The Daily Lard 9-19-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Who said Denver doesn't have any depth? The Broncos had to resort to lining up Tim Tebow at WR yesterday as they eked out a 24-22 victory (box score) over the Bengals, and they sit in a tie for first place in the AFC West (probably won't be able to write that again this year). Denver lost Eddie Royal to what appeared to be a groin injury, while Julius Thomas suffered a high ankle sprain; both left the stadium on crutches.

The victory came on the strength of two beautiful Kyle Orton TD passes to Eric Decker, 101 patient and hard-fought rushing yards from Willis McGahee (who also punched in Denver's first touchdown), and Dennis Allen's defense holding Cincy to 1-of-11 on third down and making just enough plays to hang on for dear life in the fourth quarter. Wesley Woodyard (10 T, 3 A, 1 TFL, 1 PD) showed why D.J. Williams is overpaid and expendable for these Broncos, while Joe Mays (5 T, 3 A, 2 TFL) continued to thump and dole out statement-making hits.

Overall, it wasn't pretty, and aside from the Broncos' opening drive, the first half was a complete and utter snoozefest. Over the entire game, Cincy never held the ball for more than 3:18, while Denver had two lengthy possessions (both first-half scoring drives) but failed to sustain anything longer than five plays or 2:35 on its other 10 times with the ball (excluding the final kneeldown). OC Mike McCoy made some great calls - especially early and on the 52-yard TD from Orton to Decker, but the team's overly conservative strategy in the second half led to four three-and-outs with a fifth possession ending on another poor fumble by Orton. But hey, victories could be far and few between this year, so we'd better savor it and enjoy the excellent job Dennis Allen is doing.


Highlights of the game from Broncos TV and NFLN, plus video of John Fox, Kyle Orton and several others speaking after the game.

Andrew Mason's observations on the game, plus the Broncos' tenuous injury situation and some notable numbers from the game.

Mike Klis recaps the game, while LJ focuses on the play of Denver's defense and Legwold offers his impassioned analysis.

Klis on Decker's up-and-down day, plus game notes from the DP crew.

Woody thinks the Broncos have Marvin Lewis and his interesting decision to forego a late 54-yard FG attempt to thank for their narrow victory.

Krieger says yesterday was classic John Fox football, while Kiszla tells the story of a Broncos fan who drove five hours from Nebraska to see the game sitting next to him.

Game recaps on the official site from Max Henson and Kenny Legan.


Tennessee beat Baltimore 26-13 on the strength of HC Mike Munchak's brilliant decisions to go for it twice on 4th and 1.

As David Climer admits, nobody could have seen this win coming from the Titans.

Matt Hasselbeck and Kenny Britt hooked up for nine receptions, 135 yards and a score. Hurry back, Champ.

The Titans bottled up Ray Rice & Co. to the tune of an eye-popping 45 rushing yards.


Buffalo came back from a 21-3 halftime deficit and survived a final-play Hail Mary to win a wild shootout over the Raiders 38-35. Meanwhile, Steve Corkran says things will only get tougher from here for the Raiders.

New England outclassed the Chargers, beating them 35-21 on the strength of one of the craziest plays you'll ever see from a fat man. Chris Jenkins says the Chargers' D just couldn't hang with Tom Brady & Co.

The Chiefs got pwned for the second straight week - 48-3 at Detroit - and this time they lost Jamaal Charles for the season when he ran into the Lions' mascot. And while karma may be biting Handshake Haley in the ass a bit so far this year, Sam Mellinger says Scott Pioli also deserves a ton of blame for what's happened in KC.

Green Bay defeated the Panthers 30-23 despite falling behind 13-0 early and allowing 457 net yards of offense to Cam Newton.

The Browns and Peyton Hillis (two TDs) beat the hapless Colts 27-19.

Tampa Bay overcame a 17-0 deficit to defeat the Vikings 24-20 behind yet another late comeback victory (4Q and OT) by Josh Freeman (his eighth in 27 starts).

The Saints' defense dominated Jay Cutler and the Bears, sacking the QB six times in producing a 30-14 victory.

The Jets whipped the Jaguars 32-3 and intercepted QB Luke McCown four times.

Pittsburgh shut out Seattle 24-0.

Washington squeaked by Arizona 22-21

Tony Romo made up for last week by leading the Cowboys back from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit despite a fractured rib to beat the Niners 27-24 in overtime.

The Texans are finally winning games they're supposed to win, and getting some defense too; they beat Miami 23-13.

Atlanta also overcame a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter of their game against the Eagles to win 35-31 as Matt Ryan had four TD passes and Michael Vick suffered a neck injury.


Andy Benoit, Jonathan ComeyEric Edholm, and Nolan Nawrocki analyze yesterday's action, plus Insider notes from PFW>

Mike Silver, Don Banks, John Clayton, Jason Cole, Clark Judge wrap up the day's action.

Matt Bowen on the resurgent defense of the Saints and whether anyone can stop Tom Brady, plus Brian Burke weighs Jim Harbaugh's interesting decision to keep a long FG instead of a first down.

MJD's most and least valuable players from yesterday, including Eric Decker.

Bucky Brooks says USC's Matt Barkley has the makings of a future franchise QB, while Stanford's Andrew Luck is the real deal.

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

The Lard