Groundhog Night Lard 11-23-10

Good Morning, Broncos fans. If only last night's game could have been called on account of bad weather after the game's first nine minutes. But alas, there was no bad weather and we're not talking baseball here. Following a perfect opening touchdown drive and two defensive stops, it was the Broncos' special teams unit that let them down on a San Diego fake punt, and it was all downhill from there. In their nine meetings since Philip Rivers became the Dolts' starter in 2006, the Broncos have now been blown out six times in seven losses. This edition felt an awful lot like the previous ones, littered with plenty of Broncos penalties (8 of them for 56 yards), horrific third-down play (1-of-12 on offense, 7-of-14 on defense), poor special teams play (the fake punt, 9 Britton Colquitt punts for a gross 37.2-yard gross average), phantom tackling (just one sack, and a glaring Dawk whiff on Patrick Crayton's 40-yard catch-and-run TD), phantom blocking (63 rushing yards and 5 sacks), missed passes (bad throws by Kyle Orton, drops and misplays by his receivers) and a puzzling abundance of trick plays.

The Broncos were outgained by a staggering 400-235 tally, and Philip Rivers was efficient as usual, racking up 4 TD passes and 233 yards on just 15 completions, while only attempting as many passes as Orton completed (24 for just 217 yards and 1 TD). That's 400 yards and 5 offensive touchdowns for San Diego without their best WR Vincent Jackson, their best TE Antonio Gates, and their starting RB Ryan Mathews.

Denver is now 3-7 and buried in last place by two full games - yup, it's time to start thinking about draft order. Unless the Broncos can pull six straight wins out of a top hat, they are about to finish their fourth straight season without getting the better of .500, and it will be their fifth straight year without a playoff appearance. But at minus-70 in points differential after 10 games,  this just isn't a good football team - in fact, it's a bad one - only the Cardinals and Panthers have worse differentials.

Broncos

Here's the box score for your masochistic pleasures.

Chris Hall and Broncos TV recap the loss.

Highlights of the game from NFLN.

Josh McDaniels and Kyle Orton met with the press last night.

Champ Bailey and Brandon Lloyd spoke with reporters after the game (Audio).

Klis summarizes the game.

Here's what Mason saw last night.

Denver's lost several players to injury last night - David Bruton (ribs), Darcel McBath (thigh), Demaryius Thomas (ankle) and Jason Hunter (shoulder). Plus, Robert Ayers was not able to play, and other notes on the Broncos.

LJ on the defensive whiffs.

Krieger wonders what's next for the Broncos. Keep putting the best lineup out there? Play the kids?

Jim Trotter asks whether the Broncos are better than they were in 2008. Well, not really. Fewer selfish players, but similar results...

Although Brandon Lloyd topped the 1,000-yard mark on the season, his night could have been a lot better - but Orton underthrew him on a would-be blown coverage TD and Lloyd pulled up early on what may have been an 82-yard TD in the 3rd quarter.

Chase Stuart tells us just how rare a breakout Lloyd is having.

Klis points out that only one counting stat matters in the NFL - points, not yards.

Mason on the fake punt. Legwold also examines the Dolts' special teams turnaround.

Kiszla wonders if Brian Dawkins' air tackle is an indication he's over the hill.

KSK makes better observations of last night's game than all of us.

Dolts

Mike Silver on San Diego's odd habit of slow starts and hot finishes.

Acee recaps the game.

Plus, he calls last night the Dolts' best all-around performance of the season.

Tim Sullivan says Mike Tolbert is better than a backup.

Canepa's take on the game.

Chris Jenkins on the Smurfs' special teams, plus some notes.

Enemies

The Chefs' veterans are maintaining perspective.

Richard Seymour was fined $25,000 by the NFL for his punch Sunday of Ben Roethlisberger.

What the Faders can learn from Sunday's loss in Pittsburgh.

Notes on Jokeland from the CCT.

Trimmings

Brad Childress is out in Minnesota, replaced on an interim basis by DC Leslie Frazier.

Mike Silver thinks Childress should have been axed long before.

Don Banks says Chilly's handling of the Favruh situation last summer is what undid him.

The names bandied about (Cowher, Gruden) as high-profile candidates if McDaniels were to be fired have never excited me. But if Jeff Fisher were to get a pink slip from Bud Adams...

Titans QB Vince Young, Iggles DB Ellis Hobbs, two Skins and a Cardinal are done for the year. 

Here's what Pat Kirwan took away from Sunday's games.

Next up, Mike Lombardi's impressions from Sunday.

SIX pages of MMQB from Peter King. As always, KSK does it better...

Matt Bowen explains the technique behind kickoff coverage.

PFR is bigger, better, faster!!!

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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