Mark it Zero

I Ran (So Far Away): The story of the Broncos running game in 2009

He just ran....He ran all night and day....

...Knowshon couldn't get away.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of the 2009 Broncos season (aside from knowing that Raiders fans continue breeding) was the lack of a running game. You've heard the storyline, but let's review the major plot points again:

  1. The Broncos nab the top running back in the draft.
  2. The Broncos struggle in short yardage, but the problems are masked by a 6-0 start and one hell of a defense.
  3. A small offensive line begins the painful transition to a power-running game.
  4. Denver's best run-blocking lineman is injured.
  5. Denver finishes with a 4.2 average yards-per-carry and ends up 18th in rushing.
  6. The rookie running back shows flashes of brilliance, but, by most accounts, finishes below expectations.

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Bang Your Head: Sanity in the Marshall, Dumervil, and Scheffler debate

Well I'm a stat-grinder, play-cruncher.
Now can we really keep our wide receiver?
Got no brains, he's insane.
McDaniels says that he's one big pain.
Brandon's like a laser, a 6-streamin' razor
He's got a mouth like an alligator.
But I want it louder.  Sack power
Should we keep Elvis when it strikes the hour?

There are a lot of opinions on Brandon Marshall, Elvis Dumervil, and Tony Scheffler these days.  Despite Marshall's verbal group hug during the Pro Bowl, the prevailing wisdom is still that the Broncos are going to look to trade (after tender offers) both Marshall and Scheffler, while making their best effort to retain the man-child sack leader in the NFL.

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A Fistful of Bowlen: 27 years of cool

I'm going to be honest with you.

I haven't a clue who the Broncos are going to draft right now.

I don't know Tim Tebow's 40-yard dash time.  I'm sketchy on how many times Taylor Mays is going to bench press 225 pounds.  And Mike Iupati's biceps?  I'm guessing they are pretty large.

But a draft expert I am not.  Coincidentally, the real draft experts like Mel Kiper, Jr. aren't either, so I guess I'm in decent company.  At least I saved on the hair spray.

So if you wanna get mocked, I apologize in advance.

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Every Rose Has its Thorn: Life after Mike Nolan

Love--like defensive coordinators--is a game of easy come and easy go.  Just listen to the McDJ on the radio.

Now that Mike Nolan is heading to Miami to work on his South Beach tan, we are left to ponder (at least for a few days) the fate of the Denver Broncos defense.  And lonely Broncomaniacs everywhere want to know: 

Was is somethin' we did or somethin' we said?  Did our words not come out right?

We may never know the exact reason.  What we do know is that Mike Nolan is gone.   And it's not sitting well with a lot of us. The latest rumor from the Boston Herald is that McDaniels wasn't a fan of the number of times Nolan blitzed this year so the marriage had to end.  Personally, I'd like to see the Broncos blitz on every play of the game, but that's why I'm just a stats guy. Either way, as much as we may need a reason for Nolan's departure, we may never get a good one.  He may have left Denver because he's an East Coast guy. He may have left because he wants to work with Bill Parcells.  Perhaps he left because he's a closet Jennifer Lopez fan. 

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Matt Prater is no Kathy Ireland

If you've seen the movie Necessary Roughness, I'm very sorry.  Those are two hours of your life you're never getting back.  

If you haven't, I'll save you some time.  The best part of the movie was watching Kathy Ireland play the role of Lucy Draper, a female placekicker.  For a few brief scenes, placekicking somehow seemed...slightly more interesting.

But outside of the rare and fictional supermodel, placekickers don't get a lot of attention.   Most often they are known for either making or missing a late-game kick (i.e., Scott Norwood), or for their ability to shut down an all-you-can-eat-buffet like Sebastian Janikowski.

But we should make an exception for Matt Prater.  Not only should we be talking more about him, but we should acknowledge one fact right now: 

Matt Prater, despite playing at altitude, and without ever having done a Sports Illustrated bikini shoot, was the best kicker in the NFL in 2009.

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Who got lucky this year? A dash of Clint Eastwood, a pinch of high school geometry

You've got to ask yourself one question:  do I feel lucky?  

Well, do ya, punk?

Like it or not, luck is a part of sports.   The bank shot from half court to win a game.  The blooped broken-bat single. The tip for a pick-six interception.   All of these can break the heart of fans who can't come to grips with the idea that sometimes, for whatever reason, the ball doesn't bounce in their preferred direction.   

You've probably heard one fan say to another, "Well, you guys got lucky."   In fact, many fans accused the Denver Broncos of this very thing in Week 1 on the last play of the game (the tipped touchdown to Brandon Stokley if you're living on planet Al Davis).  But what they are really saying is, "You didn't deserve to win."

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The Dude Abides: The Stats That Don’t Lie, Week 17

Quick to the stats to the stats no fakin', cookin' MCs like a pound of bacon.

--Vanilla Ice

Alright, stop.  Collaborate and listen.  Josh is back with a brand new invention.  

You knew I couldn't get through a whole season without bringing out the worst song of all time

I'm not sure what's worse.   That song or the idea that Week 17 actually meant anything in the NFL.   The way things ended up, there wasn't much drama involved, as both the Ravens and Jets took care of business.  As expected, the Raiders got the business end of another loss.  Sorry, Pittsburgh. Sorry, Houston.   And sorry, Den....

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The Dude Abides: Limericks to Jay Cutler, we salute you

Last night on MHR Radio, we all agreed that it's time to let Jay Cutler go.  While many have already done this, there are still some of us that are not mature, self-actualized human beings.  We'd like nothing more than to see Cutler fail miserably.   Again. And Again.  And again.

Well, it's official.  JC  has failed.  So badly, in fact, that the Broncos now own the 10th or 11th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. Maybe for fun, McDaniels will let Cutler call "heads" or "tails" on the coin toss.

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And so it begins….

Kaptain Kirk, Brian Shrout, Lebowski and the Bear were kicking around the last of the year's gamebooks and talking about the changes that have already begun for this off-season's personnel changes and the shakeup of the Denver Broncos. It looks like the housecleaning has begun early, and the Broncos are off to a quick start to the offseason, before the mathematical possibility of the playoffs is even fully past. Something has happened that has set off a quick change reaction that may bring some order to the Broncos.

Having Marshall sit out of a game (possibly for injury, which would be no big thing) and Scheffler essentially be handed his conditional walking papers - they'll find a way to make him valuable to them in trade, but he's done as a Bronco - was quite the beginning to the New Year. Welcome to the turn of the decade, my friends. Apparently, one current set of myths is that we only have until 2012 before the earth disintegrates. I'd like to win the Lombardi before that happens...and for that to happen, there have to be a lot of changes. That being the case, it's in our best interest to make a few good ones while there's time. It's too early to tell if these two are good ones or not. 

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Week 17 Suspect: The Kansas City Chiefs

This week, as I was building my statistical "profile" of this week's opponent, I thought I would team up with MHR's own Steve Nichols (hoosierteacher), in order to create a more official case file of Denver's next suspect: The Kansas City Chiefs.

Hopefully, by studying what others (including our own Denver Broncos) have done to the Chiefs, we will get a better understanding of what the Broncos are likely going to do on Sunday to get the win.

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