Gut Reactions

Immediate analysis of NFL games and news

Gut Reaction: Don’t fret over the loss of Chris Harris

Happy Tuesday, friends. We’ve gotten a couple of emails lately wondering how the Broncos are going to deal with the loss of Chris Harris, their best and most consistent defensive back.

The simple answer is that the other defensive backs are going to have to step up. Duh, right?

I’m going to go a little beyond that today, even in a brief little post. The Broncos are actually pretty lucky right now, because none of the other three teams left in the playoffs are particularly well-built to capitalize on the loss of Harris.

Continue reading "Gut Reaction: Don’t fret over the loss of Chris Harris"

Gut Reaction: Divisional Round - Broncos vs Chargers

While the 24-17 final score won't indicate it, this win was as good as a blowout.

The Chargers couldn't score until the fourth quarter; when they did, it took some pretty fluky stuff to get them into the game. Some garbage zone, blown coverages, and an onside kick later, the game narrowed.

But let's face it, the Chargers came into the game wanting to attack the edges on first and second down. The signing of Jeremy Mincey, which may turn out to be one of the best signings of the year, made this team stronger outside the tackles. And while you may not believe it, Nate Irving and Shaun Phillips both set the edge as well as Von Miller could have.

Continue reading "Gut Reaction: Divisional Round - Broncos vs Chargers"

Gut Reaction: Chargers 27, Bengals 10

After a week of waiting, the Broncos finally know who they'll be facing in the playoffs.

The good news? The Broncos ended up getting the weakest team in the playoffs, the San Diego Chargers. The Pats can have Andrew Luck--naked or otherwise...

The bad? There is no bad news, my friends. The Chargers are gonna get creamed.

Wait, you might say. Shouldn't we be at least a little worried? The Chargers just beat the Bengals, in Cincinnati, after all.

Continue reading "Gut Reaction: Chargers 27, Bengals 10"

Gut Reaction: Colts 45, Chiefs 44

Just remember: no matter how bad things are, they can always get worse.

For example, you could be a Chiefs fan right about now. All year long their team gave them false hope, from their acquisition of Alex Smith, to their weak-ass schedule, to their near win against the Chargers with their reserves in Week 17.

Continue reading "Gut Reaction: Colts 45, Chiefs 44"

Gut Reaction: Week 17 - Broncos @ Raiders

Most points in a season? Check.

Most passing yards in a season? Check.

Best team in football? We'll see.

It's playoff time.  Everyone goes bare chested and bare knuckles. And we all know what happened to the Broncos last year in the same set of circumstances.

The good news is that last year means not one damn thing; the Broncos are peaking at the exact right time.

Peyton Manning also isn't completely bare this time around. He's had a whole season to get used to the the glove.

Continue reading "Gut Reaction: Week 17 - Broncos @ Raiders"

Gut Reaction: The Slot Machine Retireth

Continue reading "Gut Reaction: The Slot Machine Retireth"

Gut Reaction: Week 16 - Broncos @ Texans

In an era of passing gunslingers and greatness, nothing is supposed to surprise us any longer.

Records are broken to be made to be broken--again and again. But let's consider what Peyton Manning has just done.

51 touchdowns and counting--in a Broncos uniform, no less.

Even if he doesn't throw another touchdown all year (which he will), that's over three touchdowns a game, for sixteen games. It's breakable, but you'd better bring your rabbit's foot, a lunchbox, and an army of Pro Bowl receivers.

What's left unbroken?  The Broncos hold on the overall number one seed.

Continue reading "Gut Reaction: Week 16 - Broncos @ Texans"

Gut Reaction: Week 15 - Broncos vs Chargers

It’s no secret why the Broncos lost tonight.

The Chargers converted half of their third downs.

The Broncos converted only a whisper of two.

It’s really that simple. You can take the time of possession, the big plays, the stupid penalties—all of it pales in comparison to the fundamental fact that you can’t string a drive together without converting on third downs. Of course, the converse is also true. You can’t stop a drive without stopping your opponent on third down.

Continue reading "Gut Reaction: Week 15 - Broncos vs Chargers"

Gut Reaction: Week 14 - Broncos vs Titans

Peyton Manning can’t throw in cold weather—unless he can.

That’s the narrative now. Although the temperature hovered around a frigid five degrees for most of the game, the Broncos offense—and Manning in particular—created a blaze so hot, the Titans needed treatment for third-degree burns.

Make no mistake: the Broncos had two plans in this game. The first was to win the game, which they did handily, 51-28. The second was to send a message to the rest of the league: Peyton Manning can not only play in cold weather, he can torch you.

If you’re coming into Denver late in the year, you'd better believe in Santa Claus. That’s because Peyton Manning is Jack Frost. 

Continue reading "Gut Reaction: Week 14 - Broncos vs Titans"

Gut Reaction: Week 13 - Broncos @ Chiefs

Wait, don’t the Chiefs win games like this at home?

Turning turnovers into touchdowns, taking kickoffs back for touchdowns, breaking off big runs—these are the things that define the Chiefs.

It doesn’t matter, not when Peyton Manning comes to town, even when Manning breaks bad for a quarter. Manning’s mind is just too good. His arm (no matter how wobbly the passes) simply follows.

The Broncos now stand in sole possession of first place in the AFC West; even better, they are in complete control of their own destiny. If they want the first seed, they can do more than wish for it for Christmas.

Continue reading "Gut Reaction: Week 13 - Broncos @ Chiefs"