We decided not to do Chewing the Fat on Sunday, as New Year’s Eve recovery efforts remained underway at 4:15 PM ET. I went out of my way not to overdrink on Saturday night, so I’m pretty spry, and I decided to do a running diary of both the Broncos game and the one between the Raiders and Chargers. I’m hoping for simultaneous excitement that comes across as compelling writing. If the games disappoint, at least you’ll get my on-the-fly thoughts on both games.
Step into my man-cave:
Happy Tuesday, friends. I’ve gotten some requests to do a Digesting piece on the Broncos, and I decided that I’d do one today. I’m in the process of writing a very lengthy paper for my marketing class that’s due on Wednesday, so I need something
a bit shorter than usual (not so much, as it turned out) for the site today. I figure that I can go short medium-to-long, and still make some people happy. Ready… BEGIN!!
I’ve obviously watched every snap that the Broncos have taken this year, at least three times. Where I can get a good sense of an opponent by watching a game or two, I would hope that I have a great sense of the Broncos. Here goes.
Happy Victory Tuesday, friends. Are you getting used to Victory Tuesdays, yet? I kind of like them, personally. Those of you who had your hearts set on a Top-5 pick may not, but football is funny. Players and coaches like to win, and they try really hard to make that happen, and sometimes they get it done, even if some find it to be strategically unpreferable. In this space, we’re always pro-#winning, so deal with it. Ready… BEGIN!!
1. Today, I want to share some thoughts about why the Broncos are winning, and why it has seemed like a tale of two seasons. There are a number of reasons for it, and it qualifies as a confluence of all of those reasons. I’m one guy with an opinion, but here’s my list:
a. It took a little while, but the team has taken very well to the new defensive scheme. The Broncos tried to use even-front players in a Fairbanks-Bullough 3-4 scheme for two seasons and didn’t have great results. This staff came in and installed an aggressive 4-3 that has a very simple and sound approach to gap control.
Happy Tuesday, friends. It’s been five days since the last Broncos victory, so I decided not to rehash it, since it’s been done to death at this point. I have been working on a short (for me) essay about pass protection, and I decided to make it longer and more detailed and give that to you today. Friday, it’ll be back to Digesting the Chargers, and we should be on the regular schedule from here on out. Ready… BEGIN!!!
1. Once, when I was three years old, I woke my mother up from a nap. A man was breaking into the house downstairs, I told her. He was tall and had dark hair, and was coming in through the window in the living room. I was telling my mom about this guy in vivid detail, and like any mom, she got scared. I had three younger siblings who were all also having a nap at the time, so my mother went and frantically made sure that they were safe. Then she locked us all in one room and called the cops.
As it turned out, that was an early indication of the kind of storyteller I was to become. It was like little Eddie Murphy telling the joke about the monkey kicking the lion in the ding-ding. We are all uniquely ourselves, and our character starts getting revealed at a young age. I wasn’t lying, of course; I had just thought up some cool fiction and was sharing it with my mom. She was not as impressed as I thought she’d be, and on the rare occasion I’ve ever heard her tell that story, the context is how hard it was to raise four little kids at once, and tangentially, that I had a hellion moment here and there. (Both are fair points, of course.)
Happy Victory Tuesday, friends. Today, you’re going to get a Serving of thoughts on the Chiefs game, and something to Digest about the Jets, since that game is being played on Thursday night. Get excited, because it’s a two-fer Tuesday. Ready… BEGIN!!
1. Sunday’s win came in an unusual way, but you should never apologize for a victory. One of the Denver reporters got a little smart-assed with John Fox, and asked if he’d ever coached a game like that before. Fox kind of smirked, and said that yes, he had. It turned out that he won that one too. Jake Delhomme was out, and they pounded the hell out of the Falcons that day and played good defense.
For the last two weeks, the Broncos have gotten in touch with their physical side on offense, and a creative and effective running game has led to back-to-back road AFC West victories against both of the Broncos’ most hated rivals. For a Denver Broncos fan, it doesn’t get much better than that.
Somehow, though, being a Broncos fan has gotten to be more complicated than that. Somehow, everything came to revolve around the Quarterback, and sides have been chosen; everybody seems to have a bias one way or another, and the Broncos and Tim Tebow keep confirming it, whatever it is. For a while this was amusing, but it’s really kind of tiresome to me at this point.
Happy Victory Tuesday, friends. I hope you’re ready for a Serving, because I’ve got one for you. I’m in last place in the picks competition, and a primary reason why is that I’m now 2-6 in picking Broncos games. (I had them losing to Green Bay, and beating Miami.) You can’t win them all, I guess, and I just don't seem to have a great feel for when the Broncos are going to play well. Maybe if I read the DP rather than Doug's parsing of their work, I might know if they "had a good week of practice."
Anyway, today we’re going to explore in detail why the Broncos beat the Raiders on Sunday. It was a total team win, as has been said, but more than that, I would say that it was the first time this season that the offense pulled its weight. Aside from a couple of missed throws by Tim Tebow and some penalties (I’m looking at you, Ryan Clady) it was a consistent and productive effort. Since offense is kind of my thing, I’m excited to spend some time talking about it. Ready… BEGIN!!
Happy Friday, friends, and welcome to a Victory Tuesday edition of You Got Served. Today, I’m going with less of a variety show style than usual, and I’m going to address the Broncos QB situation at length. Across the NFL world, that’s been an all-consuming topic, and I want to bring some knowledge and context to bear in discussing it. After that, we’ll see what we have time for. Ready… BEGIN!!
1. I was emailing with Lindsay Jones a couple weeks ago, around the time that she quoted Doug in the Denver Post as a counterpoint to the We Want Tebow hysteria. I was worried that she misunderstood the nature of our site, and she and I have had occasional communication since she happened across an article at my old Wordpress site where I savaged everybody at the DP except for her, and said a few nice things about her.
She used the term “fan-site” to describe us once or twice, and I frankly didn’t like that characterization. MHR is a fan-site; read their header – “By Fans, For Fans.” We’re a lot different than MHR. There, any dumbass with a keyboard can write a FanPost, which is kind of cool, but it’s different from us. If you add the quantity that comes from those FanPosts, and just the fact that they have 13 contributors (according to their masthead), you’re talking about a lot of different viewpoints appearing frequently, and really, whether by design or not, it’s virtually all stated from a Broncos fan perspective. I’m a fan, and I buy tickets, and this is what I want, or think, or like.
Happy Tuesday, friends. Since there was no Broncos game this weekend to comment on, I decided to just share some stray football thoughts for a while. Since I actually had to closely watch the Miami game live last night, my normal Monday night writing time was short, so we’ll see what comes out. Ready….. BEGIN!!
1. I suppose I should begin with the “fire sale” concept, and whether the Broncos are having one. I supported the trade of Brandon Lloyd, because clearly the team had decided that they weren’t going to pay him long dollars in the offseason. Teams have to make organizational decisions, and frankly, we’ve seen a few work out pretty well lately. I don’t miss Brandon Marshall, for example. Did anybody see him playing like he just didn’t care Monday night? That guy is a losing football player, and I don't miss him.
Happy Friday, friends, and welcome back for a bonus Serving. As promised on Tuesday, I’ve come up with six more Tebow-friendly plays, and I’ll have some thoughts at the end pulling it all together. First of all, though, I wanted to address a stupid notion from Trent Dilfer that appeared in the Don Banks article that Doug referenced in today’s Lard.
Dilfer knows what he’s looking at, and he’s a good judge of the ability to throw the ball, and of proper mechanics. His premise in this quote is beyond stupid, though.
His biggest issue will be, every good passing offense in this league, without exception, is based on rhythm, timing and location. There's a rhythm to a pass play, there's a timing to a pass play, and there's a location the ball and the receiver needs to be on a pass play. And those are the three things he really struggles with.'
I think Dilfer’s point that every good current NFL passing game is based on timing is dubious, but I’m not going to lose focus on arguing that. My big problem with this statement is the inherent assumption that just because things have trended in one direction throughout a lot of the NFL that everybody has to go with that trend.
Happy Tuesday, friends, and welcome to another edition of You Got Served. Not much of interest happened over the weekend, so I’ll probably just keep this boring and unprovocative, like everybody does on a slow news day. How about them Texas Rangers?
I guess there’s the little matter of Tim Tebow getting some action, and being named the starting QB today, so I suppose I’ll touch on that a little bit. It hasn’t gotten enough attention, so why not give it some? Ready… BEGIN!!
1. The Broncos did the only thing they could do on Sunday, and that’s bench Kyle Orton. He has played poorly this year, and he lost the QB job after an ample amount of time to turn it around and show better results than he did. There’s no reasonable defense that can be made of his play, and no rationalization about anybody else will stand up. Isolating Orton’s play, there was simply a lot to be desired.
When Tebow entered the game on Sunday, he was joining a completely flat team, and they got energized pretty quickly on both sides of the ball. I don’t know if we can attribute that all to Tebow’s entrance, but I think it’s the most likely cause. I will definitely say that I think the offensive group competes harder when Tebow is in the game than they do when Orton is in the game. The 3.5 games we've seen of Tebow tell me that that is the case, when measured against the 33.5 Orton games.