Happy Victory Tuesday, friends. Are you getting used to Victory Tuesdays, yet? I kind of like them, personally. Those of you who had your hearts set on a Top-5 pick may not, but football is funny. Players and coaches like to win, and they try really hard to make that happen, and sometimes they get it done, even if some find it to be strategically unpreferable. In this space, we’re always pro-#winning, so deal with it. Ready… BEGIN!!
1. Today, I want to share some thoughts about why the Broncos are winning, and why it has seemed like a tale of two seasons. There are a number of reasons for it, and it qualifies as a confluence of all of those reasons. I’m one guy with an opinion, but here’s my list:
a. It took a little while, but the team has taken very well to the new defensive scheme. The Broncos tried to use even-front players in a Fairbanks-Bullough 3-4 scheme for two seasons and didn’t have great results. This staff came in and installed an aggressive 4-3 that has a very simple and sound approach to gap control.
Happy Fat Man Friday, friends. On Sunday, the Broncos will plays the Chargers for the second time this season. What’s changed since October 9th? Well, on the surface, the answer is everything. Tim Tebow took over the Broncos offense in the second half of that game, with his team trailing 23-10 and looking sluggish. Tebow then rallied the team to fall just short of winning at 29-24, as a pass into the end zone on the game’s final play was nearly caught by Matt Willis in the typical Hail Mary crowd. On that day, the Chargers improved to 4-1, and the Broncos fell to 1-4.
Since then, the Broncos are 4-1 on the strength of an improved defense and running game, as well as some timely plays by Tebow. The Chargers are 0-5 in that same period and have gotten really banged up in the process. I can’t see any way that their season isn’t over, in terms of playoff meaning, at this point.
Happy Tuesday, friends. It’s been five days since the last Broncos victory, so I decided not to rehash it, since it’s been done to death at this point. I have been working on a short (for me) essay about pass protection, and I decided to make it longer and more detailed and give that to you today. Friday, it’ll be back to Digesting the Chargers, and we should be on the regular schedule from here on out. Ready… BEGIN!!!
1. Once, when I was three years old, I woke my mother up from a nap. A man was breaking into the house downstairs, I told her. He was tall and had dark hair, and was coming in through the window in the living room. I was telling my mom about this guy in vivid detail, and like any mom, she got scared. I had three younger siblings who were all also having a nap at the time, so my mother went and frantically made sure that they were safe. Then she locked us all in one room and called the cops.
As it turned out, that was an early indication of the kind of storyteller I was to become. It was like little Eddie Murphy telling the joke about the monkey kicking the lion in the ding-ding. We are all uniquely ourselves, and our character starts getting revealed at a young age. I wasn’t lying, of course; I had just thought up some cool fiction and was sharing it with my mom. She was not as impressed as I thought she’d be, and on the rare occasion I’ve ever heard her tell that story, the context is how hard it was to raise four little kids at once, and tangentially, that I had a hellion moment here and there. (Both are fair points, of course.)
Happy Victory Tuesday, friends. Today, you’re going to get a Serving of thoughts on the Chiefs game, and something to Digest about the Jets, since that game is being played on Thursday night. Get excited, because it’s a two-fer Tuesday. Ready… BEGIN!!
1. Sunday’s win came in an unusual way, but you should never apologize for a victory. One of the Denver reporters got a little smart-assed with John Fox, and asked if he’d ever coached a game like that before. Fox kind of smirked, and said that yes, he had. It turned out that he won that one too. Jake Delhomme was out, and they pounded the hell out of the Falcons that day and played good defense.
For the last two weeks, the Broncos have gotten in touch with their physical side on offense, and a creative and effective running game has led to back-to-back road AFC West victories against both of the Broncos’ most hated rivals. For a Denver Broncos fan, it doesn’t get much better than that.
Somehow, though, being a Broncos fan has gotten to be more complicated than that. Somehow, everything came to revolve around the Quarterback, and sides have been chosen; everybody seems to have a bias one way or another, and the Broncos and Tim Tebow keep confirming it, whatever it is. For a while this was amusing, but it’s really kind of tiresome to me at this point.
Happy Friday, friends. Today we Digest the Kansas City Chiefs, who’ve had a really weird season. They lost key players in Eric Berry, Tony Moeaki and Jamaal Charles early on, and they lost their first three games huge, being outscored by a total of 109-27 in those games. They then went on to win four in a row, beating Minnesota and San Diego at home, and Indianapolis and Oakland on the road. Just when it seemed that they’d figured out how to play good undermanned football, they got crushed 31-3 at home by the Dolphins last Sunday. As TJ would say in Gut Reactions, who the heck knows?
Today, we’re going to try to figure out what the Chiefs really are, and what we can expect to see on Sunday afternoon. Really, what do you call a team that’s been blown out three times, blown out the first-place Raiders once (when they caught them on a Kyle Boller/rusty Carson Palmer day), and gone 3-1 in games decided by less than five points? That’s what we’re going to try to figure out today.
Happy Victory Tuesday, friends. I hope you’re ready for a Serving, because I’ve got one for you. I’m in last place in the picks competition, and a primary reason why is that I’m now 2-6 in picking Broncos games. (I had them losing to Green Bay, and beating Miami.) You can’t win them all, I guess, and I just don't seem to have a great feel for when the Broncos are going to play well. Maybe if I read the DP rather than Doug's parsing of their work, I might know if they "had a good week of practice."
Anyway, today we’re going to explore in detail why the Broncos beat the Raiders on Sunday. It was a total team win, as has been said, but more than that, I would say that it was the first time this season that the offense pulled its weight. Aside from a couple of missed throws by Tim Tebow and some penalties (I’m looking at you, Ryan Clady) it was a consistent and productive effort. Since offense is kind of my thing, I’m excited to spend some time talking about it. Ready… BEGIN!!
Happy Friday, friends. Today, since the Broncos have already played the Raiders this season, we’re going to leverage the article I wrote before that game, and I’ll focus on where things have changed between then and now. Then, we’ll talk about how the Broncos can work toward a better outcome this time than the 23-20 opening night loss they took at home.
We all hate the Raiders, and they hate us too, but it seems that they’ve built the sort of team that has been giving the Broncos trouble over the last couple seasons. They’re big, physical and fast, and those are three good things to be as a football team. Luckily, they're still the Raiders, and they still make dumb trades, so we have that going for us.
Happy Tuesday, friends. I re-watched the Lions-Broncos game on Monday night, and then I started feeling ill. I’m not saying that one thing caused the other, but a case could definitely be made that it did. Anyway, I normally write my 5,000ish word articles on Monday night, and that fits into a very tightly scheduled week that has no slack in it. (People sometimes ask how I fit my writing here in with my day job and my MBA program – that’s how; schedule the hell out of it, and stay on schedule.)
Because I ended up going to sleep pretty early on Monday night and had nothing substantial written, I’m up early on Tuesday morning before work to deliver something. (I’m feeling better now.) It’s not going to be the typical YGS, but something is better than nothing, right?
I’ve decided that TJ is right, and I’m not going to fight it anymore. It’s not about football evaluation, it’s about recognizing an organizational decision. Tim Tebow won’t be the starting QB of the Denver Broncos next season, and I’m okay with that. As I’ve said a number of times, I’ve always been okay with that, even if I don’t find it preferable.
Happy Friday, friends. I watched some Lions-Falcons on Thursday evening, and I think this game looks a little better for the Broncos than I thought it did a few weeks ago. Teams are figuring out how to play the Lions, and there were a lot of lessons to be taken away from this game.
This may be shorter than a usual Digesting piece, just because the Lions aren’t doing anything tremendously complicated. They’re trying to execute, and lately, they haven’t been getting that done very effectively. There are reasons for that, which we’ll now explore:
Happy Friday, friends, and welcome to a Victory Tuesday edition of You Got Served. Today, I’m going with less of a variety show style than usual, and I’m going to address the Broncos QB situation at length. Across the NFL world, that’s been an all-consuming topic, and I want to bring some knowledge and context to bear in discussing it. After that, we’ll see what we have time for. Ready… BEGIN!!
1. I was emailing with Lindsay Jones a couple weeks ago, around the time that she quoted Doug in the Denver Post as a counterpoint to the We Want Tebow hysteria. I was worried that she misunderstood the nature of our site, and she and I have had occasional communication since she happened across an article at my old Wordpress site where I savaged everybody at the DP except for her, and said a few nice things about her.
She used the term “fan-site” to describe us once or twice, and I frankly didn’t like that characterization. MHR is a fan-site; read their header – “By Fans, For Fans.” We’re a lot different than MHR. There, any dumbass with a keyboard can write a FanPost, which is kind of cool, but it’s different from us. If you add the quantity that comes from those FanPosts, and just the fact that they have 13 contributors (according to their masthead), you’re talking about a lot of different viewpoints appearing frequently, and really, whether by design or not, it’s virtually all stated from a Broncos fan perspective. I’m a fan, and I buy tickets, and this is what I want, or think, or like.