Happy Friday, Broncos fans, and welcome to the most parentheses-laden Lard in history! The best part about last night's 26-7 loss (box score) to the Cardinals is that it's over. There was injury (Syd'Quan Thompson - torn Achilles tendon, done for the year; Britt Davis - concussion; Nate Irving - chest; David Bruton - shoulder; Matthew Willis - turf toe), there was insult (Arizona led 26-0 until the final two minutes), and there was craptastic play on both sides of the ball, as the Broncos were outgained 398 to 293, with more than half of their yards (164) coming on the team's last two drives of the game.
The list of Broncos whose performances may have impacted the roster is painfully short: Brandon Minor (probably not enough to beat Lance Ball or Jeremiah Johnson, but we'll see), Willis (probably makes the 53-man if healthy enough), Eron Riley (perhaps earning a spot on the PS), Jeremy Beal (may be tough to find room for him on the roster), and Darcel McBath (a beautiful INT, plus Thompson's injury probably means he makes the squad). As for players who were already locks but performed well, that group is just as small - Tim Tebow, Jason Hunter and Quinton Carter were all impressive, while Britton Colquitt either improved his leg conditioning last night or will need the next week and a half to recover from punting seven times.
Notable duds were Brady Quinn, who reverted to looking like a rookie (a terrible one at that - even without his two horrid turnovers), Britt Davis (his drop of Quinn's second pass of the game may have been bad enough in itself for him to lose out to Willis), Mike Mohamed (who racked up a lot of tackles and praise from the Arizona announcers, but really he just did a lot of stumbling around), and Perrish Cox (who did a lot of chasing all night, and slowly; plus, an awful kick return). The bright side? The preseason is over, and the Broncos' terrible performance should be viewed in the context that only the second- and third-teamers played. So although there are obviously some depth issues, a team doesn't go from 4-12 one season to fielding an entire set of competent backups that can beat other teams' backups in one severely stunted offseason. But forget those hopes for a 10+ win season - there's not enough depth here for that, just yet...
Krieger wonders just how many waiver pickups the Broncos can afford to make (and have assimilate quickly enough) at such a late juncture, floating CB, OT, RB, DT and WR as possibilities.
Legwold's thoughts on the game, plus he notes that Kyle Orton had a 104.1 QB rating this preseason. Has anyone pointed out that Tebow's number was 108.3 with a 64.5% completion rate? Didn't think so...
D.J. Williams is scheduled to go on trial for his November DUI in January.
PFW's Eli Kaberon offers up a pretty thorough preview of the Broncos' season, albeit with a few minor off details, saying that Eddie Royal is still playing the slot and omitting Cassius Vaughn from the cornerback discussion. Otherwise, it's well done - but nothing any of us don't already know.
Carson Palmer met with Mike Brown in July and may even report to the team shortly.
Here are links to Andy Benoit's excellent season previews - sadly he will not be getting to the AFC West as he mourns the recent loss of his sister.
Congressman and former Eagles tackle Jon Runyan (R) thinks Michelle Bachmann is to his party what Terrell Owens was to his football team.
Here are Bucky Brooks' favorite prospects for next year's draft.