me see if I can get this straight.  Ellis admitted that the organization burdened Josh McDaniels with too much responsibility;  he admitted that the organization had not intended to give McDaniels so much power, but that it somehow had "evolved" to that point;  he admitted that McDaniels would end up being an excellent and successful head coach in the league; he admitted that McDaniels was in the top of the league in game-planning; he admitted that the organization needed to do more to help McDaniels with all the responsibilities that came with being a head coach.

So the best course of action was to send the guy packing.  

I guess Ellis was correct when he said, "We don't have a plan for moving forward."

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Gut Reactions - Week 13, Broncos-Chiefs

ash

Trapped in Kansas City.  

Surrounded by evil.  

Low on gas.

On a day in which the Broncos could have used his arm, Kyle Orton had nothing in the tank.  

Arrowhead Stadium in December can do that do a guy.

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Gut Reactions - Week 12, Broncos-Rams

Tuco_01

Wrecks, sighs, and videotape.

The wreck: losing at home to a team who is in rebuilding mode.  

The sighs: the Broncos' continued futility to convert on 3rd downs, lack of quarterback pressure, inability to tackle, and  turnovers (on both sides).

The videotape: The Rams' offense seemed to confuse the Broncos after their first drive with their normal misdirection and bootlegs; their receivers and tight ends had more space than Buzz Lightyear. Their defense, as Brian Griese pointed out from the radio booth, confused the Broncos all game, blitzing eight defenders on one play, only to drop eight defenders in coverage the next.

Quick, someone call Steve Scarnecchia and get him back on the payroll (and rolling footage).  The Broncos could have used six more minutes of film today.

Despite a late surge, some luck, and some conservative play calling by the Rams, the Broncos' season took another shot to the chin today.  

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Josh McDaniels would make a bad Sicilian

I'm done with Josh McDaniels.

Not because he's failed to draft any defensive linemen with the 19 picks he's had in the last two years; not because his first meaningful move as coach of the Broncos was to cut the long snapper; not because 33-year old guys throwing down f-bombs on national television fail to motivate grown men in their mid-20s and 30s.  I'll even leave the record-setting blowouts aside for the moment.

I'm done with him because he apparently hasn't watched any of the Godfather movies.

Had he, he would have realized that in the Cosa Nostra of the old sicilian mafia, or, let's face it, in the coaching tree of Bill Belichick, you don't rat out anyone in the "organization."  Even if takes a week or more and pressure from league officials.

The Sicilians have a term for this: Omertá, which means maintaining a code of silence.

To betray Omertá is to invite retribution of all kinds--Peyton Hillis as MVP, Jay Cutler getting into the playoffs, bloody horse heads in the bed, and more.  

And you thought the Curse of Brett Kern was bad.

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Gut Reactions - Week 11, Broncos-Chargers

big-lebowski

The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.

Unless you forget to take the second.  Then you simply fall on your ass.

Tonight the Broncos started fast.  Once the Chargers adjusted, however (putting more guys in the box), Denver's excellent adventure turned bogus.

And we didn't even get a cameo from Keanu Reeves.  Damn, dude.  

What started as a fake punt quickly turned into a nightmare of missed tackles, blown assignments, penalties, dropped passes, and desperate gadget calls.  In other words, outside of a few good weeks, more of the same.

Last week the Broncos were the ones who had two weeks to prepare for their opponent.  This week, it was the Chargers who had the additional time.  Honestly, though, they didn't need it, so I hope they spent at least half of that time prepping for the Colts.  

Time didn't beat the Broncos.  As we've seen again and again, the Broncos beat themselves. 

Get your mock drafts ready.  

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Gut Reactions - Week 10, Broncos-Chiefs

chuck-norris

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.

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Gut Reactions - Week 8, Broncos-49ers

Jet lag—like a set of perfect English teeth—may not exist.

But the Broncos are believers.

The only way to describe their performance today was sluggish.  How about just plain blah?

They may have walked off the plane 48 hours ago, but, in what has come to be a hallmark of this Broncos team, they again couldn’t get their wings off the ground to start the game.  They barely got airborne the entire game. 

The usual suspects appeared—and we aren’t just talking about those British hoodlums that show up to soccer games.  The Broncos showed a plethora of penalties, blown assignments, and miscommunications.  They were also 0-for-4 on 3rd downs through their first 4 drives.

Can god save the queen?  Who knows.  But it would be nice if he’d at least bless the Broncos’ run defense.

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