The Daily Lard 8-21-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Last night was another encouraging one, and not just because of the 24-10 final score (box) in Denver's favor. On offense, both Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn were quite sharp and efficient, Knowshon Moreno ran well, and all of the backs were effective weapons within the passing game. Mike McCoy attacked the Bills' defense all night long with his play calling, and John Fox even went for it on 4th-and-1 in plus territory (Don't get too excited - Fox only went for it 111 times in 9 seasons in Carolina, and 43 of those instances came during the past two years when the Panthers won a combined 10 games. Bill Belichick has gone for it 161 times during that same 9-year period.)

Now if you are looking for something to be excited about, Denver's pass rush was exceptional - harrassing the Buffalo QBs all night long. Even if they only had one sack and one takeaway, the defense held the Bills to just 21 of 40 for 188 yards of net passing. Von Miller, Elvis Dumervil and Brodrick Bunkley brought tons of pressure, Cassius Vaughn was stellar in coverage, and Britton Colquitt lived up to his family name in a big way. Reason for concern? As TJ mentioned in the Gut Reactions, the Broncos' defense was quite vulnerable to screen plays. But overall, it was a very good night for the Broncos, even if they were only playing the Bills.

One final note - Alfred Williams has a long way to go as an analyst. We heard about five times a version of "this guy wants to be a starter/be really good, so obviously he's special." And on Rahim Moore's big hit on WR Donald Jones, Williams and Verne Lundquist spent about three minutes throwing the kid under the bus and making the play out to be so clearly a dirty one that it deserved a hefty fine from the NFL. Yet, the replays clearly showed that Moore maintained an upright posture the entire way, was beaten to Jones by the ball by only a tiny instant, and hit the guy with his shoulder. Didn't leave his feet, didn't lower or lead with his head. Sure, as a play-by-play or color guy it's one thing to get a call wrong when you've only got a single chance at it (sort of like a ref or umpire). But when you have three minutes of dead ball time to revisit your initial assessment and you instead choose to spend the entire time crucifying the kid from your soapbox, you're doing a terrible job.

Broncos


Video: Broncos TV highlights, John FoxKyle Orton and several others speaking after the game, and NFLN highlights.

Andrew Mason's observations, plus some injury notes: David Bruton appeared to suffer a concussion and was taken to the hospital, while Mario Haggan hurt his right shoulder.

Klis recaps the game, including Orton hilariously pointing out that he has no endorsement deals. Unfortunately, Klis leaves out the question, so surely some folks will be jumping on Kyle today. The phrasing of the answer, however, makes it obvious that Orton was asked about Tebow and/or Brady Quinn having more endorsements than him. Way to stir it up, beat guy.

Game notes from the DP, plus Legwold's passionate analysis.

Quite interestingly, the Broncos did plyometric work rather than lift weights and do wind sprints during training camp, with the goal of preventing major muscle injuries. So far, so good.

Kiszla calls Moore's hit dirty and vicious but then goes on to glorify it. Way to be consistent, Kiz.

Krieger thinks the QBs appeared in proper order last night, and wonders if Tebow will even be active come the regular-season opener versus Oakland.

Official site: Pregame1st Half and 2nd Half notes from Gray Caldwell, plus articles from Kenny Legan and Max Henson.

LJ lists the most memorable moments in the 10-year history of the Big IF, topped appropriately by Champ's 100-yard return against the Pats in the playoffs.

Trimmings


The Raiders were mauled by the Niners last night, lost Jason Campbell to an apparent concussion, and a Raiders fan allegedly shot some fellow Oakland fans. In other words, another typical Raiders game.

Peyton Manning will miss the rest of the preseason, and it's unclear whether he will play Week 1.

The Broncos were apparently not among the 17 teams in attendance at Terrelle Pryor's pro day; Wes Bunting thinks Pryor makes for a better WR prospect than QB one.

Arizona gave WR Larry Fitzgerald $50M in guarantees as part of a new eight-year deal, the Eagles re-signed OL Reggie Wells, the Ravens signed OT Mark LeVoir, and the Skins will cut unhappy RB James Davis.

Previews/Reports: Clark Judge visits the Chargers and focuses on their special teams; Andy Benoit breaks down the Texans. PFF's first impressions of Skins/Colts, Panthers/Dolphins, Falcons/Jags and Lions/Browns.

Bucky Brooks has been impressed by John Beck, Reggie Bush and Colt McCoy.

In his Sunday column, Dan Pompei focuses on the best unsigned players at the moment and how the uncapped year contributed to the Packers' title last year.

Scrapple


The lawsuit by Joe Thomas, Jim McMahon and others is seeking to improve concussion monitoring, including a push for testing blood to diagnose head injuries and evaluating the likelihood players will develop CTE.

Mike Tanier examines the minutiae of the new CBA and wonders which players around the league are looking over their shoulder at this juncture.

Doug Farrar on the oversensitive and easily offended Handshake Haley.

The LA Times points out the most useful stats in sports, with of course efficiency ones leading the way over counting stats like yards and touchdowns.

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

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