The Daily Lard 12-10-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Willis McGahee and Eddie Royal have been listed as questionable for tomorrow's game, while Ryan Clady, Von Miller and several others are listed as probable; only Royal is unlikely to play among that quartet. S Major Wright is out for Chicago as expected.

Naturally, the first matchup Chris Benson considers is that between the Bears' woeful offensive line and Denver's elite edge rushers (Von and Doom officially have 17 sacks, but PFF cites them as having combined for 20 - it's not a typo, but a disagreement between the official scoring and PFF's tracking), and he points out that too much attention paid to the Dynamic Duo could result in sacks for guys like Ryan McBean and D.J. Williams.

Benson wonders if the Broncos can win if/when their running game is completely shut down and reminds that last week was not an example of that, as much as the current narrative says Tebow beat the Vikings by airing it out. He thinks tomorrow could be the day we find out, thanks to the Bears' fine run defense.


Notes from Lindsay Jones and Andrew Mason: It sounds as if Rahim Moore will be active after sitting out last week, and Knowshon Moreno is back in Denver rehabbing his knee.

Jeff Legwold focuses on tomorrow's matchup and the Broncos' most glaring draft needs.

Legwold spoke to John Fox and Champ Bailey about the similarities between Julius Peppers and Von Miller.

AP writer Eddie Pells on the stellar season of Britton Colquitt.

Mike Beacom weights the HOF case of Brian Dawkins.

Video of John Fox speaking after practice, Chris Hall previews the game for BTV, NFLN's Playbook crew examines the matchup of Tebow and the Bears D, and photos from Max Henson.


Mark Potash explores tomorrow's matchups and focuses on Chicago's special teams.

Vaughn McClure on the replacement for Major Wright, fourth-year safety Craig Steltz. Plus, another unnecessary reminder of the last time we saw Devin Hester during the regular season.

Potash thinks the Bears' two-game losing streak results from a lack of leadership. Perhaps playing without their starting QB and RB had something to do with it?


Kevin Acee says Norv Turner would be in high demand for an OC position if/when he gets canned, and that Oakland, St. Louis and Miami would be interested in A.J. Smith.

Jim Mora, who turned down the chance to be Denver's DC this season (wow, where would this team be without Dennis Allen?!), is taking the head job at UCLA.

Dallas gave S Gerald Sensabaugh a five-year extension with $8M in guarantees.

Doug Farrar is puzzled by the Browns' abominable decision to put Colt McCoy back in the game after he suffered an obvious concussion Thursday night, and McCoy's parents are rather unhappy with the handling of their son. Welcome to the NFL.

Pat KirwanMike LombardiMike Silver and Clark Judge preview the week's games, plus Bucky Brooks' X-factor players: Kirwan figures the Bears will provide Tebow his toughest test yet, Lombardi wonders if the success of Tebow and Cam Newton will open some doors for former Ducks QB Dennis Dixon, and Silver thinks the Colts should keep Peyton Manning and draft Andrew Luck. Judge thinks the Broncos should be heavier favorites, and although the Bears shut down Michael Vick, Judge thinks Tebow is much less prone to mistakes than is Vick.

Inspired by Aaron Rodger's final-minute drive against the G-Men, Scott Kacsmar explores the one-minute drives of the past 30 years, including two by Denver - the Stokley play, and a game-tying drive by Kubes in relief of Elway in 1984.

Matt Bowen breaks down the Steelers' red-zone offense as shown against the Browns on Thursday.

Gil Brandt thinks the Cardinals, Dolphins and Seahawks have a chance to play spoilers down the stretch.


Another CHFF writer takes an interesting point (time spent with the lead) and uses it to butcher the concept of correlation. WTF

The week's finest quotes as curated by FO's Rivers McCown, plus the Pick-Six podcast from Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson.

Chris Brown and Brian Burke share some of what they've been reading.

Mark Wald and Bill Simmons are taking the Broncos and happily laying the 3.5 points, while Unsilent Majority is doing precisely the opposite.

Here are Bucky Brooks' top quarterback prospects.

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

The Lard