Gut Reactions - Week 14, Broncos-Cardinals

Without Josh McDaniels around, we've been told that Dove Valley was like an episode of Leave it to Beaver this week.


How appropriate then, that their opponent brought out an offense from the 1960s.

With only a Skelton crew, the Cardinals pared their playbook down so far, even Eddie Haskell could have called signals.  The Broncos should have given the Cardinals the business today.  

Instead, the Broncos were the ones on the business end of yet another hunka junk.   Four turnovers in the first half?  Six for the game?  Gee, Broncos fans, that's swell.

Ellis, I think you were a little hard on the Beav Josh on Monday.   You can spin "integrity" and "passion" all you want, but that narrative has already gone stale.

The Broncos organization has truly hit rock bottom, no matter your age.  In 1971, the Broncos played a 14-game schedule and still won four games.  If they win four games this year, it will be a miracle on turf.

Quick, before Joe Ellis changes interim coaches again, let's get to The Positives, the Negatives, and the Who The Heck Knows.

The Positives

1) Mike McCoy did a nice job on the first series.  Because the Broncos' playbook is so heavily slanted to the 113 personnel package (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WR), McCoy used it almost exclusively.  It was nice to see Eddie Royal specifically targeted early as well.   This had been missing from the offense in the last several games.

2) Eric Decker returning kicks was awesome.  Guy averaged over 30 yards per return.  As they said on the Cardinals' Spanish broadcast of today's game, Eric Decker is "peligroso" (dangerous).

3) Don't tell Syd'Quan Thompson he's a 7th-round draft pick.  He wouldn't believe you anyway.  You've got to love the kid's swagger (not his personal foul penalties because of said swagger).   

4) Wink Martindale did exactly what you would expect when facing a rookie quarterback in the 1st half.  He blitzed on almost every 3rd down.  The defense, for the most part, played well in the first half.

5) Champ Bailey demonstrated yet again why he deserves a contract extension.  Bowe.  Fitzgerald.  Flash Gordon.  He covers them all well.  Even when Fitzgerald made a catch against him, Champ made it extremely difficult for the league's best receiver.  He still closes as well as anyone in the league.  

6) Justin Bannan was a bright spot.  He's probably the one defensive lineman on the Broncos that could start on another team.   

7) Knowshon Moreno ran hard yet again on only 19 carries.  He averaged 4.3 yards per rush.  Unfortunately, the Broncos once again played from behind, so establishing the running game wasn't on their minds today.  

8) Fernando Sergio's play-by-play and Luke Sandoval's color commentary on the Broncos' Spanish radio broadcast always kicks ass.  They have a great sense of humor. Nothing makes you laugh as much as hearing the phrase "un desastre" to describe a bad game by the Broncos. 

9) If you listened to the broadcast on 850 KOA, you got to hear Brian Griese describe how hard the football is to hold when your nose gets broken, you bleed all over your hands, and the ball becomes a "slippery watermelon."  Believe me friends, during a boring game like this, it was completely awesome.  

10) I've got nothin'.


1) 4 turnovers in the 1st half?  That gets our big WTF Award for the week.

2) This is your kickoff return; this is your kickoff return on drugs penalties.  Any questions? 

3) Kyle Orton's accuracy in the last two weeks could use whatever caused Brian Cushing's "Overtrained Athlete's Syndrome."  Red Bull, right?  Yes, the Cardinals brought pressure.  So what?  Everyone has blitzed the Broncos over this long and winding losing streak.  And they will continue to play zone coverage behind these blitzes as long as Orton wants to chuck the ball carelessly into the teeth of the middle zone.  Orton's QB rating at the end of the 1st half was 20.2.--slightly higher than the average IQ of a Raiders fan, but not by much.  At one point, his rating was 19.3.  Rich Gannon bluntly said, "Kyle Orton has not looked comfortable today."

4) Did I mention Kyle Orton?  I think we need to send him to train with Bill Romanowski.  For starters, Romo could inject Orton's ass with Mike Vick's urine.  

5)  3rd downs continue to haunt the Broncos.  Coming into the game, the Broncos were 25th in the league on 3rd downs.  After today's game, in which they were 3-15, they'll drop even more.

6) Steven Hauschka was unpronounceable and unwatchable today.  He didn't engender confidence today in teams looking for a kicker.  He did engender my hatred, however.

7) John Skelton drawing the Broncos' defense offsides with a hard count?   Good for Cardinals fans.  Not so good for the Broncos.

8) Daniel Graham broke down mentally late in the game.  Was he upset?  I don't know, but he should have been.  

9) The entire breakdown by the defense against the run late in the game did not restore the "integrity of the organization."

10) Still waiting for Robert Ayers' pass rush to show up.

Who The Heck Knows

1)  One of these days, the Broncos are going to be the ones to get the early turnover.

2) On their 2nd and 3rd series of the game, McCoy changed the personnel package (212) and also showed an inverted wishbone on two occasions.  I get that you want to show your opponent a different set of formations, but there's no need to get cute.  As he calls the next three games, it will be interesting to see how McCoy treats his 2nd and 3rd series of each game.  Does he continue to go to what's working on the 1st series, or does he always mix it up?

3) Don't blame Eric Studesville for the two timeouts the Broncos wasted early.  McCoy was calling his first full game today.  

4) Did Skelton really put that ferocious block on Jason Hunter?  Did that just happen?

5) For what it's worth this week, Perrish Cox was decent in coverage today.  

6) Sorry you didn't win your challenges today, Studesville.  I think you got screwed on both calls.

7) Yet again, Tebow failed to see the field.  Eric Studesville must not be reading his emails from Joe Ellis--the ones stating that the Broncos need to do something to excite their fans at the end of the year.   I like the fact that he's ignoring Joe's emails, but he still should have played Tebow.

8)  Buffalo and Detroit won today.  I'm just sayin'.

9)  John Elway is negotiating a deal with the organization.  If only he would sign it so that we can smile about something.

10) Jay Cutler and the Bears were taken to the woodshed today.  This might not make you feel better, though, as it doesn't restore the "integrity of the organization."

Feel free to give us your gut reactions in the comments below.  

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

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Gut Reactions