This week I continue my quest to answer the one question that has eluded mankind for decades (or a least two weeks):
Are the NFL Experts smarter than a random number generator (RNG)?
To make things even more lively , I included my cat, Jesus Quintana, in on the picks, along with Doug Lee and myself (Doc Bear is too smart for this). The RNG is simply armed with the notion that, 57% of the time, the home team is a winner in the NFL. Quintana picks between two quarters as I drop them to the floor. Doug Lee uses his sharp mind.
I use Kahlua and a proprietary mathematical formula. If that doesn’t work, I just imagine what team Doc Bear would pick.
So how has the experiment gone after two weeks?
This year, the Broncos found themselves in an odd and difficult situation: they were unable to retain Brandon Stokley’s services. They found themselves with that most rare of cases by having not merely a sufficiency of talent at the wide receiver position, but an excess of riches. While cocaine may be God’s way of telling you that you’re making too much money, having to let go a player who was your best bet on third downs the year before - an area where Denver only managed to convert about 1/3 of their opportunities - is a far more mundane way of telling you two facts. The first is this - sooner or later, every player will fight the opponent who has yet to lose - Time. There was, of course, a second reason.
Good Morning, Broncos fans. As everyone knows by now, Knowshon Moreno will not play Sunday after injuring a hamstring in practice Thursday. Ryan Harris is out again, while Chris Kuper, Champ Bailey, Andre’ Goodman and Wesley Woodyard are listed as questionable. Laurence Maroney and Darcel McBath are listed as probable, and both can expect to see significant action tomorrow. Meanwhile, Perrish Cox and Eric Decker were fined by the league; Cox for an ill-conceived throat-slash gesture after his INT, Decker for a late hit on special teams.
This morning, I promised you a new Sporcle quiz, so here it is. Although the NFL did not recognize the sack as an official stat until 1982, the Broncos have been tracking them since 1970. So, that gives us 40 seasons of sack leaders between 1970 and 2009. Several recent years have seen multiple players tie for the team lead; those instances are marked with a “t” and you’ve got to guess both (or every) guy! You’ll have 7 minutes to work with, and as always, last names are good enough. I didn’t allow for spelling errors this time, because I’m like that. Post your scores in the comments, and as always, no peeking or cheating. Good luck!
Click here for Sporcle quiz:
Can you name the Broncos’ Yearly Sack Leaders?
The DP is reporting that Knowshon Moreno is out for Sunday’s matchup with the Colts after sustaining an undisclosed injury in practice today. This leaves Laurence Maroney, Correll Buckhalter and Andre Brown as the healthy running backs who will dress. The Colts have allowed an average of 188.5 rushing yards over the first two weeks of the season.
Denver has been struggling with a single problem for over a year now. We’ve moved to the 3-4 defense, and often run the 5-2 version of it, while increasingly getting the personnel out there to run a 4-3 when the Winkster finds it appropriate. There’s not much question that the team has developed a substantial change in almost every area. We’ve increased the size of the DL (and now they have to get enough time to work as a unit, a factor that is too often ignored by the less informed fan), and we’ve got larger LBs. And although he’s currently injured for this season, we also have last year’s NFL sack leader in Elvis Dumervil, along with 2nd-year player Robert Ayers, who may give Doom a run for his money when the former returns.
It’s no small thing, remaking a team. Every position needs to be recalibrated, thought through carefully, and the best player that we can put into that slot, the one that gives the team the best chance to win, has to be right where he belongs. And that’s where Denver is struggling right now - because when you look over the team, here’s what I see:
Good Morning, Broncos fans. Unfortunately, that return to O-Line health I was talking about yesterday? Not so much - Ryan Harris missed practice yesterday and is unlikely to play on Sunday. One would have to think this means Zane Beadles will be spending a lot of time with his close friend Daniel Graham. Also not practicing were Champ Bailey and Andre’ Goodman, although both have a chance of playing. Jamal Williams did not practice, but he is not injured and it seems like a weekly thing for him to get Thursdays off. Chris Kuper and Wesley Woodyard were both limited in practice. The good news is that Darcel McBath and Laurence Maroney were full practice participants, and those players will boost perhaps the two most important weapons against Peyton & Co. - running the ball and defending the pass. Meanwhile, the RB shuffle continues as Lance Ball was added to the practice squad a few days after getting cut and replaced by Andre Brown. Today is the Broncos’ private memorial for Kenny McKinley.
Fat Man blogger TJ “The Dude” Johnson posts The Dude’s Mail Revue on Thursdays, in which he takes your questions about the state of the Denver Broncos. Got a titillating question? Put a dollar bill into the Dude’s G-String and he might answer your question—after bowling practice.
TJ, after the passing of Kenny McKinley, are you still planning on coming out this week with a Mail Revue? With your sense of humor, it would be good medicine for all Broncos fans to see it.
—George, Lakewood, Colorado
George: I’m glad you sent in your question. We debated whether to do a Mail Revue this week, but after a few days of consideration, we decided in favor of it, figuring that Broncos fans would enjoy some humor during a tough week. So I’m giving it my best. Here goes.
Good Morning, Broncos fans. Champ Bailey, Andre’ Goodman and Wesley Woodyard all missed practice yesterday with injuries. Meanwhile, Ryan Harris, Chris Kuper, Laurence Maroney and Darcel McBath all returned to practice in limited fashion; all four had been out of action for some time, so this is a big development for the Broncos. Considering how important it will be to both possess the ball and put up points on Sunday versus Peyton & Company, potentially getting the starting offensive line intact couldn’t come at a better time. Plus, Denver added LB Diyral Briggs to the practice squad. Briggs was an undrafted rookie last year for the 49ers, who waived him two weeks ago. The Broncos are holding a memorial for Kenny McKinley tomorrow. He will be buried Friday in Georgia.
Note: Each Wednesday, we take a look at a critical coaching decision from the prior week’s game that had an impact in the final score—from a statistical point.
As we’ll find out throughout this year, it’s not always Josh McDaniels who has to make the tough decisions. Sometimes it’s the other team’s head coach. This was the case against Seattle last week when Pete Carroll, down 7-24, faced a 4th-and-2 late in the 3rd quarter. The Seahawks were at the Denver 20-yard line and had just moved the ball quickly down the field from their own 20. Carroll had the following options:
1) Go for the 1st-down
2) Kick the field goal