Not time for Tim Lard 12-14-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans. Eric Studesville announced yesterday that Kyle Orton will start Sunday in Jokeland, which of course means that Tim Tebow is not starting. However, the coach did say that Tebow is “an NFL quarterback, and he’s here, and he was drafted to come here and play quarterback, so he’s going to be ready to play in a game.” Sort of a strange way to put it. Wouldn't you prefer to hear, "He's worked hard, he's got a good grasp of the offense, and he's ahead of where we thought he'd be at this juncture"? The reasons Studesville cites are sort of what the fans and media are thinking - "He has to be ready, right? Did we spend a first-rounder for him not to be ready now?" Well, no he doesn't actually have to be ready, despite our best wishes to that effect, and perhaps Josh McDaniels did draft him with the expectation it'd take at least a full season to prepare him for the starter's role. Personally, I do hope he's ready, and I want to see him play. But hope and reality are usually two different things...

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IAOFM holiday shopping guide

After yesterday's debacle, it's time to focus back on what really matters this time of year, and it's not that Every Kiss Begins with Kay™. In case you've got that awful jingle in your head now, please accept my sincerest of apologies and try this one instead.

Back on topic...Here at IAOFM, we are more interested in gifts appropriate for the true Broncos fan. As usual, I'm ripping off finding inspiration from my favorite Mets blog, Amazin' Avenue.

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Hit bottom yet? Lard 12-13-10

Hmm. Good Morning, Broncos fans. If you're reading this, at least you have a pulse - which is more than we can say about our favorite football team. In case you wanted to know what could be worse than giving up 59 points at home to Jokeland, perhaps yesterday answered that question. Denver gave up 43 points to the Cardinals, who started a rookie fifth-round draft choice out of Fordham University at QB. Even worse, 25 of those points came off the legs of Jay Feely, who kicked five field goals and ran for a humiliating TD on a fake FG. But wait! Still it gets lower - the Broncos turned it over a whopping six times, were 3 of 15 on third downs, and allowed 211 rushing yards to an Arizona squad which had totaled 219 rushing yards in its previous three games. Denver is now in the thralls of its second four-game losing streak of the year, and over that span they have gone 8 for 48 on third downs, or 16.7% by higher math. By comparison, the Cards had entered the week at 26% on third downs, worst in the NFL. Last time the Broncos turned it over six times? October 3, 1999 when the two-time defending champs lost Terrell Davis to the knee injury that eventually cut his career short.

Kyle Orton posted an atrocious QB rating of 27.1 to follow up his 46.3 rating of a week earlier, to go along with three interceptions. Orton had thrown but six INTs in the season's first 12 games; he's looking worse by the week, and yesterday even garbage time didn't really serve to pump up his numbers. Naturally, the calls for Denver to start Tim Tebow are gathering momentum - perhaps Woody Paige will call a meeting with his newest minion Eric Studesville and decree that Tebow shalt start next week. Hopefully Studesville values self preservation and took in the lesson Josh McDaniels learned when he disobeyed Paige's order to lose the hoodie.

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Gut Reactions - Week 14, Broncos-Cardinals

Without Josh McDaniels around, we've been told that Dove Valley was like an episode of Leave it to Beaver this week.

LeaveItToBeaver1Stillcap

How appropriate then, that their opponent brought out an offense from the 1960s.

With only a Skelton crew, the Cardinals pared their playbook down so far, even Eddie Haskell could have called signals.  The Broncos should have given the Cardinals the business today.  

Instead, the Broncos were the ones on the business end of yet another hunka junk.   Four turnovers in the first half?  Six for the game?  Gee, Broncos fans, that's swell.

Ellis, I think you were a little hard on the Beav Josh on Monday.   You can spin "integrity" and "passion" all you want, but that narrative has already gone stale.

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Week 14 Open Thread

Enjoy the games, and Go Broncos!!!

UPDATE 2:10PM ET: The Broncos have announced that Perrish Cox will be active today but will not start.

What about when it’s run right?

After nearly two years were dedicated to installing much of Josh McDaniels’ offense, one that clearly had its roots in the New England Patriots' approach, I was interested to look at how the Pats' offense has done this season. Having seen McDaniels try to get the Denver offense to play in much the same system and style, I wanted to see where he was going, and which externally visible factors might have come into play. When McDaniels was hired, Doug and I did an in-depth series on his offensive tendencies while with NE. We thought that he’d start off in much the same style of play, and that’s essentially what happened.

Last season, people complained loudly that ‘all’ Denver ran were screens and short passes, and there was a lot of truth to those claims. But what didn’t seem to reach the fans was that the team struggled to handle those aspects of the system, and adding more complex plays that take longer to unfold was simply impossible with Denver's ragtag offensive line. It was a line hurt by internal problems, a lack of depth and an attempt to get into a different blocking scheme on many of the plays. The group still ran the zone-blocking run game during much of the year, but that wasn’t effective either - too many injuries to both linemen and running backs simply took their toll. The passing game was erratic, the defense porous, and the personnel issues and deep-seated anger of the fan base made for less-than-optimal viewing and even less enjoyable reading as the year wore on.

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The Jesus, The Generator and the Experts - Week 14

What´s worse than getting 86´d by Pat Bowlen Joe Ellis?

Getting caught by Peter King.

I'm sparing you the intro this week.  You know the drill.  A cat, A random number generator, and Peter King walk into a bar.  These picks are the result.

So let's get right to it and see how everyone did.

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3-9 battle Lard 12-12-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans! You know those awful matchups of teams like Jokeland and the Chefs of recent years, or Lions and the Niners? That's our team today, folks. Broncos versus Cardinals, a tilt between 3-9 teams for draft position in April. Denver was last 3-9 in 1990, on their way to a 6-10 record and the 4th pick overall in the 1991 Draft. Unfortunately, that draft produced very little for Denver - while #4 pick LB Mike Croel won the award for best rookie defender, it went all downhill from there for him. Only third-rounder Keith Traylor ended up with a solid career, and only Traylor was in Denver long enough to win a ring - he was a starter for both SB-winning teams, although he did take a three-year hiatus in Green Bay and Kansas City in between Denver stops.

Point is, while the Broncos will end up with a higher draft choice with a loss today, that doesn't mean the organization will know what to do with it. I know, it's been a rough week and the last thing you need is another wet towel, but that's what I do sometimes...

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Broncos add K Hauschka, waive OG Daniels

Due to the groin injury suffered earlier in the week by K Matt Prater, the Broncos today added Steven Hauschka, a third-year kicker who made 10 of 15 field goal attempts in 17 games for Baltimore in 2008 and 2009. Hauschka was a member of the UFL's Las Vegas Locomotives in 2010 after appearing in two preseason games for the Detroit Lions.

In order to make room for Hauschka on the roster, Denver has waived G Stanley Daniels, who started the first four games of the season at left guard for the Broncos.

Should you root for the Broncos to lose? The Art of (Draft) Whore

When the Broncos play the Cardinals tomorrow, there's more than just the Broncos' integrity on the line.

There's the #5 draft pick.  

As it stands today, the Broncos and Cardinals are tied for the 5th-worst record in all Goodell's World.  The team that loses tomorrow has a leg up in the draft standings.  In front of them are the storied franchises of Carolina, Cincinnatti, Buffalo, and Detroit--teams that share between them seven Super Bowl appearances.  

The Broncos themselves have six.  My oh my have the Broncos have stumbled since the days of saluting the Mile High air.

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