The Daily Lard 11-18-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Hard to believe it, but after beating the tired and bumbling Jets 17-13 (box score), the Denver Broncos are 5-5 and a half-game behind the Raiders for first place in the AFC West, pending this weekend's games. That makes three straight wins and four out of five, and the formula remains the same: dominant play from Von Miller and timely, fortuitous plays on both defense and special teams.

I mean, how else do you win a game in which your offense generates 10 points, 229 net yards (134 before the 95-yard game-winning drive), 4.1 yards per play, 11 first downs, nine pass completions, eight possessions of three plays or fewer, and eight punts? At this point, maybe it's just best not to ask why, and roll with it. Because Andrew Lady Luck is most definitely on Denver's side right now, and you're not supposed to look John Elway in the mouth or you may find that lady is really Sexy Rexy singing, right? BTW, you know who else was on the Broncos' side last night? The NFL schedulers, who did the Jets (SNF game followed by a Thursday game at altitude) like they did the Chargers (three games in 11 days).

But really, let's give the credit where it's due - to the Denver defense which allowed the Jets just three 3rd-down conversions on 14 tries and 83 rushing yards, and provided the Broncos with their first TD of the game on an Andre' Goodman pick-six of Mark Sanchez. Plus, the Jets only got their touchdown when they had the fortune of pouncing on a fumble forced by Joe Mays at the Denver goal line. Then there's the peerless ghost of Derrick Thomas Miller, who tallied 10 tackles (wasn't he supposed to be only a pass rusher?), 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble, although he's likely to be hearing from the league office for what appeared a late hit on the inept Sanchize.

Next up? Back-to-back road games against the Chargers and Vikings, two eminently beatable teams, followed by home games against Jay Cutler's Bears and Tom Brady's Pats. Can the defense continue its level of play through to next week and beyond? Let's all hope so. If nothing else, it's sure to be an interesting stretch run.

Broncos


Highlights of the game from Broncos TV and NFLN, and video of John Fox, Tim Tebow and several others speaking after the game. Plus, Tebow sat down with the NFLN crew after the game, the Total Access guys discuss Tebow, and video of the game-winning drive.

Mike Klis, Arnie Stapleton and Ben Shpigel recap the victory, Andrew Mason shares a few observations from the game, plus notes from the DP: Von Miller's 9.5 sacks are five behind Jevon Kearse's NFL rookie record; Daniel Fells left the game with a concussion.

CHFF's Nate Winkler says Tebow is who we thought he was, it's all about Von Miller and the D, and the Broncos are playoff contenders.

Matt Bowen breaks down Tebow's play and writes, "The bottom line here is that the Broncos' QB has to develop his game to where this offense can run the entire route tree on 3rd downs. Right now they are limited."

Mark Kiszla says the Broncos are now Von Miller's team, and it's very hard to dispute that.

Jeff Legwold analyzes the game and says Rexy's defense went for too much on Tebow's game-winning 20-yard run.

Lindsay Jones on the stellar play of the Denver defense.

Josh Katzkowitz writes, "Never have we seen a quarterback who’s so clearly not an NFL quarterback continue to be successful as an NFL quarterback." That about sums it up, right?

Chris Chase says, "For now, he's proved the strongest critics wrong, made the skeptics doubt their position and reaffirmed to both haters and admirers alike that Tim Tebow can be a legitimate NFL quarterback."

Christmas Ape thinks last night wasn't quite on the level of Aaron Rodgers vs. Drew Brees, and he astutely points out that, "AT NO POINT SHOULD WE IGNORE THINGS LIKE STATS AND MEASURABLE INDICATORS OF PERFORMANCE BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT SEPARATES US FROM “SCOREBOARD!” SCREAMING RETARDS."

Who else but Woody Paige would have the nerve to forget one of the greatest games in Broncos history and call last night "The Drive Too"? Yeah, nobody.

In case you were wondering, the over/under on Tebow's completions was 10.5 last night, and the under took it.

Kenny Legan, Gray Caldwell and Max Henson recap the game for the official site, plus a bunch of player and coach quotes from both teams.

Trimmings


Boston University's research team will be performing a study on retired NFL players in an effort to diagnose CTE during life rather than post-mortem. The same story on NFL.com? Just over one-third the word count of the one over at ESPN. Go figure...

Oakland placed CB Chimdi Chekwa on IR, while Seattle RT James Carpenter tore an ACL and is done for the year.

Suspended Packers DL Johnny Jolly got a whopping six-year sentence for a codeine-related conviction.

Eagles O-line coach DC Juan Castillo says Andy Reid works 22 hours a day.

Why is nobody other than George Bretherton writing about Bill Belichick and Tom Brady becoming the winningest coach/QB combination of the SB era?

Mike Tanier previews the rest of the week's games and shares his picks.

Don Banks considers where some top QB prospects could end up. Does last night's win put Denver out of range for Matt Barkley?

Andrew Brandt says it's hard to get paid if you're a star RB, and who can blame teams for not ponying up?

Greg Garber on the increasing difficulty of playing defensive back in today's passing-friendly game.

Khaled Elsayed runs down the most glaring errors in fan Pro Bowl voting so far this year (Von Miller, of course), plus PFF's top 10 MVP candidates.

Prior to last night's game, Denver was all the way up to an 8% chance of winning the AFC West.

Scrapple


Bill Barnwell says the Bucs have faced a remarkably tough schedule this year.

Jason Cole writes about the Giants WRs' penchant for being in the wrong place, all the tim.

Mike Tanier's latest Walkthrough column, plus Ben Muth on the Titans O-line versus Carolina.

In Drew Magary's epic weekly preview, he says The Worldwide Leader's overcoverage of Tebow has caused him to now despise the option despite having grown up a Cornhuskers fan.

John Clayton previews the rest of the weeks' games.

Wes Bunting scouts ex-Gators CB Janoris Jenkins and lists some late-round QB sleepers, plus New Era's top 200 draft prospects.

KSK's latest Sex/FF mailbag.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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