Gut Reaction: Week 10 - Broncos at Chiefs

If today's game were a movie script, I'd pitch it as Nine Men In The Box meets Three Tight Ends and a Little Tebow.

The Broncos wrote a high low-concept treatment that included great field position, a run-stuffing defense, and a whole lot of ground game.

The theme of today's flick?  When the other team can't stop you from running, why stop running?

The Broncos attempted four pass plays in the first half, but were up 10-0.

That's one hell of a first act.  For their second and third, they gave more of the same.  On the day, the Broncos completed just two passes.

Is this John Fox football?  Mike McCoy madness?  Tim Tebow intangibles?

Whatever it is, it's enough to keep the Broncos one game out of first place.  And the game is over so fast, you've still got time to run Sunday errands.

Let's get to The Postives, The Negatives, and The Who The Heck Knows.

The Positives

1. Joe Frazier goes here, I don't care what day it is.  R.I.P., Smokin' Joe.  There's work ethic, and then there's work ethic.  In 2004, Frazier talked about the roots of his hard work:

I got a burlap sack, put a brick in the middle, and filled it with rags, corncobs, some Spanish moss, and sand. I hung that sack off the branch of an oak tree. I'd wrap my hands with a necktie of my daddy's and punch at it. My mom gave me an hour a day. My brothers and sisters said, "Nah." I said, "You'll see."

2. Von Miller continues his path towards Defensive Rookie of the Year.  On the first series of the game, he had two quarterback pressures and a sack where he simply outworked a double team.  Sure, the Chiefs had a meltdown of penalties, but Von Miller also caused their offensive line to liquify.  How often does Miller face double teams?  Let's just say it's enough for Elvis Dumervil to be coming free as he did late in the game. 

3. Mike McCoy continues to impress with this first-half game plans.  The first series featured a loaded backfield with Tebow under center.  The key to a successful first drive is to break tendencies.  McCoy broke all of them from a running standpoint.  I'd say it was mission accomplished.  Who needs a passing game?  Everyone but the Broncos, that's who.

4. I'm not sure how bad the Kansas City offense is, but when the defense plays as well as it did today, you have to give the entire group a lollipop (preferably not one laced with chicken pox).  Who do we single out?  There were a lot of great performances, but certainly Brodrick Bunkley, Ryan McBean, D.J. Williams, and Marcus Thomas are at the front of the line.  Bunkley provided yet another demonstration of the power of a great one technique.  It would shock me if the Broncos don't try and re-sign both of their starting tackles.

5. Tebow and Willis McGahee are great runners, but anytime an offense racks up that many yards with six different running backs (each one with multiple carries), the offensive line is moving people out of the ways--in droves.  I noticed Chris Kuper plowing defenders four and five yards off the line of scrimmage with frequency.  J.D. Walton and Zane Beadles weren't exactly chopped liver, either.  The Chiefs were bringing nine in the box and they still couldn't stop the Broncos for a lot of the day.  

6. You have to love Eric Decker.  A lesser receiver would have been frustrated by the lack of passes coming his way by now.  Instead, Decker just makes the most of his opportunities.  As an aside, can we stop making the Eddie McCaffrey comparisons just because they are both white and wear/wore 87?  If Steve Watson, Eddie McCaffrey and Decker all ran a 40-yard dash against each other in their primes, Decker wins by five yards.  

7. Chris Harris is slowly becoming the best little cornerback the rest of the country has never heard of.  If you haven't noticed, Harris can tackle, too.

8. My wife just pointed out to me that somewhere, out there, in a house I'll never see, in a place I'll never visit,  some orphans wearing Tim Tebow jerseys just got pretty damned excited.

9. My wife just pointed out to me that somewhere, out there, in a house I'll never see, in a place I'll never visit, some hot sorority girls wearing Tim Tebow jerseys just got pretty damned excited.

10. I laugh at your onside kick, Kansas City.  They only work for the Broncos, suckers!

The Negatives

1. The good news.  It's only Willis McGahee's hamstring.  The bad news?  He was still injured.  Then Knowshown Moreno went down.  Silver linings are tough to come by when it comes to injured running backs.  Next man up!  Howdy, Lance Ball.  Ball finished with 96 yards, so he's getting no complaints from me.

2. If the Broncos coaches trusted Tebow to throw the ball, they certainly didn't express that trust today.  Put the great rushing attack aside for a moment, and the passing attack left a lot to be desired.  The Chiefs generally try to limit Matt Cassel's throws, but he still had more than three times the attempts that Tebow did today.  At least one of Tebow's eight passes was a good one, though, as it ended up in the hands of Eric Decker for six points.

3. Tamba "TambaHawk" Hali showed why he is an elite player in the league today.  By the way, there's a lot of guys to hate in the AFC west, but Hali isn't one of them.  If you've never read Hali's story, give it a look.  And you thought the time they held you down and shaved your pubes was tough sledding.  Wait, that didn't happen to you?

4. The flag on Eric Decker for "Tebowing?"  Come on, man!

5. The Broncos still lack explosion in the return game, save for the occasional Eddie Royal touchdown.  Every year we keep waiting for them to draft a return speciallist and every year they just try and plug someone in.

6. Tebow took yet another delay of game today.  You may not be able to fix accuracy, but you can fix mental mistakes like these.

7. Does third-down efficiency matter anymore?  The Broncos were pretty bad yet again, going 5 for 14.

8. I repeat: the Broncos completed two passes today.

9. Dennis Allen, please stay under the radar.  Can you grow a moustache and wear shades?  I'd really like to keep you here for a few years.

10. It's a short week and Rex Ryan comes to town on Thursday.

The Who the Heck Knows

1. John Elway scouting Nick Foles?  You don't say.  Elways likes Pac-10 quarterbacks so much, you'd swear he was one or something.  Kidding aside, nothing seems to have changed since Tebow took over at quarterback.  It appears as if Fox and McCoy are game planning to win now.  They know they can't do that through the air.  The Vice President and General Manager, on the other hand, are out to get a quarterback they believe helps them win and pass, which Elway believes is correlated long term.

2. Over the last few weeks, I've been working on my John Fox imitation, but it comes out sounding like a monotone Clint Eastwood.  If I get it worked out, I'll let you know.  On the flip side, my dog was thoroughly confused when I told him he gave me the "best chance of rolling over."

3. Arrowhead Stadium may be the best venue breadbowl in the NFL.  The fans are rabid, painted, and they make one yearn for the days when the phrase "South Stands" meant something.

4. How much did the Chiefs miss safety Jon McGraw last week against Miami?  Let's just say the Chiefs made Matt Moore look like a quarterback of the future.  Today, with McGraw in the lineup, the Chiefs looked a lot better against the pass. There wasn't much of a sample size from which to judge, however.

5. Scott Pioli enjoys working with the lights down and to the soothing sounds of classical piano.  Can he coexist with Todd Haley's beard ego?

6. Wonder Colquitt powers activate! Form of...nerdy punters.

7. When I watch Warren Sapp on NFL Network, I sometimes have acid flashbacks of Emmitt Smith.

8. Dave Logan, can I get Brian Griese back in the booth?  David Treadwell knows kicking, and he's got a nice beat that I can dance to, but it's just not the same as listening to a quarterback break down coverages.

9. The AFC West remains the worst division in football.  But it's our division, so we have to give it a hug when it walks in the door stumbling drunk.

10. The DeSean Jackson/Eddie Royal debate isn't finished yet.  Stay tuned--a few years does not a career make.

I’m glad we had this talk.  Now, vaya con Dios, Brah.

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