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.
I'm a day late with this, because it has been a busy week at the office for me. Here goes some thoughts, now that I have seen every game.
Here are some thoughts, about yesterday's game, and the season at the 5 game mark.
I thought the use of the 30 front last week was garbage, and the Broncos got away from it quickly. Today, however, it worked very well, and they used it a lot. On the one hand the Broncos have the wrong kind of personnel for a 3-4 look. The linebackers and Elvis Dumervil are smaller than you'd like for it, and Dewayne Robertson is not really a NT, which is why we got him for a bag of footballs from the Jets. On the other hand, it's undoubtedly easier to find 4 good LBs on the Broncos than it is to find 4 good D-Linemen.
For one thing, Dumervil seems to be back. He dominated Jeremy Trueblood today. The LBs and Safeties also tackled much better today. The soundness of the defense and the patience of the offense combined to win today. I'm very pleased with what I saw.
As always, this is based 100% on games I watched....
1. Javon Walker looks finished. He got no separation all game long. Another former Bronco, Ashley Lelie, appears to be Oakland's best WR on a play-to-play basis.
2. JaMarcus Russell has serious accuracy issues at this point. I didn't see anything in his mechanics which led me to believe that there was a problem, but he's missing his targets a lot. Interestingly, the training wheels are being taken off a little bit for him lately, and it remains to be seen how he handles that going forward.
3. Jason Peters is supposed to be a big star at LT for Buffalo, but I don't see it this season. He's been getting beat by pass rushers, and he had a particularly long day matched up against Derrick Burgess.
I'm still in the process of watching every game in its entirety (Directv's Short Cuts is well worth the 99 bucks.) For now, some notes on things I already saw and thought.
OK, the Chargers got jobbed on the fumble call. No argument there, but if they had won on that play, it would have been because of a fluky, untouched fumble. In other words, it would not have indicated any semblance of Chargers superiority. Instead of losing on a weird fluky play, they didn't lose on another weird fluky play. By the way, the Champ Bailey play in the 1st quarter was not as clear to me as it was to Randy Cross. I thought that was very close.
The sequence following the fumble was really compelling. The key play-call to securing the win was the draw to Selvin Young on 3rd and Goal from the 10. Watching it, I thought it was brilliant, because I'd rather have one shot to score on 4th down, and leave 24 seconds on the clock, than I would take 2 shots into the end zone from the 10, with a minute to go. I think the probabilities are better, given the abysmal defense seen from both teams today. The call on 4th down was very smart, but really, par for the course of the game.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen is reporting that Lane Kiffin is expected to be fired as soon as Monday, regardless of the outcome of today's game in Kansas City. This would be a really sad day to be a Raiders fan, as I believe Kiffin to be the best coach they've had since Jon Gruden. They're still losing, but the direction of the team looked much better last season than it had since at least the Gruden days.
MHR Regulars are familiar with my "respect" for the insight and analysis of SI's Peter King. Today, in his weekly Monday Morning QB column, he took the cake, and we can at least be happy that he wasn't directly slighting any Broncos in doing so.
The premise of his stupid article (he's relentlesslt consistent!) was that the suits at the NFL learned a lesson yesterday with Tom Brady's injury, that they shouldn't ever consider lengthening the regular season, because players get hurt. Where to begin with this bit of foolishness?