The Daily Lard 11-26-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Chris Benson previews Broncos/Chargers for PFF, and he says a loss will be close to a death knell to either team's playoff chances, especially so in San Diego's case. Benson theorizes that Denver isn't necessarily setting out to run the ball so many times, but they're just going with the flow rather than sticking with a pass-heavy game plan when it's not working. He also points out that both teams have been successful in defending the run, while on offense both squads are featuring running back corps that resemble MASH Units. Finally, Benson ponders the age-old question for Denver whenever they face San Diego (Who will cover Antonio Gates?) and wonders if the answer could be Von Miller.


Mike Lombardi thinks it was a great move by the Chiefs to claim Kyle Orton, he's certain the Broncos will take a QB in the draft, and he's puzzled that the Bears bothered to put in a claim on Orton.

Jeff Legwold lays out some of the keys to tomorrow's game for Denver, plus he measures the contributions of Brodrick Bunkley and Von Miller/Elvis Dumervil to the defensive revival.

Andrew Mason checks in on Miller, who isn't sure which hit on Mark Sanchez resulted in his $25K fine.

Brief notes from Lindsay Jones: several Broncos are listed as probable, and none worse than that.

NFLN's Playbook crew break down the matchup, video of John Fox, Dennis Allen, Champ & Dawk speaking after practice yesterday, plus Eddie Royal on NFLN discussing Tebowmania and the departure of Kyle Orton. I know he's not an excitable guy in general, but 17 catches in seven games? Gonna be sad to see him go, but there is no way Eddie is re-signing for next year. Perhaps he'll rejoin Shanny (if he still has a job) or head down to Houston?

Gray Caldwell shares some notes and photos from practice, a look from Stuart Zaas at the history of the Denver/San Diego matchup, and the Broncos' 95-yard game-winning drive was named the GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Week.


RB Ryan Mathews will play for San Diego, as LB Shaun Phillips and CB Marcus Gilchrist are expected to do as well. WR Malcom Floyd, LT Marcus McNeill and DE Luis Castillo are out, and guards Tyronne Green and Louis Vasquez are expected to join them on the inactive list.

This week it was former Cornellian Bryan Walters' turn to play the role of Tebow in practice.

Chris Jenkins shares some keys to the game from San Diego's perspective.

Nick Canepa offers his take on Tebowmania.


Orton joined the Chiefs in time for their evening practice yesterday, but he's unlikely to suit up tomorrow.

Lions RB Jahvid Best, Jags CB Derek Cox and Rams WR Mark Clayton and RT Jason Smith were all placed on injured reserve.

Peyton Hillis returned to practice and will be a game-time decision, while Vince Young will be starting again for the Eagles in place of Michael Vick.

Packers LB Erik Walden was arrested yesterday for allegedly beating up his girlfriend.

Ndamukong Suh issued something of an apology on his Facebook page for the actions which got him ejected from Detroit's loss to Green Bay. Mike Freeman doesn't figure Suh to be suspended for longer than one game by the Commish.

Clark Judge and John Clayton preview the week's games; Judge is bewildered that San Diego is laying so many points, and he doesn't get that John Elway needs to manage the expectations of the Tebowmaniacs, hence his statements this week.

Bill Simmons is taking Denver and the points (six of 'em) in his latest mailbag, while Mark Wald is scared away by the hefty line.

There's actually speculation in New York about Rex Ryan's job security less than a year after the team's second trip to the AFC titie game.

Greg Gabriel checks in on the play of three rookies named Smith from Thursday's Ravens/Niners game.

Rivers McCown curates the week's finest quotes for Football Outsider.

More fun with scatter graphs from Brian Burke, who also presents a line graph for each team's weekly EPA.

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

The Lard