Are NFL experts smarter than animals or random number generators?

Ever wonder how good the so-called experts are at picking each week’s games in the NFL?  Do you laugh when Peter King tries to predict the actual scores of games?  Well The Dude thought it would be interesting to have a little statistical fun this season—at the expense of the experts.

I’m putting several of the so-called experts’ picks (along with those of Doug Lee and myself) up against some stellar competition:

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What are the Broncos set up to do offensively in 2010?

The Denver offense is already confusing people and the year hasn’t even started yet. What’s going on with this? Posters from sites around the web have been weighing in on just what kind of team the Broncos have. Are they a power running team? They added some weight to the line, certainly, even if some of it comes in the form of rookies, each of whom will learn some lessons this year. Isn’t Denver built for ‘the spread’ (the idea being that there is only one, a belief that gets little support from coaches around the country)? Isn’t Denver a shotgun team? “Denver is looking to develop a power running game to make up for the passing game problems,” said one fan. Another simply wondered, “Denver’s offense is…....What?” It’s a good question.

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Hello world Lard 9-11-10

Good Morning Broncos fans, and welcome to the very first edition of The Daily Lard! If you’re reading this today, you probably know me from my days of bringing you the morning news over at MHR, often under the pseudonym of nycbroncosfan. TJ, Em and I have started our own thing here, and while I’m going to reprise my role as the newsman, I’m going to change it up a bit. The OCD-ness which makes my wife’s eyes roll upwards is the same trait that made me want to gather every single bit of football news daily from the interweb and dump it into Horse Tracks. It probably got a little overwhelming for you to try to read through at times, as it eventually did for me to compile it all.

But at IAOFM, our stated goal is to bring you quality rather than quantity, and it sure would be a bit odd (and hypocritical) if I were to then send you all over the net to read what we actually deem to be garbage. And while these thingies are in the end just links dumps, I’ve always endeavored to do a bit more, by injecting a bit of my own opinions (and sometimes sarcasm) into the news where appropriate.

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Introducing IAOFM

Welcome to It’s All Over, Fat Man!, yet another Denver Broncos blog.  Why generate more internet noise about the Broncos?  Because we think we’re a little different than what you’ve seen before.  First, as you can tell from our name, we don’t take ourselves too seriously.  We share a passion for football and the Broncos, but we don’t literally bleed orange and blue (that would just be gross), nor do we kick the dog if the Broncos go down in defeat.  So whether the Broncos win or lose,  we’re going to have fun either way.  Second, if honest criticism of the Broncos is needed, you will find it here.  We’re not going to yell or scream about it, but we hope to tell it like it is.  Third, we value the quality of our content over the quantity of it.  So if you’re looking for the latest news out of Dove Valley, there’s a chance you will not find it here first.  We take the time to generate content, and sometimes this content won’t be congruent with the latest trade rumors.  Finally, and most importantly, our goal is not to be right; it is to be interesting, thought-provoking and entertaining.  Hopefully, that in itself is worth your time. Thank you for visiting - we hope you will enjoy reading our work, and please feel free to let us know how we’re doing.

Who are the best right tackles?

A long-time reader, Jared Still, asked me for my thoughts on Twitter a few days ago, pertaining to who the best players in the NFL are.  In my 140 character limit, I gave him Peyton Manning and DeMarcus Ware.  He asked me to blog my top 5 to 10, so I am going to.  I’m actually going to do it by position grouping though, so I can turn my small amounts of available time into small bursts of football writing.  (I’m still naturally oriented toward long-form writing, even though I know I need to change that up, to maximize the utility of this blog.)

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The power running versus zone blocking games: The San Diego/NY Jets Playoff Game and What It Showed


I read a couple of your archived articles this morning and I liked them both very much. The article on the running game was very interesting to me, and I thought I'd bring some things to your attention. Most of it probably isn't new.

The points that were made on the comments were quite accurate. One of the things that was a very effective for Denver under Mike Shanahan was that they would use the passing attack them to get ahead, and use the running game to close out the game. This is taken directly from Bill Walsh, the inventor of the west coast offense. Although other coaches have used this same line over the years, he understood and used ( if he did not coin it) the phrase "Pass to score, run to win". At the very least, he based much of his system on it.

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Talking about 30 fronts

Hello again, friends, and Happy Friday.  I’m back with some stuff about 30 fronts today, on the heels of my last post about 40 fronts.

If you didn’t catch that post, you should read it.  Yes, I mean now.  Don’t worry, I’ll wait….

OK, welcome back.  Today we’re going to delve into the two main types of 30 fronts, and as with the types of 40 fronts we looked at, one is fundamentally a one-gap scheme, and the other is fundamentally a two-gap scheme.

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Was Tim Tebow drafted to sit on the bench?

One of the many things that fans are talking about, complaining about, praising and espousing right now is the talk about how Tim Tebow was NOT drafted to sit on the bench. For the upcoming season, it's entirely possible that it will prove to be exactly what he was drafted to do - at least on Sundays, for the moment. During the season, he'll get to train, practice and learn, things that he adores and that will give him a chance to eventually be a a solid, perhaps even elite NFL QB. But it isn't now, and he isn't close to ready. Therefore, sitting on the bench, unless there's an injury, is exactly what he'll get to do. There are good reasons for that, too.

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Discussing 40 fronts

Yesterday, I wrote a post about terminology on defensive fronts.  Today, as a follow-on, I want to talk about two of the five major base defensive fronts.  These base looks have variants situationally, but they each lean on certain major concepts.  As we approach more actual preseason games, I thought it would be fun if we got into some technical stuff today.

Remember, the word “technique” in this concept means nothing more than where a player is going to line up, in relation to the offensive line.  The overriding idea behind all of these fronts is that the defense is seeking to dictate to the offense how they want to be blocked.  That may not completely make sense at this moment, but as we go, I hope it becomes increasingly clear.

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What exactly is a three-technique?

During the simultaneously boring/exciting Hall of Fame game on Sunday night, Al Michaels actually asked a good question.  I was as surprised as you are; I mean this is a guy who has made a whole career off of calling the Miracle on Ice, and who usually seems not to even care, at this point.

He asked this good question of Cris Collinsworth, who knows what he’s talking about, and usually expresses himself well on television.  Collinsworth, though, completely booted a chance to teach viewers something about the game.

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