The Lard

A comprehensive daily examination of NFL happenings and analysis

NFL admits defensive holding should have been called on Cowboys

Good Morning, Broncos fans! As their participation in Monday's practice suggests, Brandon Marshall and T.J. Ward are expected to play in Sunday's divisional round matchup with Indy.

Peyton Manning also returned to practice, while Orlando Franklin and David Bruton did conditioning as they work back from concussions.

The bye week also helped Julius Thomas, who says his injured ankle continues to improve.

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Adam Gase said to prefer job with ‘established quarterback’

Good Morning, Broncos fans! There were several coaching carousel developments on Saturday, with Denver's Adam Gase and Jack Del Rio wrapping up their first rounds of job interviews:

  • Gase unexpectedly switched agents, from Bob LaMonte to Jimmy Sexton. Not sure how to read this, but it seems to suggest Gase is going to take one of the jobs he auditioned for.
  • Jason La Canfora says Gase prefers a gig with an "established quarterback," which would appear to mean Atlanta and Matt Ryan. It can't mean Chicago and Jay Cutler, can it?
  • Adam Schefter reports that Oakland requested an interview with Dallas OC Scott Linehan

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Steelers to be without Le’Veon Bell in bid to take on Broncos

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The 2014 playoffs open today with matchups between Arizona/Carolina (4:35pm) and Baltimore/Pittsburgh (8:15pm).

Should the Steelers prevail, they will be the Broncos' opponent next Sunday at SAF@MH. If Baltimore pulls off the road win, their prize will be a trip to Foxboro next Saturday, and Denver will host the winner of tomorrow's Cincy/Indy showdown.

The Ravens and Steelers split their season series, with the home team winning each game by 20 points.

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Wes Welker says concussion protocol has brought better care

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! The first ever College Football Playoff delivered a pair of New Year's night stunners.

FSU took an early 3-0 lead over Oregon, but by halftime, they trailed 18-13, and then the floodgates opened. The Ducks outscored the Seminoles 41-7 in the second half, including five straight touchdowns, four of them off FSU turnovers, for a 59-20 beatdown.

Oregon's opponent in the National Championship game will be Ohio State, which authored a shocking domination of Alabama belied by a 42-35 final score.

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Bruce Allen thinks being an NFL laughingstock is ‘winning off the field’

Happy New Year, Broncos fans! Between Jed York and Woody Johnson, it's been a busy week in terms of idiot sons of rich dudes saying stupid things.

Add to that list Washington president/GM Bruce Allen, son of HOF coach George, and brother of former Senator George, he of "Macaca" fame.

During a rambling presser on Wednesday, Allen mounted a weak defense of his disastrous run in Washington, hilariously suggesting it was time for the organization to rethink how it does everything. Of course, that was the idea a year ago, when Allen replaced Mike Shanahan with Jay Gruden.

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Jed York probably gave his last ever radio interview on Tuesday

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Tuesday brought some extra delicious coaching news and rumors:

Let's start out by the Bay: Niners GM Trent Baalke reportedly spoke with Mike Shanahan on Tuesday, will interview Rex Ryan, and is also considering Mini Shanny. Father and son competing for the same job? Imagine the conversation between tanning beds if one beats out the other.

Meanwhile, Jim Harbaugh is putting out word that Jed York pushed him out the door, and their split wasn't as mutual as York would have us believe.

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Woody Johnson and Jed York remind us to appreciate Pat Bowlen

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Black Monday 2014 was a banner day for verbal diarrhea from silver spoon clod owners.

First, there was LOLJets owner Sticks Johnson, who finally admitted his obvious error in forcing an incumbent coach (Rex Ryan) onto a GM (John Idzik). While discussing the twin firings, Johnson spoke about another one of his double blunders, when he shipped Darrelle Revis out of town and then failed to pursue him in free agency last year.

In the highlight of his presser, and a clear example of tampering, Woody said he'd love to have Revis back, but of course, the corner is under contract with the Patriots.

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In Kyle Orton terms, Kyle Orton goes out on top

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Pittsburgh handily defeated Cincy 27-17 on Sunday night, clinching the AFCN title and the AFC's #3 seed in the process.

The Steelers will host Baltimore on Saturday night, but they may be without Le'Veon Bell, who suffered a hyperextended knee on Sunday. Cincy is the #5 seed; they'll visit Indy in Sunday's first matchup, but also face a key injury concern, as A.J. Green departed with a concussion.

Denver will host the highest seeded remaining team among Pittsburgh, Indy, and Cincy.

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Jack Del Rio reportedly a candidate for Raiders job

Good Morning, Broncos fans! With the regular season set to end tonight, possible coaching and front office changes remain front and center:

  • All indications suggest Jim Harbaugh is heading back to Michigan, although the Raiders will reportedly make a last ditch effort to woo him on Monday.
  • If that fails, the Broncos' Jack Del Rio is seen as a top candidate; he'd be taking over for interim coach Tony Sparano and JDR's own Denver predecessor, Dennis Allen. There's a joke in here about John Fox and the Broncos doing to Oakland what Bill Belichick and the Pats did with super spy Josh McDaniels...

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Chiefs’ wide receiver scoring drought comes down to Chase Daniel

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Raiders Week just ain't what it used to be, is it?

This has been particularly true during the Peyton Manning era, during which the Broncos have prevailed in five blowouts in five tries. The average score in those games has been 35-14 (14.2 to be exact, since Oakland needs every tenth of a point it needs here).

Of course, that's how most Raiders games have gone for several years now, no matter the opponent (Chiefs and Chargers the exceptions).

Continue reading "Chiefs’ wide receiver scoring drought comes down to Chase Daniel"