The Daily Lard 9-9-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! How was that for a season opener? If you thought you had something better to do than watch Saints/Packers last night, it really wasn't. Green Bay outlasted New Orleans 42-34 (box score) in an all-out slugfest which featured 51 first downs, 17-of-26 third-down conversions, 876 yards of offense, 84 pass attempts for 731 yards and six touchdowns, two special teams touchdowns, and a goal-line stop by the Packers to conclude the game on an untimed down from the one-yard line.

As for what last night meant to us as Broncos fans: Be patient this season. No matter how far they exceed any of our expectations (if they do), it will take multiple years for Denver to be able to consistently compete with teams the caliber of today's Packers and Saints. We saw third and fourth receivers making huge plays, electric kick returners, two of the best QBs we'll ever see, and we can only hope at this point that Julius Thomas will someday be as effective as either Jermichael Finley or Jimmy Graham in the passing game. And of course, we won't be seeing that brand of football anyway, as the John Fox-led Panthers scored 34 points or more just 13 times in nine seasons (including playoffs). For comparison's sake, the Packers have scored 34 or more points 13 times in their last 48 games, while we only have to go back 37 games to find 13 such outputs by the Saints. On the bright side - and this is no small matter - Darren Sproles is no longer on our schedule twice a year - once every four years is bad enough, so let's all hope he finishes his career in the NFC.

BTW, we inserted Brian Burke's excellent WP chart into the Open Thread last night, and we'll do so for all Broncos games this year as well. This way, we'll all get to see what kind of odds Denver is facing as each game develops, and precisely how far each big play by Brandon Lloyd, Von Miller, Champ Bailey and Elvis Dumervil goes to ensuring a Broncos victory. Just another neat feature to increase your IAOFM-enhanced Broncos game viewing pleasure. We're always thinking about ways to accomplish that here.

Broncos


Speaking of Orange Julius and his TE mates, Andrew Mason considers their potential as seen by Mike McCoy and Brian Xanders, and he foresees a 7-9 record for Denver among his season predictions.

Notes from Legwold: Kyle Orton and Chris Kuper were voted offensive captains, while Champ Bailey and Brian Dawkins represent the defense and Wesley Woodyard does the same for special teams. The coaches will pick a sixth captain each week, and this time it's Elvis Dumervil. 

Obviously, it's all about Denver stopping the Raiders' ground game on Monday, as Legwold and Lindsay Jones reiterate. To that end, Brodrick Bunkley returned to practice.

Captain Analysis says Tim Tebow won't be getting a lot of practice snaps this year. As to how much we can expect to see Tebow running some variation of the Wild Horses sets his umm, special package we saw last year, Captain Obvious unleashes this gem: "How much the Broncos will or won't do isn't evident yet since they haven't played any regular-season games." Read it and weep, as I am at this moment. None of you, nor I, will ever come up with anything that deep.

Remember how yesterday's DP season preview was shockingly devoid of any Josh McDaniels bashing? Well, cherish that moment, because Woody more than makes up for it today by holding up the impeccably unimpeachable moral fiber and fortitude of the white-haired John Fox for comparison to that of his youthful, evil hooded predecessor.

Video of John Fox, Mike McCoy and Dennis Allen speaking after practice yesterday. Plus, Max Henson summarizes McCoy's comments, while Kenny Legan focuses on those by Allen.

As mentioned atop the Open Thread, the Broncos have unveiled a History section to the official site, and one could get lost in there for hours, if not days.

In case you were worried, the signage at SAFaMH is complete.

Raiders


Steve Corkran's prolific practice notes: Oakland worked out LB Tully Banta-Cain but did not sign him, not yet at least. HC Hue Jackson is trying to find something in nothing by claiming the Broncos have provided his team some bulletin board material. Hey, whatever works - right? It looks indeed like TE Kevin Boss will be out, so expect Brandon Myers to get the start there. Plus, Monday will provide second-year Oakland LT Jared Veldheer his first live look at one Elvis Dumervil. Good luck with that, kid.

Jerry McDonald says the Raiders have high expectations for WR Jacoby Ford this year. Plus, Rusty Simmons on the youthfulness and inexperience of Oakland's receiving corps.

Trimmings


Peyton Manning had a second surgical procedure on his neck yesterday, and is expected to be out 2-3 months. Doug Farrar explains just how amazing his games played streak was. Jason Whitlock says the Colts put too many of their eggs in the Manning basket, while Jason Cole wonders if Peyton's injury could put them in position to draft Andrew Luck next year.

De Smith says the NFLPA is not yet comfortable with the reliability of a potential HGH testing program.

A couple of days after cutting him, the Dolphins re-signed RB Larry Johnson after Daniel Thomas was injured.

Matt Bowen, Bucky BrooksJonathan Comey and Eric Edholm analyze last night's game, Mike Freeman and Mike Silver react, and Farrar makes us all feel a little bit older by pointing out that Green Bay's electric rookie Randall Cobb is the first player born in the 1990s to play in an NFL game.

Farrar thinks the lucrative new TV deal between the NFL and ESPN predicts an 18-game schedule and a team in LA by 2014. Oh, and The Worldwide Leader is adding even more NFL programming to their weekly schedule, including expanding Sunday NFL Countdown (featuring our site's patron saint) to a whopping three hours. Here's what KSK's Christmas Ape thinks of that.

Here's what Gil Brandt sees for Week 1, while Mike Tanier is going with the Broncos among his Week 1 picks.

Bill Simmons is taking the Broncos and laying the three points in his Week 1 preview, while here are Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 of Bill Barnwell's ginormous NFL preview.

Scrapple


Chris Brown on Pistol sets.

As the WSJ has found, the Broncos may not have anyone as good as Tom Brady on their roster. BUT, they are all, on average, better looking than Mr. Bundchen. How 'bout them apples?!?!?! (Thanks, RSH!)

So, where does Aaron Rodgers' moustache rank in NFL history?

Tony Dungy is none too pleased about the Ryan-ization of the NFL's coaching fraternity. Plus, KSK's latest Sex/FF mailbag.

More YouTube gems via Grantland.

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

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