Good Morning, Broncos fans! As Legwold reminds us, it's getting about time for the Denver offense to start putting together some longer drives to give its own defense a breather, and to shorten the game for them. Revisiting the drive data I've been going over after games, the Broncos have had 22 possessions the past two weeks excluding the kneeldown to end the win over Cincy. Of these 22 possessions, six resulted in scores, while all 16 non-scoring drives have consumed 2:46 or less of game clock, and the only drive among the 16 that lasted longer than six plays ended in an interception (the one that sealed Sunday's loss). A staggering 10 of the 16 non-scoring drives were three-or-less and out.
Yes, the defense has overall been quite impressive, at least relative to the garbage we became accustomed to in 2008 and 2010. But it's not going to cut it against Aaron Rodgers & Co. unless the offense helps them out a bit, extends some drives and kills some clock, not to mention scores some points. If not, it's going to be a long Sunday for all of us...
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Plenty of injury updates from Mike Klis: Denver is expecting to have Elvis Dumervil, Champ Bailey, D.J. Williams and Knowshon Moreno back in action this week for their game in Green Bay. Obviously, they'll need all the help they can get, so these returns could not come soon enough, although whether having Williams take over for his worthy replacement Wesley Woodyard isn't so clear.
In more great news, Marcus Thomas is expected to practice this week but perhaps on a limited basis - it remains to be seen if he's anywhere near the proper shape to play after missing most of camp with a strained pec and then missing the first three games with a groin injury. Julius Thomas got rid of his walking boot and could be back next week against San Diego, while the other injured Thomas (Demaryius) is not expected back until Week 7 (after the bye).
Good Morning, Broncos fans! So, welcome to Foxball, everyone. After falling to the Titans in Tennessee 17-14 (box score), Denver's 1-2 record consists of two three-point losses and a two-point victory. Once again, the Broncos' defense did enough to win, and a remarkable lack of discipline by the Titans (11 penalties for 80 yards and three huge first downs) kept Denver in a game where its offense was outclassed (231 net yards on 63 plays for a paltry 3.7-yard average).
Last week against the Bengals, Denver's offense produced two long scoring drives and two quick TDs but sputtered on eight possessions which each took four plays or fewer and consumed 2:13 or less of game clock. Yesterday was much of the same, as the team managed two TD drives but couldn't sustain its other eight possessions, which maxed out at 2:46 worth of game clock. Willis McGahee could gain only 52 yards on 22 attempts, while Kyle Orton's 39 passes garnered a measly 173 yards. That, my friends, is the epitome of inefficiency.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! I don't often utilize this space to address or respond to comments, but I feel like doing so today. Yesterday, it was stated that pointing out Kyle Orton's shortcomings was becoming a tired exercise, that the Orton/Tebow debate is old hat. That bringing up the sack data from FO was useless. Here's what I have to say about that:
Now that that's out of the way, let's get to the day's news. Of course, we'll have some Fat Pickins, an open thread and TJ's incomparable Gut Reactions for you today. Have a great day, everyone!
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Here's something to consider when figuring out where to assign blame for the 70 sacks Kyle Orton has taken during his 31 games as a Bronco - how long do the sacks of Orton take to play out? Obviously, there's been plenty of chatter here about Orton and pass protection, and it's been my assertion that Kyle "walks into" too many of them due to his poor pocket awareness and mobility within it, while Ted has focused on Orton's tendency to hold the ball too long and his reluctance to check it down.
Well, as the data from J.J. Cooper of Football Outsiders points out, the overwhelming majority (80.49%) of sacks Denver allowed in 2009 and 2010 took more than 2.5 seconds to play out, which is the fifth-highest such figure among all teams, trailing only the Chiefs, Titans, Ravens and Vikings. At the other end of the spectrum is the Colts and their craptastic offensive line - and although Indy didn't allow a high number of sacks, we all know that's a credit to Peyton Manning's awareness and quick decisions. An incredible 61.76% of their sacks allowed took less than 2.5 seconds to occur, or when Manning just didn't have time to get the ball out. So, Kyle...just get rid of the damn ball!
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Denver's injury situation is gradually improving, with Brandon Lloyd a full participant in practice and limited participation from Elvis Dumervil, Knowshon Moreno and D.J. Williams yesterday. It's not clear whether Williams is expected to get the start over Wesley Woodyard, but Dennis Allen says D.J. could face some conditioning issues, so figure to see at least a decent amount of Woodyard come Sunday.
On the flip side, Champ Bailey has still not practiced since injuring his hamstring, although he's at least running and cutting. Basically, Champ sounds like he's not going to play, but that he would if it were a playoff game.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his latest mailbag (once he's through with his weekly cheap shots at Josh McDaniels), Woody Paige says the Broncos' brass is as divided over Tim Tebow's prospects as us fans are, and he says the team did in fact look into dealing Tebow away, but that they encountered little in the way of interest when they did so. Woody admits to not really knowing how Brian Xanders feels about Tebow, and he seems as puzzled as we are that Xanders has so far emerged scot free from all the blame which has landed at Josh McDaniels' feet for draft picks gone wrong.
Woody goes on to say the team's hierarchy has nobody to blame but themselves for the PR problem they've had this season after having used Tebow to sell season-ticket renewals and then trying and failing to trade Orton. He also repeats what he said on Sandy Clough's show last week, suggesting the team should deal Tebow before the deadline if they're intent on drafting a new QB next April. In that vein, Woodrow takes a look at the schedule and realizes (especially with the fine play of Detroit and Buffalo) that the Broncos are worthy entrants to the Suck for Luck race.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Obviously, there are many ways to view the outcome of Sunday's two-point victory - the Broncos made the plays they needed to win the game, they were fortunate to have the ball bounce their way on certain occasions, the Bengals shot themselves in the foot with ill-timed penalties, or Cincy just isn't that good. But as Frank Frigo tells it, there was another major factor at play: Marvin Lewis incredibly managed to out-conservative our own cautious John Fox, and it did in his team.
No, it wasn't Lewis' decision to forego a 54-yard FG attempt in the closing minutes; instead it was his puzzling choice to punt on 4th-and-1 at midfield twice to start the game and to kick a FG on another 4th-and-1 while down five points at Denver's five-yard line, late in the third quarter and with momentum clearly on the Bengals' side. According to Frigo's calculations, these unprogressive decisions cost the Bengals more than 34% in Game Winning Chance (GWC) with the chip-shot FG counting for almost half of that. Of course, the Broncos have not yet gone for it on a fourth down (they have not yet faced a situation where they should have), and during his nine years in Carolina, Fox went for it fewer than ten times in four of those seasons, so at some point this same fogyish strategy Lewis employed to keep his team from winning on Sunday will bite Denver in the rear. Mark it.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Unfortunately, the news of the day was that WR Eddie Royal will be out at least two weeks with a strained groin, with his return figuring to be Week 5 against San Diego or Week 7 at Miami following the Broncos' bye week. Obviously, Royal's injury underscores the urgency for WR Brandon Lloyd to return from his groin strain this week; according to LJ, there's a chance Lloyd, DE Elvis Dumervil, RB Knowshon Moreno and LB D.J. Williams will be back practicing sometime this week. As for Denver's other serious injury from Sunday, TE Julius Thomas is also out for at least two weeks with a high ankle sprain, and he was in a boot and on crutches yesterday.
Meanwhile, John Fox said yesterday the Broncos wouldn't again make the glaring mistake of entering a game with only three healthy WRs - and since Lloyd's return to health is not guaranteed, it's probably a safe bet the team will call up Eron Riley or D'Andre Goodwin from the practice squad to supplement the current group of Lloyd?, Eric Decker and Matt Willis for Sunday's game at Tennessee. It will also be interesting to see if the team is willing to enter Sunday with only Daniel Fells and Virgil Green healthy at TE, as doing so would likely hamper Denver's ability to utilize two-TE and max-protect sets. If the team were to make a pair of moves, DT Mitch Unrein and RB Jeremiah Johnson would figure to be prime candidates to be waived and stashed on the PS if they were to clear. Is Richard Quinn healthy and/or in football shape?
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Who said Denver doesn't have any depth? The Broncos had to resort to lining up Tim Tebow at WR yesterday as they eked out a 24-22 victory (box score) over the Bengals, and they sit in a tie for first place in the AFC West (probably won't be able to write that again this year). Denver lost Eddie Royal to what appeared to be a groin injury, while Julius Thomas suffered a high ankle sprain; both left the stadium on crutches.
The victory came on the strength of two beautiful Kyle Orton TD passes to Eric Decker, 101 patient and hard-fought rushing yards from Willis McGahee (who also punched in Denver's first touchdown), and Dennis Allen's defense holding Cincy to 1-of-11 on third down and making just enough plays to hang on for dear life in the fourth quarter. Wesley Woodyard (10 T, 3 A, 1 TFL, 1 PD) showed why D.J. Williams is overpaid and expendable for these Broncos, while Joe Mays (5 T, 3 A, 2 TFL) continued to thump and dole out statement-making hits.