Tomorrow, the Denver Broncos will introduce Gary Kubiak as their new (and improved) head coach. Rejoice, Broncos fans.
By all accounts, Kubiak is one class act. Unlike John Fox, who was planning his escape the morning of the Broncos' divisional playoff game, Kubiak handled his dismissal from Houston two years ago with respect, dignity, and humility. So, make no mistake about it, the Broncos are getting a great human being.
As much as I want to blame luck for the Seahawks' win over the Packers today, there's a better suspect.
The guilty party? Field goals.
Don't settle for field goals, or you are asking for trouble. Don't settle for field goals if you're playing to win (rather than simply to not lose). Finally, don't settle for field goals on the road, in the loudest stadium in the league.
John Elway would say that's not kicking and screaming. We disagree. It's kicking, but the wrong kind, and with a whimper.
Suddenly, a record of 12-4 seems a lot like 4-12. A day after pissing John Elway off, the Denver Broncos are a team in transition.
Normally, this sort of territory is only reserved for the San Diego Chargers and Marty Schottenheimer, but angering The Duke comes with consequences.
Let me get this out of the way: losing John Fox is not a tragedy. It wouldn't have been a tragedy to keep him either. He's just another guy. As I showed in an article I penned almost four years ago, entitled, "A rabbit's foot and a hoodie," even randomness can produce a good coach for a period of four years. It can also make a good coach look really bad.
For the last month, the Denver Broncos just weren’t themselves.
Something wasn’t right. And as much as we didn’t want to talk about it, that something was Peyton Manning. Balls weren’t as accurate. Balls floated just a little more. Finally, the best decision maker in the history of the league was suddenly making poor choices.
It seemed like the Broncos went from AC/DC to Winger almost overnight.
There’s never a bad time to face the Oakland Raiders.
Looking for a win? Looking to get in (the playoffs)? Looking to send Mark Davis to the looney bin?
In every restroom wall from the Rockies to the horse pens of Oakland, it has been written, for a good time, and if you want to finish 12-4, call the Silver and Black.
Let’s not get too carried away, though. The Oakland Raiders aren’t in the playoffs. This Broncos team is beaten up, from quarterback to wide receiver to stable boy.
The Denver Broncos need a BFF.
Is it the running game? Is it the passing game? It sure as hell isn’t their special teams or offensive line. Nothing seems to be working at this point.
Who will text them on the regular? OMG--who will calm their insecurities? Most importantly, who will stand with them when they have to travel to New England for the playoffs? That’s if they travel to New England for the playoffs.
Sometimes even Batman has to throw up at halftime.
Perhaps, as Bruce Wayne, he ate a tainted Double Bacon 6Cheese™. Perhaps he couldn’t fit the Batmobile into the parking lot at Walgreens during flu shot week. Perhaps the thought of running the ball so much made him sick.
At the end of the day, it didn’t matter. The AFC West is the villain that always gets it in the end. The Jokers, the Riddlers, and the Penguins (or Chargers, Chiefs, and Raiders, if you prefer) all go down.
Kyle Orton outplayed Peyton Manning.
As strange as that sentence seems, what’s stranger is that it doesn’t matter if it’s true.
These Broncos are winning old school. Hey, Denver—1987 called. It wants its passing game back.
Call it Foxball. Call it a commitment to the run. Call it a preference for girls with auburn hair.
Whatever it is, Dan Reeves would be damn proud.
Peyton Manning completed half his passes, ended the game with a QB rating of 85.3, and turned the ball over once.
The Broncos won going away.
That’s not how they usually hunt up in Dove Valley. Big game hunting usually requires high caliber weaponry in the form of Manning’s right arm and high-precision scoping in the form of Manning’s mind.
Sometimes, though, you’ve got to go primitive. You’ve got to do things with your bare hands.
Sticks and stones may break their bones, but names will give them motivation.
For the two weeks—actually, let’s be honest, it’s been the entire year—the Broncos offensive line has heard the criticisms. They have no cohesion. They aren’t physical enough. They’re out of position.
From left to right tackle—all of them girlie men.
For a week, at least, they came to pump Broncos fans up, piling up 201 yards on the ground.