Chewing the Fat: Week 10 - Broncos at Chiefs

The IAOFM staff discuss the Denver Broncos' 17-10 Week 10 victory over the Chiefs in Kansas City

Doug: I wish there weren't so many 1pm games today, but at least there's some good ones later

Ted: Yeah,there's a ton of them. Macatee and Tasker today... that's not so bad. If the Broncos win today, all four teams will be 2-2 in the division.  That really makes it anybody's to take. I think maybe Tasker doesn't get how the Zone Read works.  The defense always makes the choice for the QB.  That's the whole idea. According to Vic Lombardi, Quinn is the #2 QB today, for whatever interest that's worth. Look at Prater wearing sleeves on a 67 degree day. Kickers! Cassel runs at the first sign of pressure

TJ: I forget how mobile Cassel is sometimes

Ted: Where have we heard that? Ugh... Ron Winter is the ref.  This is the most ticky-tack crew in the NFL. Von!

TJ: Just relentless beating of the double team

Ted: 3rd and have to like this situation. Very good coverage there - Goodman actually might have had a pick if he wasn't running all-out to tackle McCluster

Doug: Interesting to see Cosby back there after Eddie's PR TD

Ted: Cosby is pretty good too.  I could see him being the third different Bronco to get a TD on one at some point this season.

Doug: Yeah he's definitely been more than effective. Wow, nice start!

TJ: If KC can't stop the run with that box, they'll never stop it

Ted: Larsen on the handoff... I like that wrinkle too. 5 yards on the inside zone. I think we'll see more inside stuff

Doug: Wow! Not too many nice runs from Knowshon this year

Ted: That was a move, huh?  He hates these Chiefs. He kills them...

Doug: Uh oh, willis

Ted: Yeah, not good. Looks like a Moreno day

TJ: I really like this offense.  It looks pretty good.  That run right there might be the best run of the season.

Tim Tebow weaves his way to a 7-yard touchdown run; 7-0 Broncos

Ted: For all his faults, Tebow is excellent running in the end zone area.  He's patient, and he finds the crease

TJ: I think this offense might be the one that could rattle off five or six games.

Ted: Especially if Tebow throws the ball well at all. It's a better offense than the Broncos had under Orton. Nice tackle by Quan Cosby there. He's been a good addition to the team. Wow, why does this field look so brown? It's like a poorly-maintained golf course

TJ: Champ has a tough assignment today, but I know he's going to give it a heck of an effort.

Ted: TJ, you're very big on crediting effort today

TJ: Good effort by Chris Harris, on the backside. And good hustle by Marcus Thomas. Great coverage by Chris Harris.

Ted: Yeah that was nice

TJ: Good effort on that play by Tebow. McGahee's hamstring, so that's good news. Only questionable. That's an awesome effort by Knowshon

Ted: This is statement type stuff, all this running

Doug: "We cant pass"

Ted: No, “We can knock your asses off the ball all day”

TJ: That zone read will be there all day I would say.

Ted: I think so, too. That was a straight-up triple option look there

TJ: I think they should make this their main offense.

Ted: LOL McCoy as mad scientist. 2 weeks ago, he was uncreative and stodgy

TJ: 14 plays, 14 rushes.  Why stop when the other team can't stop you?

Ted: They're getting the running game blocked really well, as they have for 3 games

2nd Quarter

Doug: Underthrown by Tebow. Oh well, good play call

TJ: Man, that was a great effort by Tebow. I was watching the offensive line there.  Definitely playing harder today.  Something is in the air today.

Ted: TJ would you call it "grit" that they're showing, or is it not quite rising to that Hillis-like level?

TJ: It's just something I can't describe. You just know it when you see it. It's an intangible I can't quite explain.

Ted: Wow, I hate that call - throw the ball!

Doug: I think everyone wants to play harder for Tebow. The guys just didn't like Orton

TJ: That's on McCoy and Fox,but I still think they are coaching hard today, don't get me wrong. Great pressure by Bunkley.

Ted: That was great work by DJ. He got off that McClain block quickly

TJ: Great effort today. Great play by Mays.

Ted: It's nice to play a terrible offense once in awhile

Doug: Uh oh McGahee heading back to the locker room

TJ: Nine-man box, three-TE set. Stop us

Doug: Gonna be hard to run the ball 95% of the time with both RBs out. Tebow/Ball/Larsen? Rosario?

Ted: The coaches told Tebow to take a TO there.  Wonder why

Doug: Maybe Quinn can come in to play QB and Tebow can be the RB

Ted: Eddie Royal as a runner is interesting

Doug: Good way to get him killed

Ted: You bitches are soft, and we're going to knock you down every play. That's the game plan, and it's working

Doug: So far...

TJ: Great effort by Lance Ball. Nice blocking by the interior.

Ted: Okay, let’s let Tebow throw the ball now

Doug: Oh my, this is bizarre

Matt Prater is good from 38; 10-0 Broncos

Ted: A 10-point lead in a game that's playing like this is a big deal, but you have to eventually let the guy throw the ball

TJ: I think Fox is starting to come around to the idea that this could be our QB of the future.

Ted: Well, I'd be run-heavy against him too.  Crennel's strength is scheming coverage. But the Chiefs aren't hitting the QB, so you can drop back your guy and let him throw. Nice backside pursuit by Ayers. Chris Harris is a good young CB. That is a really tough thing to do, to follow Breaston all the way across the field

TJ: I like these calls.

Ted: I thought that looked like a check to pass situation. So did that. The Chiefs have adjusted. Rosario has been making a lot of solid special teams tackles this season. Arenas is a really dangerous guy, and he shook Harris

Doug: Holy @#$%! That was insane!

TJ: Oh, man, that was incredibly lucky. Could have been holding too

Ted: It's coming back. Luck swings the other way

TJ: DJ is really turning on the play as of late.

Ted: Ayers set a really strong edge there, to turn the play inside. I'm becoming more of a DJ fan lately too

TJ: Pressure is pressure, so it accomplished its goal. Great play by McBean.

Ted: Against Cassel, you want a guy hanging out in the middle to guard the run - because he's going to run

Doc: Hey, guys. Sorry to be late - bit of a challenging day, but all's good. Looks like a heck of a game - has TT been running like that all game?

Doug: Em, they mostly just handed it off a million times

Ted: Wow that was a dumbass play. He's now thrown 3 downfield jump balls. How about a crossing route? That's a good call... let's let the clock run

TJ: Eddie has to have this. Good call by McCoy.

Ted: Dropped pass. The good news is that the Broncos are going to get the ball in the second half. Here comes a kneeldown

Doc: 0-4 passing and Denver's up by 10? Wow - defense is playing well?

Ted: Yes, and the running game has been getting blocked. He only had 1 passing attempt until this 2-minute possession

Doc: That's amazing. Looks from the stats like the secondary for Denver is playing well too

Doug: I wonder if a team has ever had a halftime lead with zero passing yards and zero turnovers on either side

Doc: LOL. Three sacks, too, and one from each of Miller, D.J. and McBean. At least I got it on the recorder - this one is one for the books.

Doug: DEN/KC and JAX/IND 84 passing yards, 16 points. Painful, and dreadful. Even the Brown and McCoy have 152 passing yds

TJ: Doug, the answer to your question is that the Broncos haven't played a game in their history without completing a pass in the first half (through 1991)

TJ: They are checking records back further as we speak. They don't believe there is another case thus far.

Doc: That's amazing

TJ: It's a great game plan, Em. Mike McCoy is calling a great game.

Doug: Haha not what i'd call it Em

Ted: I don't apologize for leading 10-0 at the half, personally

Doc: LOL - well, it's damned unique! That's right

Doug: Excruciating, is more like it

3rd Quarter

Ted: That's another pass dropped

Doug: Or, knocked away

TJ: Lance Ball, you have to make that catch. You have to block that better.

Doug: 3rd and 9 and you go option?

Ted: I just hate that call

TJ: Zane Beadles,I'm looking at you, buddy. At least Irving can hit on ST.

Ted: I liked Irving's effort to follow that across the field

Doc: He looks bigger than he did in training camp - I wonder if he's gotten together with Tuten.

TJ: Man, tough play, but Von Miller came across the field to save that play. He's so fast. DA, great call.

Ted: DJ blew that one. Time to play defense

TJ: Oh well, they can't stop our running game, it's just noise

Ted: Marcus Thomas owned his dude there

TJ: Why you wouln't re-sign Marcus Thomas and Bunkley is beyond me.

Ted: You have to - for all the noise, they've been good inside with those 2

Doc: Thomas' penetration was great

TJ: They double team Von Miller on every pass play these days.

Ted: Jesus... right out of Digesting the Chiefs. You can't cover McCluster with any LB

Doc: Great tackle by Carter

KC gets on the scoreboard with a play-action pass from Matt Cassel to Le’Ron McClain; 10-7 Broncos

Doug: WOW what a FAKE

Doc: DJ just fell

TJ: Faked me out, and I'm wearing blue blockers

Ted: Great fake there. Irving was slow on getting to Cassel because he thought the dude didn't have it

Doc: Incredible fake. So, you're allowed to throw the ball?

Ted: Yes, Em.  It seems it's allowed

TJ: That literally is the first time I've been faked out all season

Ted: The CBS camera guys were massively faked out

Doc: What a concept, Ted. Might change the whole game

TJ: We'll just pound them again

Doug: Haha we'll see about that. Is this for real?

Ted: This is getting to be a bad joke. When it's working, keep doing it, but it's not working anymore

TJ: Oh no, Clady

Doc: I asked last week, but what the heck is going on with Clady?

TJ: Wow, that little dude Arenas is a jitterbug

Ted: Yeah, he's dangerous. He's actually not a very good CB, but they took him in the second round for his return skills

Doc: Can he pass? Running backs are dropping like flies

Ted: That stupidity is going to kill the Broncos.  McCluster is a WR to RB

TJ: Haha, Ryan Clady...broken knee brace. I mean, that was the injury report on the radio - it was just funny as hell

Ted: I'm glad he wears knee braces...every lineman should

Doug: This is worse than high school football. At least this will be over quickly

Doc: Willis is a tough fella for a WR track star

Ted: I like DT in a one-on-one matchup with Carr.  It was there on that play. It's there again. Good awareness by Tebow there to get something. Wow, that was a bad throw

Doug: That's why Tebow doesn't get to throw. They know he can't

Doc: It's true, Doug. He's got to throw better or the rush game is going to fall apart at some point

Doug: I know everyone is going to ask why they didn't call for more throws, but maybe he couldn't hit them in practice - just like he didn't hit them in training camp

Doc: Thomas just stood there and looked at him like 'What?"

Ted: That was the first OMG throw he's had today, but it came at a bad time

Doug: But it was also really easy, wasn't it Ted? This was not an NFL throw he had to make. Or was it?

Ted: Yeah, that was the definition of an easy throw. He looks bad on those sometimes, as he did there

4th Quarter

Doug: Haha Champ, I think he was holding Bowe by the wrist or something

Ted: It looked like it, but it was subtle Doug

Doug: Very much so, nice little veteran move

Ted: The Broncos need to come out throwing right now. It may not work, but it at least gets the Chiefs having to read pass keys again

Doc: Went back to watch the Bowe/Bailey throw. Bowe was trying to push Champ away when the ball came out faster than he thought it would . Clean play by Champ

Ted: Well, one thing I'm pleased with is that Tebow continues to take the ball from under center cleanly

TJ: They stack nine and still can't stop them

Doug: I think Rex Ryan will have something to say about this offense this week. He may just flat out say that it sucks

Ted: I think the way to beat them is to slug them in the face and run on them too

Doc: Ball is having a good game. Ryan won't be kind about this - he shouldn't be

TJ: I hope he got that off

Doug: UGH. How many times have we seen this in the last month? Oh well, again it's a young QB thing - not necessarily a Tebow thing

Tebow nails a 56-yard TD pass to Eric Decker; 17-7 Broncos

Ted: That's Tebow's deep ball. He throws a nice one when he's in a rhythm. That was probably the football game

Doc: That's the thing about TT - he will go three Q's without a reception and then lay the long ball in Decker's hands. Amazing. Yeah, that could be the game

Doug: WTF kind of call is that?

Ted: A Ron Winter call. This crew calls it super-tight. I think the dude likes to hear his own voice in the stadium

Doc: That's ridiculous. You spike the ball at the wrong angle and it's a penalty? 2 completions, 69 yards. Wow.

Doug: Haha Em - the operative number there is 2

Doc: Yeah, I know. Thought that was worth a comment!

Ted: We may not see another pass attempt today from Tebow

Doug: Yeah, what's the point at this juncture? Just run clock

Ted: Really good front side pressrue

TJ: Von blowing dudes up

Ted: That's the 2011 NFL... pressure on the front side, beat those bad RTs

Doc: What a hit by Chris Harris. Another phantom call against Goody. He barely touched him

Doug: UGH facemask

Ted: Yeah that was a bad play

Doc: Sure was. Bad time to self-destruct, guys

Doug: Wow Cassel has been throwing some horrible deep balls all day

Ted: He's not really an accurate thrower

Doc: Good play by Carter to get the ball away, too


Doug: Game over, should be

Doc: McDaniels always said that there was something about Lance Ball that he really liked - can't fault that today. Nice job of 'Next man up'. Dorsey's injured, too

Doug: Denver hasn't topped 131 passing yards since the Packers game

Doc: Cassel will take longer than I do to get out of bed tomorrow. He's been pummeled

Doug: Um why are we running down the play clock? Taking 5?

Ted: Strategic delay of game

Doc: Kicking from better position. Sweet. I'll take the 14, with them down by 2 scores

Doug: Yeah it's hard to fathom a comeback here

Ted: KC's receivers have been brutal in catching the ball today

Doug: That's a bad throw though

Ted: It was, but I need a pro WR to be a pro WR. Aesthetics don't matter. if your hands are on it, catch it

Doc: It was. I was wandering through PFF yesterday and noticed that the Chiefs have a lot of drops. It shows. Place the fork, folks. It's done

Doug: 4-5, a game out of 1st and Tebow now 3-1, 4-3 for his career. With 69 passing yards. Bizarre

Doc: LOL - and 2 completions for the day. Incredible

Ted: The key thing to me is that all 4 teams are 2-2 in the division now

Doug: Let me be the first to say this won't be repeatable on Thursday

Doc: Good point. Hard to believe that Denver's in it. And you're right, Doug. It won't work every game

Ted: It won't be repeatable to this degree, but the Broncos have a good chance to pound the ball on the Jets, and make them play big.  They want to play their 7 DB packages, and go small, but you can run on them.  Look at what Oakland did. You know, one thing I'm interested in seeing is how many people want to act like 3 wins in 4 games with Tebow as the starter don't count, because they're allergic to the "Tebow just wins" BS. That would be an overreaction the other way that's just as bad as the overreaction to the "Tebow just wins" stuff

Doc: I can't believe that Prater is missing these. Ted, I agree - it's a W. It counts the same. Yeah, they resurrected a system that works for him. How is that bad?

Doug: Sure they count. But I would never declare anyone a winner or loser after 7 NFL starts. It's empty either way

Ted: Yeah, that's my point.  They're real wins in real games, and that's all they are

Doug: At the same time people like Michael Irvin will say "he's a winner"

Ted: I know...the leap either way is wrong

Doc: Nice to see KC trying to make a game out of it, but it's way too late. There are no conclusions this early. It's great that the D has stepped up, and I love the W’s. But it's early, and we'll know more in late December

Ted: You can't really say that he can't win in the NFL playing like this, because he is winning.  At the same time, you can't say that it's definitely sustainable, because it's only 7 games as a starter, and 4 games this year. I guess I'm making your point from last week Doug haha

Doug: What stands out to me, is that the three teams Tebow has beaten total a −20.8 SRS according to PFR. Yes, they're road wins. Yes, two of them are against divisional opponents. But the reality is these are not good teams

Ted: The job is to win the games on your schedule

Doug: Of course it is Ted, but our job is to not read into these wins. The Jets will be the second opponent for Tebow & Co. with a positive SRS

Ted: What's the Broncos' SRS?

Doug: -5.9

Ted: So they're beating teams that are comparable to themselves. That's what I would have guessed

Doug: In Miami and Oakland, yes

Doug: KC, no

Ted: KC is worse?

Doug: KC -11.3

Doc: Hard to argue, after today. They've been bitten hard by the injury bug. That's not an excuse, but it is a fact

Ted: I'm not going to pick the Broncos against the Jets Thursday, but I can make a case for how they could win

Doug: Look, when bad teams play each other someone still has to win. That's what it comes down to. The difference in Miami was a bunch of fluky plays. Against Oakland, Royal's PR was the game winner, and today was a legit win

Doc: Ted's right, too - you can only play the ones on your schedule. Right now, the AFC Worst is the place to be.

Ted: They're all legit wins, to the extent that winning is the metric, it's either a win or a loss

Doug: By legit, I mean it didn't come down to chance, or one special play. Just like, we wouldn't say the Lions beat the Broncos by chance, or based upon one play. Neither did the Broncos today - they were the better team

Ted: They were

Doc: Sure. Decker's TD put the nail in the coffin, but they were consistent - you have to give them that

Doug: But, I wouldn't say they were better in Miami, and I think it’s a tough call for the Oakland game with all of the mistakes and penalties by the Raiders

Doc: That's amusing as heck - 2 completions, 17 points and they won the game. It's one for the ages

Ted: I like wins. They make me go to work on Monday in a good mood. I haven't had enough of that good mood the last couple years, so I welcome them, no matter how they come. The Broncos have won 3 out of 4, and that makes me happy.

Doc: It's been a while, no question

Ted: This doesn't have to be a snapshot-in-time referendum on the QB, but it's going to be made one, as usual

Doug: Ted, he was 2 for 8

Ted: And 5 of the 6 throws were catchable, that were missed. 3 were tough

Doug: Ted, he is the least accurate QB in the whole league - drops and throwaways inclusive

Ted: I'm not disputing that

Doug: If the coaches thought he could complete the passes, do you think they'd let him throw more than 8 times? Or is it all about the coaches not unleashing him?

Ted: I think they had early success running, and stuck with it - and then were too slow to adjust to the heavily stacked box

Doug: So, when they kept calling runs on 3rd and long? That's a misguided lack of confidence?

Doc: Reducing KC's number of drives is a sensible approach. They haven't had the guns to handle that

Ted: I think it's partly a misgiving about his likelihood to complete the passes, and partly a misgiving about the ability to protect on 3rd and long. In any case, the strategy worked. I'll be interested to hear Fox's rationale

Doug: Well, he can easily say that it worked, so they stuck with it. Obviously he's not going to say anything more than that. He never does, and why would he start doing so after a win?

Ted: Maybe that's what it was?

Doc: LOL - I'd already typed “Probably a variation on 'It worked, we stuck with it,’” when Doug's comment came up.

Doug: But Ted, you were decrying the play calls, weren't you?

Ted: Yes, I hated some of the playcalling in 3rd-and-8 or -9 situations. But that's beside the point that it worked because the team won

Doug: But you'll accept what Fox says if it's just that "it worked"?

Doc: I do. Winning's fine with me.

Ted: It's not what I would have done, but I'm not the one making the calls. Frankly, I'd have the guy throwing 25-30 times a game. I want to be able to evaluate his ability to do it

Ted: You're saying he was 2-for-8, and that's no more nuanced than "they won"

Doc: I think that each of us has some perspective on the playcalling and that McCoy/Fox have their own. I'd like to see more passing, but I can't argue with the fact that his long throws are a very deadly weapon.

Doug: My point, is that it's unlike us to just accept it when Fox says "That's what worked, we won"

Ted: I'll be critical of the playcalling, and I'll be critical of the one terrible throw Tebow made. I'm not going to just accept it.  I do believe that for the most part, they saw something working, and kept going with it

TJ: I'm pretty sure what's going on is this: 1. They are trying to win as coaches; 2. They can't do it through the air; 3. Meanwhile, the GM and VP are looking for a passer - because they don't believe they will win long term without one

Doug: But Ted, they were running on 3rd and long

Ted: He told Macatee and Tasker he wanted to be 20 run, 30 pass. And that's defensible all the way around, TJ.  But I see no need to apologize for a win, or to act like it means anything more than being a win one way or another. If they try this and lose, then fine, say it doesn't cause winning.  But if you try to say that it can't cause winning, and it does, there's an untenable dissonance there

Doug: If we can see the upside of a loss, why can't we see the problems in a win? Especially as relates to the bigger picture

Ted: We can see problems in it, and I do. I don't want to go too far with it either way, though. Moderation is in order in both situations, I think. That was my original point, that people are going to go too far in discounting a win - just like they went too far with the Miami win

Chewing the Fat