Gut Reaction: Week 16 - Bengals 37, Broncos 28

The Denver Broncos need a BFF.

Is it the running game? Is it the passing game? It sure as hell isn’t their special teams or offensive line. Nothing seems to be working at this point.

Who will text them on the regular? OMG--who will calm their insecurities? Most importantly, who will stand with them when they have to travel to New England for the playoffs? That’s if they travel to New England for the playoffs.

Hell, at this point, let’s just be glad if they can claim the #2 seed with a win next week against Oakland.

LOL, Broncos fans.

The Positives

  1. Aqib Talib’s hands are Velcro. His one-handed interception was sick, man. Look, mom. No Stickum!
  2. The Broncos still have Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Perhaps they just got foggy? Bring them some damn coffee.
  3. C.J. Anderson’s pass block on Denver’s initial first down of the game saved Peyton Manning from an early grave. It was also proof that he’s more than just a guy who breaks tackles.
  4. Perfect time for Omar Bolden to break off a long return. Fifty seconds into the second half and the Broncos were down just a score.
  5. Sometimes fortune is simply Von Miller ripping the ball away. If you prefer Jon Gruden’s description, Miller is a savage…around the football. In all seriousness, that’s one of the biggest plays of the year.
  6. Peyton Manning in rhythm is a thing of beauty. Unfortunately, the offensive line is having a hard time in pass protection these days.
  7. Adam Jones will always be Pacman Jones in my book. Even if Reggie Nelson got the taunting penalty.
  8. No, Chris Harris isn’t Darrelle Revis, but that’s not the point. What’s the point? He’s better than good enough, which is to say, he’s better than 90% of the cornerbacks in the league.
  9. The bad news? Louis Vasquez was beaten like a lazy bureaucrat. The good news (for Vasquez)? He’s still getting a game check.
  10. At halftime, I wonder if Peyton Manning and Adam Gase went to John Fox and said, "Hey asshole, we're taking this offense back over.”

The Negatives

  1. The personal foul call on Demaryius Thomas was the worst call I have ever seen…including my past lives I can’t remember.
  2. This just in: linebackers matter. And when you’re missing two, it’s like missing two fingers. You can still masturbate, but the rhythm is a bit bumpy.
  3. The Broncos’ coverage units were simply puketastic.
  4. The commitment to the running game is awesome, no doubt, but one thing it’s done is decimate the Broncos’ pass protection. When Ryan Clady is getting beat (and badly), you know there’s been an identity shift.
  5. Gruden had it right—in the first half, the Bengals seemed to confuse Peyton Manning at the line of scrimmage. Obviously that doesn’t happen a lot, so when it does, it’s noteworthy.
  6. Speaking of Manning, I’ve wanted to avoid saying it the last few weeks as the Broncos morphed into Dan Reeves’ wet dream, but it’s hard not to add to the chorus at this point: Peyton Manning needs rhythm. When he’s missing eight-yard out routes, something is wrong. He hits those routes in his sleep.
  7. Todd Davis may be a fill in, but that doesn’t mean he gets a free pass on filling the hole and wrapping up. Sometimes one miss is the difference between a one-yard loss and a long touchdown run.
  8. I didn’t realize the zone read and screen game were Jack Del Rio’s kryptonite. If the Bengals can do this to the Broncos, imagine what the Patriots and Seahawks can do.
  9. As I wrote the last bullet, I watched the Bengals throw their thousandth screen pass, negating DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller for the thousandth time.
  10. If not for Von Miller, Derek Wolfe would have cost the Broncos a lot of points with his personal foul.

The Who The Heck Knows

  1. Where’s Waldo Wes Welker? Dude is a ghost adventure right now.
  2. Oh no—the feared nickel coverage of the Cincinnati Bengals. Are you kidding me, ESPN?
  3. So suddenly Andy Dalton is a winner? No—his return game is.
  4. How the hell Gruden gets a Rob Dibble reference into this game is beyond me.
  5. Speaking of Gruden, he must put hyperbole into his coffee every damn morning.
  6. As I wrote the last line, Gruden compared T.J. Ward to Brian Dawkins. Look, I’m as big a Broncos fan as the next guy, but come on. I’m just surprised Gruden didn’t say he was Steve Atwater.
  7. Rahim Moore is quite possibly the worst press man cover safety in the history of time. So why does Jack Del Rio make him one?
  8. Don’t like losing T.J. Ward to injury. It’s got me down. My only solace? Stripper poles.
  9. One of the reasons the Broncos stayed in this game? Jermaine Gresham’s mental errors.
  10. Oh well—it’s not like you thought the Broncos were getting the #1 seed anyway.

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

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