Happy Thursday, friends. It's somehow been a week, and I didn't get to the All-22 video until Wednesday night. When you're going back to Cali to play golf all weekend, and you're not bringing the girlfriend, it turns out that she wants some substantial attention when you get back. Who knew?
Anyway, better late than never, right? I watched the All-22 last night, and the one downside of the Broncos having run a ton of plays is that the film take forever to watch. Since they show each play twice, and they also show the down, distance, score, and time remaining for a few seconds before each play, it took upward of two hours to get through the whole game.
Who’s ready for some (20-20) observations? Ready… BEGIN!!
Happy Friday, friends. As promised, I’m back with my mostly useless NFC predictions. Last year, I nailed the AFC like nobody’s business, and never found time to even do any pronosticatin’ on the NFC, so this is a step up.
The general perception is that the NFC is a stronger conference than the AFC. I would agree with that generally, but it’s not necessarily because of what I see at the top. Rather, it’s the strength in the middle of the pack that is compelling. Teams like St. Louis, Arizona, Tampa Bay, Carolina, and Dallas are better than the middle-of-the-pack teams that the AFC has to offer.
Without further ado, let’s get to the predictions.
Happy Game Day (again), friends. Our loyal reader BRASO called us out in an email for being a bit light on the content lately (sorry about that), so we’re stepping it up. We don't want our readers having to resort to visiting lesser Broncos sites in the absence of content from us.
As in past years, I plan to do an opposition research article each week about the team the Broncos will play. This week, it’s the Ravens.
This is a hard task for the opener, because there’s no regular season film to watch. I did get to see the Ravens’ starters some in the preseason, though, and that combined with things that I think I know from observations of last year’s NFL season will have to suffice. Let’s break down the Super Bowl champions. *vomits*
Happy Game Day, friends. I know I haven’t posted much lately, but I seem to have reached the busy season at my day job, and being buried is the price of being in the senior position I’m in. As I was discussing today with our HR director, anybody who thinks you can “have it all” is delusional. I’ll try to write more in the coming weeks, particularly as games give me material.
Today I want to offer my own useless take on the season to come. Actually, I suspect that the use I find for it will be to come back and brag on it at year-end, if my prognosticatin’ is anywhere as good as last year’s was. Since two AFC teams kick off the season tonight, here’s the AFC picture as I see it. I’ll hit you with the NFC tomorrow, and then some playoff predictions on Saturday.
I don’t have all the time in the world to devote to this, but it’s better than ESPN’s collaborative blog-a-thon, because at the end of mine, there are 256 wins and 256 losses. (Only a wanker would forecast ties before the season even starts.) Of course, for an accounting guy like me, the debits have to equal the credits.
Happy Saturday, friends. In the wake of the Broncos' roster transactions from today, I looked at Twitter to get the pulse of Broncos Country. What I mostly saw was some misplaced freakouts happening. I thought I'd quickly talk you off the ledge if you're super-worried. Alternatively, if you think you know better than Johns Fox and Elway, I thought I'd let you know that you don't. All is well, Broncos fans.
I love the word kerfluffle and used it at work yesterday to describe, well, a kerfluffle. I saw a lot of this when word came out that dime-a-dozen fifth-round WR Tavarres King had been waived. How can you not have backups for the outside WRs, went the wailing.
Happy Tuesday, friends. On Monday afternoon, Tim Ryan and Pat Kirwan visited Broncos training camp, and held a very interesting four-hour show from Dove Valley. There were a number of insights and opinions presented, and as usual, practically everybody they spoke to was much more forthcoming than they tend to be with the beat people.
I've seen (heard?) this time and time again with Tim and Pat at many team visits, where coaches and GMs consider them to be real football people who can participate in real football discussions. Because of that, their annual visit to Dove Valley is must-listen stuff. For those who didn't, I took some notes.
A lot is being made the last couple days of the Broncos’ adoption of the “pistol offense.” There’s a big mistake being made with most of it – they’re confusing the use of an alignment with the adoption of an offensive scheme.
Cecil Lammey (predictably) seems like he get this, calling it the pistol formation. Most of the Twitterverse and DP-verse seems to be making more of it than what is there.
For those who don’t know what is meant by pistol alignment, it simply is a half-measure between a QB taking a snap under center, and from the traditional shotgun. Where the shotgun has the QB seven yards deep with a running back to either side, the pistol has the QB at four yards' depth, with the RB 3-4 yards behind him.
Happy Friday, friends. I wanted to try to engage today on a difficult topic that we’ve tended not to shy away from at IAOFM, and that’s race and racism. I’m specifically going to apply it to the Riley Cooper situation, obviously, because that’s what’s going on right now.
I say this topic is difficult because I think, in advance, that my take on the Cooper situation, and on the nature of using hateful words isn’t going to be fully satisfying to much of anybody. This take is honest, though, and I think (and hope), logical, so here goes.
Happy Tuesday, friends. As promised in my last article, today, I want to propose a proposition. I think that it’s high time that people stop acting like there are only two kinds of defense being played in the NFL, and that we come up with a better way to identify them.
You’ll recall that last Tuesday, I made the case that the base personnel grouping (3-4 or 4-3) was not only not determinative of the character of a defense, it’s actually only barely relevant to the discussion. It doesn’t necessarily contain any indication of tactical approach, so saying that a team runs a 3-4 defense means almost nothing, yet that's all you get from the football commentariat. This injustice will not stand, man!
On offense, at least, the traditionally recognized groupings speak to tactical approaches. When somebody says that a team runs a West Coast offense, you tend to think of horizontal passing, and timing routes, and a running game that sets up that kind of passing. The basic principles are mostly common within the group. That isn’t the case for a “3-4 defense” or a “4-3 defense,” not at all.
Happy Friday, friends. Today, I’m going to continue our look back at Broncos schemes through history. On Tuesday, Doug sent a link to my offense article to Neil Payne at PFR.
Neil and I disagree on what the sweet spot is for identifying a scheme; he wants to group together as many as possible to evaluate splits, which is what you’d expect from a stats guy.
As I mentioned in the offense article, I am fine with that conceptually, up to a point, but you eventually start grouping schemes that are really dissimilar together. Neil said he wanted to fit the Manning Offense into either Erhardt-Perkins, West Coast, or Air Coryell, and that he felt like Air Coryell is the closest fit.