Was it really that close? Lard 11-29-10

UPDATE 9:45AM ET - In his MMQB, Peter King shares some insight into the situation in Denver and on Josh McDaniels, whom he claims to "know fairly well." King writes...

"McDaniels is adamant that he didn't trash the Patriots in his staff meeting Friday...McDaniels seems to know he's got a traitor in his midst...None of this will matter if the Broncos keep losing, like they did Sunday to St. Louis...If the Broncos lose out, McDaniels is probably done...The Broncos did him no favors by giving him an inexperienced GM, Brian Xanders, who clearly hasn't been strong enough to save him from making some bad personnel calls. The team should have invested in a savvy, veteran GM to help McDaniels navigate his way early."

As you know, we spend a good deal of time here mocking King, but there's some actual journalism in today's MMQB and it is an important read for Broncos fans. What stands out from the above snippets is the line regarding Xanders - is this McDaniels' way of laying the blame at the GM's feet, and/or a way to let us know that McDaniels did not handpick Xanders as has been previously portrayed?

Good Morning, Broncos fans. Although the ending was different, yesterday played out an awful lot like Monday night in San Diego did. Denver came out on fire and controlled the game's first seven minutes in taking a 10-0 first-quarter lead. But for the next 2.5 quarters, the Broncos looked like they did for much of their last game and the debacle versus Jokeland - St. Louis outscored them 33-3 over that span. Those Rams had exceeded 20 points but once, and had single-game highs of 365 yards of offense and 261 passing yards all season - all of which came at home. But yesterday, Denver made those offensive Lambs look more like the Rams of The Greatest Show on Turf days, to the tune of 36 points, 431 total yards and 308 passing yards. Fumbles by Knowshon Moreno and Eddie Royal cost the team 10 points, and despite a frantic comeback in the fourth quarter, the hole was just too deep to dig out of.

While the Broncos showed heart in getting back into the game at the end, they still allowed 36 points at home to the St. Louis Rams, a team that had won just 2 of its prior 22 road games. Denver has given up the most points in the NFL this season (323); they are on pace to score 364 points and allow a staggering 470. Over the course of their past two games, the Broncos are a mind-blowing 2-for-21 on third-down conversions. If it makes you feel better, they're 2-of-3 on fourth down in that same period. Kyle Orton's third-down QB rating has dropped from a respectable 86.9 in 2009 to a putrid 69.4 this season. He's already taken 14 sacks on third down this year after only 9 all of last season. That's not to lay things at the feet of Orton, who is now on pace for 4,900 yards and 29 touchdowns with a 96.0 QB rating. But while those are impressive numbers, Orton is just 17th in the league in TD rate at 4.7%. In the end, it all comes back to that defense...

Broncos/Rams


Here's the box score for your analysis.

Chris Hall and Broncos TV wrap up the game.

GameDay highlights from NFLN.

Josh McDaniels and Kyle Orton met the press following the game.

Eddie Royal and Robert Ayers spoke with reporters (Audio).

Arnie recaps the game. Klis does the same.

Here's what Mason saw.

Notes on the Broncos from the DP.

Mason rummages through yesterday's numbers. Plus, his notes.

Legwold says the Broncos picked their poison yesterday, and it killed them.

Kiszla says McDaniels is carrying himself like a beaten man.

Despite the chorus calling for McDaniels' head, his players are still saying the right things.

Mason on the same.

Watch the Jay Glazer report that Mason cites here. Glazer reports that McDaniels ripped his coaches in front of Pat Bowlen following the Jokeland game, discussed Spygate I with the coaches on Friday, and threatened their jobs to keep that conversation private. If true, obviously it didn't work...

Krieger thinks it might get even worse before it gets better.

Quotes from the Broncos via the DP.

There was one good bit of news for the Broncos yesterday - Terrell Davis and Shannon Sharpe are again semifinalists for HOF induction.

Enemies


The Dolts smoked the Colts. Notes from Chris Jenkins.

Vincent Jackson came back for all of two plays.

Meanwhile, the Chefs whipped the Sea Chickens with another big game from Dwayne Bowe.

Notes on the Chefs from Teicher.

Jokeland didn't fare too well with Bruce Gradkowski leading the way.

Corkran's notes on Jokeland.

Trimmings


Mike Silver says McDaniels is viewed around the league as a "circus act" and spoke to someone with the Broncoswho claims the coach "treat(s) people like a piece of shit".

Here are Matt Bowen's reactions to the early games, the late ones, and his winners and losers.

Don Banks says McDaniels isn't making many friends among his notes.

Clark Judge says it's time for McDaniels to go.

Here's what CHFF learned from yesterday's games.

Cortland Finnegan finally got what was coming to him, via the fists of Andre Johnson.

Bills WR Steve Johnson dropped the game-winner in OT, but it wasn't his fault - God is to blame.

Andy Benoit shares a peek behind the curtain at MNF.

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

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