Gut Reaction: Week 8 - Broncos vs. Lions

A day before Halloween, the Broncos dressed in orange.

They got smashed like pumpkins.

We knew ahead of the game that John Fox was going to feed his Frankenstein and implement a mish mash of several college offenses to attack the Lions and unleash the Tebow.

Instead he unleashed a nightmare.  He got the same ugly first half as last week.  It sent children screaming into the night.

The second half wasn't any better--no miracle catches, no onside kick recoveries, and no mental errors by the other team.  Nada de nada.

Intangibles?  Leadership?

Does it matter?  Detroit brought guns.  The Broncos got murdered.

Happy Helloween, Denver.

Let's get to the Positives, the Negatives, and the Who The Heck Knows? 

The Positives

1. On the first drive of the game, the Broncos offense looked as smooth as orange silk.  Tim Tebow, in particular, looked like a real NFL quarterback.  Eric Decker got brutalized by a bad call, but I think he would tell you he could have done a better job getting both feet in bounds on the potential touchdown.  You also have to like the mix of play calls, formations, and shifts by the Broncos.  They did a great job of breaking all of their tendencies from the week before.  Unfortunately, all the Detroit defense had to do was adjust.

2. You might have noticed that Von Miller is getting double teamed with more frequency.  What you may not have noticed is that Miller is starting to beat them.  This won't show up on a stat sheet as a sack, but it's pressure that the quarterback feels?  You feel me?

3. I thought Chris Kuper did a pretty good job on Ndamukong Suh today.  It didn't show up in the final score, but Kuper held his own.

4. Robert Ayers had a sack today?  You didn't notice?  Me neither, but I saw it in the stat sheet.

5. Britton Colquitt again averaged over 50 yards per punt.  He's playing at a Pro Bowl level.  I feel like I'm going to be saying that a lot this year.

6. Eric Decker goes here.  Why?  Because I've got nothing else, that's why.

7. Great quarterback play from Andrew Luck last night.  Maybe we'll see you down the trail, kid.

8. Great quarterback play from Matt Barkley last night.  Maybe we'll see you down the trail, kid.

9. Jim Schwartz for calling off the hell hounds halfway through the fourth quarter.

10. The Broncos ran for 195 yards. Sure, they were meaningless, but what the hell.  I'm feeling generous.

The Negatives

1. Whatever coverage assignment was blown on Detroit's first drive is hard to say, but it stunk to high heaven.  Our guess is that Andre' Goodman had deep coverage and blew the call because Brian Dawkins typically wouldn't attack a zone like that unless he were called to do so.  Mark it down as a mental error either way.  Whether it was Goodman or Dawkins, it goes as a negative.  

2. Tim Tebow on the day was 18 for 39, resulting in 172 gross passing yards.  His completion percentage was 46.2%.  He had a 56.8 QB rating.  Intangibles my bare, white ass.  I'll have to take a look at the film, but I'd give Tebow a C- for his play today.  The flaws are the same, so I don't need to repeat them again.  His play wasn't nearly as bad as the haters will say it was (his receivers struggled today as well), but it certainly wasn't anything worth writing home to momma about.  It doesn't change my mind about him long term.  The Broncos can upgrade at the quarterback position through the draft.  I'd say the same thing at cornerback as well.  It's just another position in which the Broncos can get better.  Flame on.

3. Orlando Franklin--I'll say it again--would make a great left guard.  What he won't do is protect Tim Tebow's blind side.  We saw more evidence of this today.  Cliff Avril was Orlando Franklin's Jason Voorhees.  Ki ki ki, ma ma ma, ki ki ki, ma ma ma.

4. Megatron.  Holy crap that guy is good.  He's so smooth, and to watch him take a shot like he did from D.J. Williams in the 2nd quarter yet still hold onto the ball was, I have to say, amazing.  This isn't a denigration of Champ Bailey.  To the contrary, Bailey played an okay game against him.  But Calvin Johnson is always in beast mode.  How can a guy that size be faster than Champ Bailey?  Genetics, my friend.  Genetics.

5. Knowshon Moreno < Willis McGahee.  If you miss McGahee, raise your skeletal hand.

6. Tony Scheffler's lucky catch was made worse by his touchdown catch, after which he proceeded to do everything from shimmy shake, lock-n-pop, Tebow, and Mile High Salute.  That's borderline personality disorder if I've ever seen it (which I haven't).

7. Brodrick Bunkley running 25 yards down the field? Cool.  Hitting a quarterback from behind after a 25-yard run? Uncool, bro.

8. Converting zero third downs during the first of half of each of the past two games is a sign.  And that sign is most definitely bad.  The Broncos ended the day 2 for 14 on third down today.  Gunther Cunningham, you remember him, don't you?  Well this game gave him a good chuckle.  Seven straight three-and-outs was just gravy.

9. Seven more sacks?  That's crapping out, isn't it?

10. There are only nine more games of this torture remaining!

Who The Heck Knows?

1. Before the game, Jay Glazer tweeted that the Broncos' coaching staff put in a bunch of offensive plays from several college systems for Tebow. They also reportedly asked for player input on attacking Detroit.  The 53-man roster failed.  Part of me thinks this is a great idea.  The other part wonders if the Broncos know what the hell they are doing.  Next week I'm guessing they'll request ideas through Twitter.

2. Tebowing after a sack is so passé, Stephen Tulloch.  Why don't you sit and spin?

3. For what it's worth, I wasn't impressed with John Elway's interview this morning with Tom Jackson.  He continues to give Tim Tebow almost no concrete support and continues to say that they need to make Tim a "good quarterback."  On a positive note, Elway would let his daughter marry Tebow.  So if I get this right, he wouldn't mind being Tebow's father-in-law, but as far as committing to him as the long-term quarterback of the Broncos, it won't happen.  I'd hate to see what Thanksgiving at the in-laws looks like.  I've been saying Elway was moving on for quite awhile now, so it wasn't a surprise.

4. Jason Hanson, you were wondering how far you could kick at altitude?  I think you got your answer.  You made a kick from 50 yards today.  Want a medal?

5. Chris Berman called the Broncos the Denver Tebows on Sunday NFL Countdown this morning.  Okay, it sounds cute the first time you hear it, but if that's how you are going to roll out of bed the next nine Sundays, keep rolling until you hit a truck.  I get that the only reason you even mentioned the Broncos game today was because your producers made you Tebow is a national story, but please just put some powder in those powder blues, buddy.  Last time I checked, there's eleven players on offense, and twelve on defense.

6. Seriously, Chris Berman, shut your pie hole.  I don't want D.J. Williams and the defense jealous of Tebow because he's getting more attention than Rebecca Black.  And no Tebowing, dude.  You'll split your pants, fat boy!

7. I will play a single high safety and dare you to throw the ball--a new Tebow recipe courtesy of the Detroit Lions.  It may not matter.  After the game, it sounded as if John Fox wasn't sold on Tebow as the starter next week.

8. I'm going to refrain from buying my ticket for the Mike McCoy Sucks feature.  As I showed recently, he's often made the perfect call.  Someone has to execute the plays.

9. At 2-3, you can't technically call Tim Tebow a winner, can you?  You'll have to wait at least two games for that, assuming things go his way.

10. On a serious note, Broncos Fans, enjoy your Halloween.  Remember, it's just football, after all.  The Broncos will still be here.

Feel free to give us your thoughts below.


You want some more?  Huh? You want a little?  Do ya?  Email TJ Johnson: tjthedudejohnson@gmail.com. Or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.  Or come get some sugar at It’s All Over, Fat Man! on Facebook and Twitter.

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

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