Gut Reaction: Week 11 - Broncos @ Rams

The Broncos are the Little Red Riding Hood of the NFL.

They’re cute, everyone likes them, and they can even skip through most of the forest of the NFL season without a lot of fear.

Ah, but there’s grandma’s house waiting at the end. And, like the monster waiting in grandma’s bed, the NFL playoffs have one hell of a bite.

Can the Broncos figure out the signs before they are devoured? Grandma’s big teeth? The horrible play of the offensive line. Grandma’s big eyes? The penalties. Grandma’s deep voice? The turnovers.

Even better—the Broncos find their own big bad wolf in disguise.

Richie Incognito, anyone?

The Positives

  1. Despite the fact that the defense gave up 131 yards rushing, they generally kept the Broncos in the game.
  2. Never thought I’d see Von Miller pull off a bull rush, but you know what, it’s not like the dude is getting sand kicked in his face.
  3. Emmanuel Sanders is having a career year. Sure, playing with Peyton Manning will do that for you, but so will being as fast as a fifth grader on Pixy Stix.
  4. It’s simple: Chris Harris doesn’t have bad games. He only has games with degrees of awesome.
  5. Great call by John Fox to go for it on fourth and five at the Rams’ thirty-seven yard line. Statistically it was the right move, but even if we want to go all contextual, just remember, the Rams’ offense generally sucks.
  6. I’ll give him this—Brandon Marshall is turning it on. He tackling is excellent and his coverage abilities surprise me every other game. It’s those games in between that make me nervous.
  7. When DeMarcus Ware shows up, it’s like watching someone piss on an electric fence. Things get charged real fast.
  8. Lost in this mess of a game was C.J. Anderson’s ability to catch passes out of the backfield.
  9. Okay, let’s check ourselves—just a little. The Broncos are 7-3; we don’t live in Oakland.
  10. Searching…searching…aw, hell--

The Negatives

  1. Losing Julius Thomas to an injury may not have neutered the Broncos’ offense completely, but it hurt like hell and probably cost the Broncos a testicle.
  2. Losing Emmanuel Sanders and Julius Thomas together? Snip, snip.
  3. Today Rams quarterback Shaun Hill was Tom Brady without the hot wife. What that means is he shredded the Broncos’ defense, then went home and touched himself.
  4. Kenny Britt looked like Jerry Rice. But why? It’s easy to blame Bradley Roby for giving up the touchdown, but it’s actually the safety help he was missing. Roby’s leverage was outside.
  5. Speaking of safety help, Aqib Talib must have thought he had some on the Rams’ first big pass play. What gave it away was his outside leverage and trail technique.
  6. Strange to see Peyton Manning overthrowing so many passes the last two weeks. He doesn’t look like himself, and this line experiment isn’t working.
  7. For a rotational defensive lineman, Malik Jackson sure seems to have a propensity to commit penalties.
  8. Ryan Clady struggled. Robert Quinn is a good pass rusher, true, but Clady is supposed to be one of the best left tackles in the league. Clady and the offense had way too many penalties yet again. It’s a problem this team just can’t seem to fix.
  9. Jacob Tamme is not Julius Thomas, and not because he has healthy ankles. He just doesn’t get the same separation.
  10. Lose the turnover battle, lose the war. Or, as Napoleon once said, “I wish my army wasn’t so fu#%ing stupid.”

The Who The Heck Knows

  1. As always, the drive chart doesn’t lie. Seriously, do the Broncos’ special teams ever plan on winning the field position battle?
  2. The Rams weren’t afraid to run between the tackles. Other teams are going to notice.
  3. Should Dan Fouts ever be allowed to call a Broncos game? I could smell the stench of his bias a few blocks from the Gateway Arch.
  4. Now that it’s clear the Broncos' line rotation isn’t working, signing Incognito seems like a smart move. But after Week 12? Sure, I get it. You don’t want the distraction until after you play the Dolphins. But if Incognito is the answer, why not get him on the train now? He’s going to be a distraction no matter when he signs. The first rule of PR: get the bad stuff out there as quickly as possible and move on.
  5. In retrospect, the decision to suit up Montee Ball when he wasn’t 100% may mean Ball won’t be 100% for a lot longer.
  6. At the very least, the Broncos should bring in another punter to challenge Britton Colquitt. Colquitt hasn’t even performed at altitude, and everyone performs at altitude.
  7. You may want to sit down for this, but the Kansas City Chiefs are tied for first place after beating the Seahawks at home.
  8. Andre Caldwell’s decision to bring the ball out of the end zone is a decision he probably regrets. I simply regret the Broncos' decision to keep Caldwell on kick return.
  9. The Brandon McManus debate will have to take a back seat for a week. The Broncos have bigger fish to fry. For example, how do they score more than seven points on the road?
  10. How fast can the Broncos turn things around? Just remember, last week Andy Dalton looked like he was throwing to the mascot on the sideline. This week he had three touchdowns.

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

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