Gut Reactions

Immediate analysis of NFL games and news

Gut Reaction: Week 15 - Broncos @ Ravens

I believe it was scholar Michael Gerard Tyson who once said: "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face."

The Ravens had a plan. That plan probably included a healthy dose of Ray Rice.

Then they found themselves bloodied to the tune of 17-0. The plan shifted to the arm of Joe Flacco.  And we all know that's no plan at all.

Somehow the Ravens confused this year's Broncos with Denver teams of the past.  It began with a push of Eric Decker by Cary Williams and didn't stop until Decker beat Williams like he was Gerry Cooney.  The rest of the Ravens were pushed all over the yard and buried.

The Ravens are no longer the physical bullies they believe they are.  After most of the plays in the first half, the Ravens were pushing and shoving like it was the year 2000--you know, when Ray Lewis might really murder you.

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Gut Reaction: Week 14 - Broncos @ Raiders

Raise your hand if you thought the Broncos were in danger with a halftime lead of only six points.

That's exactly two hands, including John Madden's.

I guess pirates just aren't that frightening anymore--if they ever were in Oakland.

Either that, or this Broncos team is that good.  Even when they play sloppy and sluggish in the red zone, they adjust.  A one-score game quickly turnes into a three-score game. 

By the fourth quarter, the Broncos' opponents might as well put on their pirate shirts.

As least then, the attire would keep it interesting.

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Gut Reaction: Week 13 - Broncos vs Bucs

Last year it took the Broncos until Week 17 to win the division.

What a bunch of drama queens.

This year, the Broncos clinched the division so fast, there was still time to hit the links.

Golf, anyone?

Okay, how about a seven-game winning streak?

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Gut Reaction: Week 12 - Broncos @ Chiefs

Kansas City ain't what it used to be.

Arrowhead Stadium used to rival the Circus Maximus.  Now it simply reeks.

The smell?  The stench of Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel.

Sure, the Broncos struggled throughout most of the game.  And earlier in the week, Peyton Manning put on a straight face and said the Chiefs were a tough out.  At one point, he even said, "They've got a lot of good players."

As it turns out, Manning was right, but not correct enough for the Broncos to actually lose to a bad team.

You see, good means very little when you're 1-10, without a solution at quarterback, and you're coaching not to lose.

In fact, 1-10 just stinks.  Here in Denver, we don't mind.  We'll just plug our noses.

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Gut Reaction: Week 11 - Broncos vs Chargers

The Broncos got the AFC West in a strangehold, baby.

You best get outta the way.

The Broncos took care of business. They handled the San Diego Chargers (don't let the final score fool you). They now own a three-game lead.  And finally, they've taken two straight from Norv's kids.

A.J. Smith's head may, in fact, now be two sizes smaller.

Now it's on to the rest of the AFC.

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Gut Reaction: Week 10 - Broncos @ Panthers

Two wrongs do make a right--at least for John Fox, Von Miller, and Peyton Manning.

Jerry Richardson--the tea-guzzling, pacemaking, and fiery owner of the Carolina Panthers--didn't renew John Fox's contract in 2011.  He also drafted Cam Newton instead of Von Miller.  Finally, he insulted Peyton Manning during the lockout.

That's a lot of bad things in the span of two years.

Today, Richardson got what was coming to him--to the tune of a 36-14 beatdown.

His ego should be sore in the morning.

And John Fox, Von Miller, and Peyton Manning should feel even better about the win.

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Gut Reaction: Week 9 - Broncos @ Bengals

Today's game was the sort of contest previous Broncos teams would have lost.

There they were--on the road, starting early, serving up two critical interceptions, and running the ball as sluggishly as they have all year.

Instead, they were ahead by two scores with a few minutes remaining.  I guess having Christopher Walken Peyton Manning at quarterback has something to do with it.

That's an effort you'd expect from a top-flight team and a division champion.

Perhaps a championship team?

We'll see.  Suffice to say, things are beginning to feel a lot different in Denver this year.

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Gut Reaction: Week 8 - Broncos vs Saints

Tonight, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning were supposed to throw for a combined 600 passing yards.

Manning held up his end of the bargain--and it only took him three quarters.

The Broncos defense didn't get the memo, however.  Although Brees wasn't sacked a lot, he felt more heat than a Louisiana strip club.

The player of the game was undoubtedly Wesley Woodyard.  On the night, he had nine tackles, four assists, two passes defensed, one forced fumble, one sack, and an interception.

That's scary good, and right in time for Halloween.

And right in time for the Broncos to give the league nightmares.

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Gut Reaction: Week 6 - Broncos @ Chargers

Norv [norv] noun, verb, Norved, Norving

noun
1. Proper name, short for Norval, popularized by parents in the 20th century who wanted their kids to be bullied at school.

verb
2. To cause to lose a football game in the fourth quarter.
3. To reverse fortune, especially during the act of playing American football.

San Diego, you just got Norved!   And you witnessed the greatest comeback victory in Monday Night Football history.

Norv Turner wasn't really responsible for today's Broncos carnival (turnovers and big plays were good enough), but that was fun as hell to write.

Now, let's break this thing down in thirty little ways:

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Gut Reaction: Week 5 - Broncos at Patriots

It's elk season here in Colorado.

Today, the animals were safe, though.  It was the Broncos who got gutted.

The Broncos knew the Patriots were going to run a no-hunddle offense. They'd seen it on film for four weeks.

The reality of playing against the no-huddle, though, was quite different.

The Patriots regularly snapped the ball with twenty-five seconds on the clock.  That's not just a no-huddle offense. That's a video game.  Sixty minutes later, the Broncos were gassed, John Fox was baffled, and the Broncos were wounded.

Like any wounded animal, the Broncos did put up a fight.  But in the end, it's the Patriots who wore orange and came in for the kill.

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