Ted's Analysis

How to lose when you’re the best team

Happy Thursday, friends. When you're the best team in the NFL, here's how you lose to a pretty good, but clearly inferior team, in chronological order:

1. Don't challenge a bad spot on third and short, on the opening possession of the game, near midfield, or better yet, go for it on 4th and 1. (John Fox)

2. Jump offsides (Shaun Phillips) on 3rd and 11 like your name is Elvis Dumervil. The Colts still went three and out, but still...

3. Fail to get proper depth in your zone drop on 3rd and 10, and give up an easy completion in the seam. (Danny Trevathan)

4. Overthrow Knowshon Moreno in the flat on 2nd and 1, after he got nine yards on first down. (Peyton Manning)

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Assessing the Broncos defense after six games

Happy Friday, friends. Our longtime reader Mike Birtwistle asked me on Twitter to take a look at the Broncos defense, and to try to get some perspective into the conversation. He's noticed a lot of hand-wringing by Broncos fans on Twitter, and his view is that this defense isn't really all that bad.

Before we try to evaluate the Broncos defense, let's try to understand what it means to have a good defense.

In order to do that, let's start with offense. All the time, we hear that the NFL is a passing league. When I Googled that, I got about 37 million results for it. The top result was an article by retired LB Scott Fujita (who is way too intelligent and reasonable to be working at FOX) about how the NFL got to be a passing league. Hit the jump, and we'll look at it.

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The Recipe: Wes Welker’s first TD vs Philadelphia

Happy Wedneday, friends. I got started watching the All-22 video last night, but unfortunately, I got sidetracked from finishing it. For today, I thought we'd look at a key play from the Broncos/Eagles game, and break down why it worked.

It's funny, because I criticize Troy Aikman's broadcasting skills, but he actually didn't do a bad job of spotting what happened here, and explaining it live. I think there's a bit more to what he had to say, though, and that seeing the whole thing is instructive for our readers.

The play in question is Wes Welker's first TD reception of the game, which made the score 7-0, Broncos. It was 3rd-and-2 from the Eagles' six-yard line, and the Broncos ran a concept that was highly likely to at least pick up the first down. Based on Philly's defensive tactics, it became an almost guaranteed TD.

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Digesting the Eagles

Happy Friday, friends. Rather than doing a Digesting article about the Eagles today, I decided to look at the big question: is their offense a fad, or does it have staying power? Nothing gets football talkers more riled up than speculating on whether new tactics can work over the long haul in the NFL.

Most of them are of the default belief that nothing new can ever work. I’m sure that, in their early days, that was said about innovations like the 3-4 defense, or the zone-blitz, or the shotgun. The reality is that some new stuff works, and some of it is relegated to the dustbin of history.

And then you have something like the Run and Shoot, that worked well for a while, and then ostensibly faded away, but quietly, its principles are still quite common to this day.

Today, I’m going to explain why the Chip Kelly design works, and why it will continue to work in the NFL on an ongoing basis. Hit the jump, and we’ll get to the bottom of this.

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Should Denver try to trade for Jordan Gross?

The NFL's trade deadline is still 4.5 weeks away (4pm ET on Tue, Oct 29), and no team (except for the Browns) is ready to cut bait on 2013.

Of course, trades can occur anytime between now and then, and Robert Mays has a few ideas, including one that would have Denver send a fifth-round pick to Carolina in exchange for left tackle Jordan Gross:

Why the Broncos should pick up the phone: With Ryan Clady done for the year, Denver’s only real weakness appears to be at left tackle. Replacement Chris Clark played very well against Lamarr Houston on Monday night, but Gross is a proven commodity. Denver has the inside track to the Super Bowl right now, and bringing in a proven left tackle as a one-year rental would be a perfect way to keep it. You can replace “Denver” with “Seattle” in that last sentence, and the point stands

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Mailbag: What to make of Terrelle Pryor?

Happy Tuesday, friends. We got an email from one of our readers today, by the name of Daniel Henderson. It’s easy for us to think sometimes that our reader base = our commenter base, but the reality is that for every person who comments, we have many, many regular readers who don’t.

Here’s Daniel’s question:

I was wondering if any of you guys noticed Kiszla on twitter yesterday being the only person in the media who i could find ripping hard on the non-nfl QB-ness of Pryor. Fully expected a comment somewhere today about it! All the other pundits seem very high on Pryor.  Thoughts?

Oh, I have some thoughts.  Hit the jump, and we’ll count the thoughts.

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The Recipe: Decker’s late conversion on 3rd-and-7

Happy Monday, friends. There was something subtle but important that happened in the Broncos-Giants game, and I held it out from YGS on Saturday so that we could look at it on its own, and ponder it.

Facing a 3rd-and-7 with 3:49 remaining in a game they led 38-23, the Broncos threw the football. Not only that, they got the first down.

In the playoff disaster last season, the Broncos faced a very similar situation (3rd-and-7 from the Denver 47, 2:00 to go, up 35-28), and were content to hand the ball off to Ronnie Hillman for no gain. The Broncos punted the ball, and three plays later, Jacoby Jones was in the end zone.

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You Got Served: All-22 review - Broncos at Giants

Happy Saturday, friends. As mentioned yesterday, I’ve had a tremendously busy week, and couldn’t find four hours to do my All-22 work until this morning. So, it’s been a while since the Giants game, but I have some observations on it.

Knowing our reader base, I’m confident that you all still have interest. Ready… BEGIN!!

1. I don’t have a lot of screenshots on this topic, but I think it’s the most important takeaway from Sunday’s game, so I want to discuss it at some length. The Broncos defense, for the second week in a row, was extremely instrumental in winning the game.

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Beware the Kansas City Chiefs

Happy Friday, friends. I still haven’t had the four hours or so necessary to watch the All-22 of the Broncos-Giants game, and then write an article on it. I’m planning to do that tomorrow, so check the site on a Saturday. (I know you all have the capability.) I actually planned to watch the film last night, but I got caught up watching the Chiefs-Eagles game instead.

You’re not going to like this, but I thought it was time that we all came to the realization that the Chiefs are legitimate. Briefly, today, I’ll share some thoughts on this most regrettable of topics.

For Kansas City, it all starts with their ability to play defense, specifically man-to-man coverage on defense. They have two above-average man corners in Brandon Flowers and Sean Smith, and they also have safety Eric Berry, who’s proving to be very capable at covering TEs man-to-man. 

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Gut Reaction:  Browns trade Trent Richardson to Colts

Happy Thursday, friends. The Twitter world was set ablaze yesterday afternoon right as I was getting ready to attend an assessment where I was evaluated for competency to teach accounting and cost accounting to college students, as a side gig.

I did well, I think, but half the time, I was thinking about how interesting the Trent Richardson trade was, and what it said about the two teams that made it.

For the Colts, it reinforced the idea that they’re all about winning now, and that they don’t value draft picks very highly. Remember, they traded their 2013 second-rounder for Vontae Davis last year too. There are a couple of risks to this approach, and the main one exists because of the (still relatively new) CBA.

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