Gut Reactions

Immediate analysis of NFL games and news

Gut Reaction:  Browns trade Trent Richardson to Colts

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.

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Gut Reaction: Ryan Clady goes on IR

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.

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Gut Reaction: Week 2 - Broncos @ Giants

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.

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Gut Reaction: Week 1 - Broncos vs Ravens

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.

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Gut Reaction: Preseason Week 4 - Broncos vs Cardinals

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.

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Gut Reaction: Preseason Week 3 - Broncos vs Rams

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.

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Gut Reaction: Preseason Week 2 - Broncos @ Seahawks

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.

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Gut Reaction: Preseason Week 1 - Broncos @ 49ers

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.

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Gut Reaction: Broncos release first depth chart of 2013

The Broncos posted their first depth chart for the 2013 season on Sunday.

As usual, there are a few mild surprises, but nothing that really conflicts with what we've been hearing of players' performances thus far in camp.

Take a peek at the depth chart, and then we'll make a few observations:

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Gut Reaction: Broncos may lose Von Miller

Chill.  Just chill the f#$k out.

Everyone is overreacting to the news that the Broncos could lose Von Miller for four games.  Putting aside the moral judgments for a moment, let's look at this from a football perspective.

The Broncos won, on average, by 12 points last year.

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