Well, here we are again. Another chance to clinch the division, and this time, the game is at Mile High. Really, this game against the Bills is both interesting, and a little bit scary to me.
For what it's worth, I think the plan to avoid knowing the outcome of the Chargers-Bucs game is very smart. I want to see the Broncos come out on Sunday, and be ready to play well and win this game, regardless of what happens in Tampa, or anywhere else. Then, I'd like to see the Broncos go to San Diego looking to win another game and finish 10-6. It's definitely worth the risk of injuries to go legitimately beat the Chargers on the road, so that everybody can shut up about the Hochuli situation.
A lot of you have read my stuff on here before, and I'm kind of niche-less, really. For the most part, I have historically just written about stuff that I was thinking about, but I feel like I should use these last few weeks of the season to establish a new recurring feature.
I'm an offense guy, so I decided that my recurring stuff should be about offense. I am also a professional (financial) analyst, so I thought that something analytical in tone would be good. Also, I am a big believer in trusting what my eyes see, so I watch past games, and try to divorce myself of any preconceived notions which may taint my evaluation.
So, SI.com's Don Banks has this cute little article he writes where he decides who everybody should have drafted, knowing what we "know" now. Of course, he is the arbiter of these decisions, because he "knows" so much about football. So, OK, this is fun. Let's take it from a guy who really knows his stuff. This is where our rookies get their "hindsight is 20/20" style love.
Something subtle happened today, for the first time which I can remember in the last two seasons. The game got off to a terrible start, with the Chiefs taking 10-0 and 17-7 leads. The Broncos, still a young team, persevered through this bad start, and changed the flow of the game to one which was more favorable.
This was an earned victory, and all parts of the team can claim a part in it. The offensive game plan was terrific, and well executed. Except for the soft zone crap on KC's last possession, I liked the defensive plan too. The execution throughout the game was good, excepting a couple of plays, also.
As one of the resident offense guys, I decided that I would write something about the offense. There are many ways, in my opinion, to be too specific in assessing the offense of this team, and to kind of get bogged down at a level of detail which is too focused, or what I would call a tactical level. The discussion which I hope to get to is the distinction between offensive strategy and tactics.
There are certain coaches who are far ahead of everybody else in terms of football strategy. In my opinion, the NFL has only two of those coaches in Mike Shanahan and Bill Belichick. I see some subtle genius in Sean Payton's offensive schemes, and I also like what Jason Garrett does in terms of play design with the Dallas passing offense. Guys like Jeff Fisher and Tony Dungy are great coaches from more of a people management perspective, and not so much strategically. When it comes down to overall football strategy, though, there are just the two masters.
Here at MHR, we know the answer to the question everybody is asking today. How can a team that gets hammered by the Raiders at home, go into Giants Stadium and dominate the Jets? And, more importantly, should such a team be taken seriously?
And by the way, what the hell is going on with this season? What does this whole body of work mean?
So, it's been a rough few days. The taste of Monday Night is still strong with me, and still disgusting, and I think we all learned some lessons that night. I think it is important to take away the right ones, though, so that will be the purpose of this post, to discuss what I think those lessons are.
Time for more Things! What could be better on a Thursday, other than if Burn Notice was still running new episodes?
I'm upset with the loss yesterday, but not as much as I was after the Kansas City game. I think there were a few major positives which emerged yesterday, and generally, I was fairly happy with the performance of the defense for the second week in a row. Some thoughts....
I hate when the Broncos play in the early game, because it prevents me from channel-flipping like I like to during the busy part of the day. I watched our game on Sunday intently, and only had 3 games to flip through late.
Today, I cut out of work early, and came home to watch a bunch of football. Observations and thoughts follow. As always, I only comment on football I personally watched.