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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Norv [norv] noun, verb, Norved, Norving
1. Proper name, short for Norval, popularized by parents in the 20th century who wanted their kids to be bullied at school.
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:
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.
When Peyton Manning joined the Broncos, this is the type of game fanatics had in mind.
The Broncos get an early lead.
They build on that lead running the ball.
Then, they let loose the angry hounds.
Who are the hounds?
The entire Broncos defense, which allowed the Raiders only one third-down conversion all game long.
And now Carson Palmer needs a rabies shot.
Reggie Bush just tweeted it best:
These refs gotta go I'm sorry
The Packers and Seahawks battled for several hours tonight only to watch the scab officials make two different calls on the last play of the game, which was a Hail Mary that was clearly intercepted by Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings. Unfortunately for the Packers, the scabs decided to give the reception (and the touchdown) to Golden Tate of the Seahawks. Worse, the call stood after the review (which never should have been reviewed to begin with, we should note). In short, the Packers got screwed.
Hey, at least it wasn't the Broncos that got jobbed.
I'd wager that this sort of thing might bring Roger Goodell to the negotiating table, but that would require the lapdog to quickly place a call to his masters, Kraft and Jones. Jones is too busy taking care of his gay cowboy situation.
The highlight of today's game came at halftime when the Broncos put Rod Smith into their Ring of Fame.
The rest of the Broncos were in the locker room. Otherwise, they would have been down twenty to start the third quarter.
Peyton Manning didn't throw three interceptions today, but he still needed to rally late for the Broncos to have any sort of chance.
This week, the defense put themselves in a hole, as Matt Schaub and the Texans took both a sledgehammer and a surgeon's scalpel to the Denver defense. Dropped passes on offense, mental errors (45 yards in personal fouls on one drive alone), and J.J. Watt took care of the rest.
The game was a lot less exciting than the final score (and the Broncos) would admit. The truth is this team is still in transition, still adjusting to themselves, and still trying to figure out their basic philosophy. Are they a no-huddle team? Are they a blitzing team?
Check back in a few weeks and we'll have a better idea. Perhaps the Broncos can play well on both sides of the ball for once. Thankfully, the AFC West will still be there for the taking.