January 31, 2012

Pro Bowl Post Game

The Pro Bowl for the first time in awhile was an interesting or exciting game. There was no passion or desire in this game, no war at all. It was just the top talent that didn't make it to the Superbowl have some fun and throw the pigskin about and well it was entertaining. The final score was 59-41, a total of 100 points were scored! The AFC won the shoot out and once again showed the AFC has the better players (does this mean the Pats win the Superbowl?). This game resembled that of an college game. Where there is no defense and the offenses run wild and that was the case for most of this game. The 59 points by the AFC set a Pro Bowl mark, and the 100 points scored by the teams combined was the second highest, a touchdown shy of the 107 scored in 2004.

The NFC team took the early lead when Champ and Revis didn't bother to cover Fitzgerald on his two touchdowns. But then Brandon Marshall went into beast mode and caught 4 touchdown passes for a pro bowl record to give the AFC the lead. That plus the AFC defense tightening up a bit sealed the win for the AFC team.

Interesting to note Newton finished 9 of 27 for 186 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions, Tebow smiled at that.

Miller showing off his camera and Champ playing with his son (Sign that kid to a future contract!)

Broncos Players:
Six Broncos took part in the all-star game, and rookie Von Miller led the way on the defensive side of the ball, he had a team high six tackles and a sack. He should have had another one but he was not credited with the sack.

Champ Bailey recovered a fumble and made three tackles and Brian Dawkins chipped in two tackles for the winning AFC squad. It was good to see Dawkins still running around. I would like to see him back for another year.

Elvis Dumervil didn’t record any tackles in the game, he was too busy playing patty-cake with the O-Linemen.

On offense, Ryan Clady saw plenty of time along the offensive line, though most of it came at right tackle. Just like in Clady’s first Pro Bowl in 2010, the offensive linemen pick positions by seniority, so the fourth-year left tackle was pushed to the right side of the line.

Willis McGahee carried the ball four times for 23 yards, recording one catch for 20 more yards.

Actual there was 7 Broncos that took part in the all-star game. The other was not a player but the beloved red hot cheerleader Becky. Thanks for doing the Broncos proud.

That is it for now. I will have a few more review pieces in the coming days. ~ Aussie.

January 28, 2012

Broncos Hire Jack Del Rio for DC

The Denver Broncos have hired former Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach Jack Del Rio as their new Defensive Coordinator. This news comes shortly after Dennis Allen was chosen as the Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders. The defensive coordinator vacancy certainly didn't stay open for very long. Former Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach Jack Del Rio, who worked with Head Coach John Fox in Carolina in 2002, agreed to terms to become the Broncos' next defensive coordinator on Friday.

He replaces Dennis Allen, who the Raiders named their next head coach. Del Rio also was in Mobile this week and spent some time visiting with Fox. Fox returned to Denver on Wednesday night, and negotiated with Del Rio and his representatives until reaching a deal Friday evening.

Del Rio, the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003 to 2011, held the defensive coordinator position under Head Coach John Fox in 2002 in Carolina.

"We are thrilled to be able to add such a well-respected defensive coach to our staff," Fox said. "He was an integral part of our turnaround on defense during my first year with the Panthers in 2002."

That year, Del Rio helped improve the Carolina defense, which ranked 31st in the league -- last at the time -- in 2001, to the NFL's second-best.

Del Rio continued that defensive success as a head coach in Jacksonville.

From the 2003 to 2010 seasons, the Jaguars defense ranked 10th in the NFL in total yards allowed and seventh in rushing yards allowed.

This past season in 2011, Jacksonville had the league's No. 6 overall defense, which ranked in the top 10 against both the pass and the run.

"His defenses with the Jaguars have ranked among the NFL's best, and we are excited he's a Bronco," Fox said.

Prior to his one-year stint in Carolina, Del Rio served as linebackers coach for the Baltimore Ravens from 1999 to 2001, helping the team win Super Bowl XXXV. He coached a linebacker corps that included Peter Boulware, Jamie Sharper and Ray Lewis, who was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2000 under Del Rio's tutelage.

Del Rio began his coaching career in 1997 with the New Orleans Saints -- also where he began his 11-year NFL playing career -- as assistant strength coach, serving as linebackers coach in 1998.

In addition to playing for the Saints, Del Rio spent time with Dallas, Kansas City and Minnesota during his playing career.

Fox loves familiarity: Fox closed the deal so quickly with Del Rio that there wasn’t time to find other candidates. Clearly, Fox focused on his former assistant as soon as Allen took the Oakland job. That means Fox is confident in his new choice.

More experience than Allen: Allen, 39, got the Oakland job after one year’s experience as the Broncos coordinator. Del Rio, 48 and coming off nine seasons as a head coach, is much more seasoned.

Recruiting means something: Even though Denver improved as a defense under Allen, it still needs to reload. Perhaps Del Rio will turn for help to a pair of defensive ends he coached in Jacksonville — Matt Roth and Jeremy Mincey, both free agents.

Also on Friday, the team hired Luke Richesson as its head strength and conditioning coach to replace Rich Tuten. Richesson spent the last three years in the same position with the Jaguars.

Jack Del Rio DIo

Age: 48. Born April 4, 1963, in Castro Valley, Calif.

High school: Football and baseball star at Hayward (Calif.) High School.

College: All-America linebacker at USC, runner-up for 1984 Lombardi Award, MVP of 1985 Rose Bowl.

NFL playing career: Saints selected Del Rio in the third round of the 1985 draft. Played 11 seasons for Saints, Chiefs, Cowboys and Vikings.

NFL coaching career: Saints hired Del Rio as strength coach in 1997. Ravens linebackers coach 1999-2001. Panthers defensive coordinator 2002 under head coach John Fox. Jaguars head coach 2003-11 (68-71 record).

Defense Record

2002 DC PANTHERS 4646 2 290.4 187.1 103.3 18.9 5
2003 HC JAGS 4657 6 291.1 203.2 87.3 20.7 18
2004 HC JAGS 5134 11 320.9 184.2 111.1 17.5 7
2005 HC JAGS 4655 6 290.9 184.1 106.8 16.8 6
2006 HC JAGS 4538 2 283.6 192.4 91.3 17.1 3
2007 HC JAGS 5021 12 313.8 213.5 100.3 19.0 10
2008 HC JAGS 5295 17 329.4 234.5 94.9 22.9 21
2009 HC JAGS 5637 22 352.3 235.9 116.4 23.8 23
2010 HC JAGS 5949 28 371.8 250.3 121.6 26.2 27
2011 HC JAGS 5008 6 313.0 208.8 104.2 20.6 10

That's it from me, enjoy the pro bowl. ~ Aussie

January 25, 2012

DC Dennis Allen hired by Raiders

The Oakland Raiders agreed to hire Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Dennis Allen as their next coach, league sources said Tuesday night.

NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reported earlier Tuesday that the Raiders were close to finalizing a deal with Allen, who now becomes the NFL's youngest head coach at 39 years and 124 days old.

New Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie, who's at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., told Comcast SportsNet Bay Area earlier in the day that he had scheduled a Tuesday night interview with Allen but hadn't yet made a final decision.

Allen will be the first defensive-oriented Raiders coach since John Madden was hired before the 1969 season. Oakland likely wanted a defensive mind after ranking 29th in total defense this season.

In his first season as coordinator in Denver, Allen helped the Broncos improve from allowing an NFL-worst 29.4 points and 390.8 yards per game to rank 20th in yards (357.8) and 24th in points (24.4) this season on the way to an AFC West title.

Cornerback Champ Bailey was visibly disappointed Tuesday upon learning that his defensive coordinator, Dennis Allen, had agreed to become coach of the AFC West rival Oakland Raiders.

"It will be another coordinator," Bailey said when told of the news at the Pro Bowl. "... I might sound a little selfish. I'm happy for him, don't get me wrong. At the same time, I'm thinking about our team. That's another change for us."

When the Broncos hire Allen's replacement, it will be their sixth defensive coordinator since Bailey joined the team in 2004. It also will be Denver's fifth defensive coordinator in a five-year span (Bob Slowik, Mike Nolan, Don "Wink" Martindale, Allen).

Bailey was effusive in his praise of Allen, describing the coach as "intense." Allen, who the Broncos brought over from the New Orleans Saints before the season, was a big part of the Denver defense's emergence.

"He knew how to get us ready," Bailey said. "I give him a lot of credit for the success we had this year.

"(He's) serious about the business," Bailey added. "He's one of the most intense coaches I've had. It was a pleasure working with him. You knew what he was going to bring you every day."

Now Bailey and his teammates will be tasked with facing their former coach twice per year, a prospect that didn't seem to overly excite the cornerback.

"I know what type of team he's going to have," Bailey said. "Very intense, hard-nosed, tough. That's the way he is. That's what I expect his team to be."

Von Miller wondered how the Raiders' move would affect his play next season -- "He knows me," the Broncos' rookie linebacker said -- but he shared Bailey's view that Oakland made a good hire.

"First and foremost, they're getting a guy that's going to come in right away, and he's going to get it done," Miller said. "That's what he did for us. He came in, he laid out a plan for us, he told us, 'This is how we're going to do it, and this will work,' and that's what happened. We improved our defense an incredible amount. It was a night and day team from a year before.

"I think he'll do the same thing with the Oakland Raiders."

(Per NFL.com)

Then there was this new that came out of the senior bowl, click here. So there has been some speculation that ex-Jags coach Jack Del Rio is a possibility, and Dave Krieger says current Denver LB coach Richard Smith is another option. Del Rio was the Carolina DC for one season under Fox in 2002 before taking the head job in Jacksonville, while Smith has been a DC in Miami (2005) and Houston (2006-08).

So my thoughts....


And this is what I think of the Raiders....link (I had to link this one)

But hey what can you do, hopefully Allen returns to us at some point and doesn't make the Raiders into a power house. I think it is a bit of a slap in the face but Fox is a guy that let's his coordinators seek out promotions. The way I see it is Allen was signed on a multi-year contract to fix the Broncos defense and get this team to the Superbowl. In that way he is leaving a half finished job and failed in his position. I don't know, I guess I am bitter. Either way I look forward to making fun of you twice a year. ~ Aussie

January 19, 2012

Broncos 2011 Review: Offense

The 2011 Broncos offense was the tale of two stories, or really two Quarterbacks, Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow. With each taking a turn at the position the team went in slightly different directions, one preferring the pass and the other wanted to run. The Broncos had a productive year gaining over 5000 yards of total offense. That was mainly due to the number 1 ranked rushing attack that the Broncos put together once Tebow took the reins. The Broncos passing game on the other hand wasn't very good, especially when you look at these stats knowing that guys like Brees, Brady and Stafford went over 5000 yards passing by themselves.

The Broncos passing stats look like the following. In total between the two quarterbacks 429 passes well attended and only 217 passes were completed. That is a percentage of 50.6% of passes being completed. On those passes the Broncos gained 2434 yards at an average of 6.3 yards a catch and 152.1 yards a game. Definitely not the prettiest stats. The longest pass of the season went for 56 yards. The Quarterbacks threw 20 touchdowns and 13 intercepts on the year, not bad numbers. But the worst one was the amount of sacks that we took over the course of the year. In total the quarterbacks were knocked over 42 times for a lose of 274 yards. This will need to improve if we want to keep the QBs healthy.

The run game looks much nicer compared to the passing numbers. Over the season 546 run plays were called for a total of 2632 yards and an average 4.8 yards per carry (not to shabby). The longest run was for 60 yards and we had a running play go over 20+ yards 20 times this year. The big stat for me is that we averaged 164.5 yards a game this season which is an amazing total. We only managed 11 touchdowns on the ground though which I would hope improves next season. With these stats the backs also had 11 fumbles, 7 of which were lost. The backs will have to do a better job holding onto the ball next year.

Finally there are the receivers and their stats are of course very similar to the passing stats. The key stats to note are the total receiving yards which were 2708 (doesn't include yards lost for sacks as the passing does) for an average of 12.5 yards a reception. 20+ yard passes were completed 36 times and they averaged 169.3 yards a game which is a surprising low number, compared to the 249.2 yards our opponents averaged against us. The receivers also had 6 fumbles and lost 3, again hold onto the ball! The receivers managed to pick up 1010 yards after the catch but this is low compared to our opponents number of 1899 or is this a poor reflection on our defense?

The Broncos gained a total of 286 first downs this year, 129 by rushing, 130 by passing and 27 by penalty. They had 214 third down attempts and converted 66 of them at a 30.8%, this surprising isn't a bad number compared to the opponents 218 attended,73 made at 33.5%. One big area for improvement next season is in the penalty department. The Broncos were penalized 101 times for 842 yards. That is pretty much 8 and a half touchdowns given up by penalties. I would like to see this number halved next season.

There is some good and some bad here but there is definitely room for improvement on the offense for the 2012 season.

Individual Stats

Tim Tebow
Tebow had a good year starting most of the games for the Broncos and winning a lot of them. His passing numbers are not pretty but acceptable. They are as follows:

Tim Tebow271 12646.5 17296.4107.4 56124.462.23322572.9

Tebow's completion percentage was only 46.5 percent of his passes which is pretty low. He will need to get that up about 10 more points before I am happy with it. He needs to aim for 55% next season. Because of this his average yards a game suffered and so did the amount of passing touchdowns. What he did do well was protect the ball and not throw intercepts. Over 11.5 games he only had 6 intercepts and this compared to Orton's 7 over 4.5 games it is a good number. His QB rating of 72.9 is also nice compared to Orton's 75.7. Tebow also had 33 sacks which is about 3.3 a game where as Orton had 9 at about 2 a game. This I think is the reason why Orton had more intercepts then Tebow as he tried to get rid of the ball where as Tebow protected it. I think it was a good decision to change to Tebow. But there is massive room for Tebow to grow throwing the ball next year.

Tebow also had a really good year running the football. His stats are below:

Tim Tebow1226605.4325647.16235

Tebow's 660 yards were second on the team but he did lead the team with 6 touchdowns compared to McGahee's 4. His 5.4 yard average was also really good. His biggest problem is holding onto the ball, he had 6 fumbles and lost 2, improvement is needed in this area.

Kyle 'Fainting Goat' Orton
Orton had a rough start to the year and didn't have the nicest stats, check them out:

Kyle Orton1559158.79796.3186.05285.274.594975.7

Kyle Orton5173.413003.4002

Orton's 58.7% completion rate is where we want Tebow to get too with the ball. Orton was I say average if not OK as QB for this team, what did him in is the 7 intercepts in 4.5 games, Foxy didn't like that.

Willis McGahee
Had a great bounce back year and topped the rushing numbers for the Broncos.

Willis McGahee24911994.86010479.93352

His 4.8 yard average was very solid. He only had 4 touchdowns though, I would like to see him get some more. Plus get rid of those fumbles, having 3 and losing all 3 is bad.

His receiving number are also interesting, he didn't do much in total but when you realize he only had one completion from Tebow over those 11 games it makes you wonder what changed.

Lance 'Drops' Ball
Ball had a productive year on the ground as the number 2 after Knowshon went down.

Lance Ball964024.2342125.11125

Lance Ball16321489.313419.3111308

He had a solid average of 4.2 yards a carry and even got himself a touchdown. His receiver numbers were ok, but a RB that is targeted 32 times and only gets 16 catches is a not pretty. For example the Patriots game, was either 2 or 3 down he gets a check down pass thrown his way for the easy first but it bounces right off his hands. This happens too much for Ball and is one area I know Knowshon can improve for this team.

Spencer Larsen
The Storming Mormon, I think is under used in this offense. He has great hands and can run the football. Plus he was one of our best blockers this year. I hope to see him kept around for a few more years.

Spencer Larsen14443.16002.8003

Jeremiah Johnson
3rd string running back that only saw limited action towards the end of the season but I would like to see more of him, he just seems electric.

Jeremiah Johnson14775.525109.6004

Eric Decker
Was the top receiver for the Broncos this year. His number don't look impressive, none of the Broncos receivers do but they all did some nice things.

Eric Decker449561213.9856938.31118829

For Decker I love that he got 8 touchdowns this year. I think he is a big possession receiver that can be moved around a lot. But he will need to fix his stone hands that he ended the season with. He also had one carry, one incomplete pass and a punt return for a touchdown.

Demaryius Thomas
He didn't play the first half of the season due to injury but he came on really strong the second half of the year and in the post season.

Demaryius Thomas327055117.2447950.10011224

There is a lot of room for Thomas to grow next season and I would like too see his TD numbers improve. He is a big strong target in the endzone

Brandon Lloyd
Played only the first half of the season but still had better numbers then Royal did all year. I think he is the veteran presence that our current corp lacks.

Brandon Lloyd193328314.9044570.8104915

Matt Willis
Didn't get overly involved in the passing attack this year and was the 4th receiver on the roster, even he did better than Royal.

Matt Willis183626714.8142316.7009915

Again more TDs and getting more involved next season is a must or he will be replaced.

Daniel Fells
The only tight end to do anything significant this season.

Daniel Fells193125613.5332416.0218813

He did have 3 touchdowns this year but I expect the return of JT and improvement from Green will mean Fells becomes an after thought.

Eddie 'Jam Me' Royal
Oh Royal what has happened to thou.

Eddie Royal19491558.2126112.900698

Eddie Royal7486.911004.0003

Royal's numbers are bulimic, he really should do better as the oldest receiver on the roster. I don't know what has made him disappear this year but I do know he has struggled since last season to get off the jam/press. He needs to improve and take a normal sized contract if he wants to stay, but I doubt it, I don't expect him to be around come April.

The Big 5:
It is pretty hard to get statistics on these guys but I will say this I am really happy with their progress.

Ryan "Hold'em" Clady
Clady has talent, top ten talent but I think he lacks a bit of confidence. I think he still is a bit worried about that knee and this lead to a lot of holding calls on Clady. Hopefully with another full offseason he is more confident in himself going forward and he cleans up those penalties. Plus grow your hair back dude, you need that badassery back.

Zane 'Puller' Beadles
The amount of times I heard people say Beadles was a great puller I still can't believe I laugh everytime. For this reason alone he should be kept in the starting line-up. For most of the season he was the weak link in the offensive line but there is always one. He is an above-average guard that plays at a slightly lower level then the guys around him, but there is still improvement this is only his second year.

JD 'Trash Can' Walton
The Trash Can for me is the most improved player along the offensive line. He did look bad occasionally when he didn't get much help from Beadles but his play usually was top notch. The one thing I did notice is he struggled a little with NTs right over the top of him. He will need to get better dealing with these dudes and pushing the DL back. The difference from year one to year two was amazing and I am happy to kept him as our starter going forward.

Chris 'Franklin is a big motherf***er who can mess your leg up, can I play left guard?' Kuper
I hope he comes back at 100% as he is the leader of this squad and one of our best players. Also a big shout out to Russ for stepping up in the final few games after Kuper went down.

Orlando Franklin
The Big O didn't start the year off great in the passing game but improved out of sight over the year. There is still improvement to be made but he really took to the coaching and improved to the point that I am happy to keep him at RT.

In conclusion a very young group of offensive players that really only can get better. Hopefully with an offseason together and a bit of chemistry made this Broncos offense can produce big things in 2012. ~ Aussie.

January 17, 2012

Broncos Blog: Offseason Program

With the Broncos season ending over the weekend by the Patriots it is time for the Broncos front office to turn to matters of the business side of the organization. There are a number of key events coming up for the FO and for us to follow along with. But first a look at current news events.

The Broncos announced the signing of nine players to future contracts on Monday. Those players include all eight practice squad members — DE Jeremy Beal, T Adam Grant, TE Cornelius Ingram, RB Xavier Omon, WR Greg Orton, DT Sealver Siliga, WR Tim Toone and QB Adam Weber.

In addition to the eight practice squad members, the team also announced the signing of wide receiver Tyler Grisham. Grisham spent the 2010 and ‘11 seasons on Pittsburgh’s practice squad after appearing in four games with the Steelers in ‘09, catching one pass for 14 yards.

Pro Football Weekly and the Professional Football Writers of America announced their annual All-Rookie team on Monday. Broncos cornerback Chris Harris (named as a safety, they had to get him on the team some how) and linebacker Von Miller represented Denver on the squad. This is what they had to say about the two:
Miller, the No. 2 overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft from Texas A&M, tied the Broncos’ rookie sack record with 11.5 quarterback takedowns on his way to becoming just the second rookie in club history to be named to the Pro Bowl. His 11.5 sacks tied for ninth in the NFL and his 64 tackles were fifth-most on the Broncos.
Harris, who was signed by the Broncos as a college free agent out of Kansas, finished the regular season ranked fourth on the team with 65 tackles. He also intercepted one pass and broke up six others. Harris was the team’s nickel cornerback for the majority of the season, but was selected to the All-Rookie team as a safety.
Check out these videos of the Broncos. First is the two parts of today's press conference, here is part 1 and part 2. The last video is of the players talking in the locker room, Champ is so chill and awesome.

And finally the big news. Last week, it was learnt that the Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy was being interviewed for the Jaguars head coaching position and defensive coordinator Dennis Allen was being interviewed for the Rams vacant position.

Recently we learnt McCoy is now interviewing for Miami's head coaching position. The Broncos worst for first season in the AFC West has drawn a lot of attention to them including their coaches. There are a lot of head coaching positions available this off-season and John Fox has always been the kind of coach that allows his assistants to leave for a better job.

However, more news broke recently by Adam Schefter that both McCoy and Allen are scheduled to interview with the Raiders for the head coaching position after the firing of Hue Jackson. Hopefully neither agree to any position as they will be big parts of next season.

Broncos Blog Program:
There are a number of events leading up to the free agency period in the second week of March.

Honor Wall
First for us is the voting for the top 5 Broncos players to appear on the Broncos Blog Honor Wall. I am taking Nominations for players that you think are deserving to be considered in the top 5 for the Broncos. I will then put the nominations in a poll to be voted on for the next month. The top 5 voted players will appear on the honor wall until re-voting is done the middle of next year.

On the honor wall at the moment are:
Tim Tebow
Willis McGahee
Brian Dawkins
Champ Bailey
Von Miller

Since Dawkins didn't play much to end the season he very well could be replaced. But will the others lose their positions? It is up to you.

Season Review
I would like to do a number of review pieces on this past season to better understand what we did this year and our weaknesses. What positions need to be addressed and where our strengths lie. I am also looking for volunteers to help me out with these pieces. If you see something you like or are interested in doing let me know. The pieces are as follows:

This piece will take a look at the offense and how it did this year. How the starters played this year, what they achieved and what they need to do better next year. This will be a long piece.

Same as the offense. This piece will take a look at the defense and how it did this year. How the starters played this year, what they achieved and what they need to do better next year. This will be a long piece.

Special Teams
Same as the offense and defense. This piece will take a look at the Special Teams and how it did this year. How the starters played this year, what they achieved and what they need to do better next year. This will be a short piece.

Coaching and Staff
This piece will take a look at the big three coaches. Fox, McCoy and Allen. It will take a look at how they did in their positions and what they achieved. Along with these three this piece will also look at Elway and Xanders and their year. This article will be of medium length.

Free Agency and Trades
This article will look at the players we acquired in Free Agency and Trades. It will look at how they did this year and what we expect/plan for them next season. This will be a short piece.

Draft Picks
This article will look at the players we acquired in the draft. It will look at how they did this year and what we expect/plan for them next season. This will be a short piece.

QB Play - Tim Tebow
This post will take a deeper look into the quarter back play of the Broncos over last season. Mainly focusing on Tebow, but if you/I am game it may include the play from Orton. This probably will be a long piece.

There you have it, again if any of them interest you let me know.

Key Dates:
The next few months are busy busy for the Broncos.

This week is the East-West game and next week is the Senior Bowl. This will be the first chance to have a look at some of the prospects for the upcoming draft.

Three Broncos will be playing in the Pro Bowl this year.

Following this there is the combine at the end of February where we will get a really good look at all the prospects.

In March free agency beings where we will be able to sign, resign and trade players. It will be interesting to see how this plays out since last year the draft was before FA.

April is OTAs and the Draft. I will be doing Aussie's Big Board and Mock draft again like last year and will be running the Broncos Blog draft competition.

Then of course next season starts.

As always we will be here to follow along, analyze and discuss all Bronco news.

Busy days ahead, I hope you all enjoy ~ Aussie

January 12, 2012

Divisional Week: Broncos Vs Patriots

Hello Broncos Country! Have you all come back down to earth after the great victory at Mile High? Most likely not I think, probably still in a state of shock and awe. I know I was the last few days and I didn't even see the game live! But it was a great feeling to see the boys stick it to all the doubters, people that didn't believe in us, didn't even think we would score a touchdown. Big props go to the Coaching staff for getting the guys prepped and ready to go with a solid game plan. They played hard all game long and fought to the very end. And we all know what happened in overtime. A play which I am going to call 'The Pass'. Why? because it captures everything about the haters and what people said about Tebow and this team. That Tebow can't pass, is inaccurate, he won't be able to complete a pass on the 1# ranked pass defense. As we know Tebow and the Broncos proved every doubter wrong. Everyone will remember where they were when Tebow completed 'The Pass' to put not just himself but the Broncos on the map.

But the season is not over, with the win the Broncos progress to the divisional round to face the Patriots. We are on the road again and heading to Foxborough for this clash. As you probably remember the Broncos played the Patriots during the regular season where we were beaten by a score of 41-23. Most people outside Broncos fans thought that the Patriots thoroughly dominated us in that game which could not be further from the truth. The Broncos went up early and were dominating on the ground. But three fumbles in a row would turn the tide of the game. The Patriots managed to convert those turnovers into points and get back into the game and by that stage the life had gone out of the Broncos. The second half was just a wash as the Patriots had already won. The Broncos had lost all momentum and confidence in themselves and it would take them a further three weeks to get out of their funk. The Patriots should be a little concerned with this match up.

It was also interesting that after the last game Brady said to Tebow "Maybe we will see you again" That is where the below picture comes from and I added the caption. Now let's go out and do it!

With the win over the Steelers the life and passion has returned to the Broncos and they are starting to believe in greatest. But I am a little concerned. It is something that is known as 'playing their Superbowl'. Have the Broncos played their Superbowl, have we peaked too soon? I say yes and no. Yes because the Steelers game was so emotion for the team and everyone involved. We will be hard pressed to reach that level of emotion again (especially away from home). There is also the desire, hopefully the players don't think they have done enough and gone into offseason mode. They still need the will to win and the desire to win. These things I worry the Broncos can't reach again and that they had peaked too early. I say No because I can still see improvement in this team. We didn't play a perfect game against the Steelers. We can get better passing, running the ball and playing defense (We gave up over 400 yards against the Steelers). We can not play so conservative in the 3rd quarter. We can get better and that is scary when you think of the possibilities. But to beat the Patriots we probably need a perfect game. So I ask for just one more game, this should be our peak. (Well I think it will be at least)

Then there is the return of McD. People say he won't be much of an advantage to the Patriots but then why were they in such a hurry to have him start this week? This won't provide much motivation for the team but maybe a few players that McD gave 'special treatment' too that want to return the favour. They will be a little more pumped for this game. It is interesting to note that some people are coming around to the idea that McD isn't that bad, what with the evolution of some of his key picks into good players. I will say this McD was a good coach and had a vision for this team but I disliked him as a person (The disliking him as a person is what causes people to think he was an idiot). He left this team in a good position with key players that we wouldn't have made the playoffs without.

Match Ups
First lets being with the defense. I will say this now I really like our defense now then I did last time we played the Patriots. We now have a few more pieces I will say are key to this game.

The first is 36# Bush S/CB who really played a good game against the Steelers. He is now playing as the Dime CB and he has surprising good coverage skills. (When you think about the return of guys like Squid and Vaughn I really like our Secondary next year). Bush is a safety by trade but was excellent in his coverage on TE Miller taking him out of the game. With him, Goodman, Champ and Harris I think we can hold down the Patriots weapons. Add in Bruton, Carter and Woodyard and I think we can finally cover all the Patriots can throw at us. Last time we were always leaving one man get free because of the lack of good cover guys. That hopefully I think has been solved.

The other key piece for me is the emergence of Ayers and the return of Miller. Miller I think has come to grips with his issues having the cast and has confidence back in his ability. He was sorely missed last time we played the Pats. Then there is Ayers who I think is key to this game. He played great last week against the Steelers and picked up two sacks. Also it was funny to note that all the media sites were reporting that Ayers had 'Doubled' his season total. Ayers actual finished the year with 3 sacks. I mentioned in last weeks preview that I thought pretty much everyone missed the sack Ayers had on Orton in the Chiefs game. I guess I was right. The reason I think for Ayers explosion last week was he was finally let off the leash. I would not be surprised if Ayers's primary assignment was to read run first then rush the passer. Being one of our best run defenders and that he had the rookie Miller outside him, who struggled to set the edge in the run game all year, that his first read would be run. Against the Steelers the Broncos players said that Allen was sending 'the kitchen sink' at Berger all day long. This new freedom I think let Ayers attack the line looking for sacks and not playing the run as much. (Also probably the reason why Redman got 112 yards on 17 carries.) The reason I think this is key for this weeks game is you can't send 5-6 guys regularly against the Patriots. They have too many weapons, you need those guys to cover. When Allen was asked about the kitchen sink comment and what he would do against the Patriots he responded saying he was going to be sending 'everything including the garbage disposal'. I for one am not a fan of sending everyone against Tom Brady (maybe to being the game but not for the whole 60 mins). I like what the Giants did against the Patriots in the Superbowl. Play dominate at the LOS with your front four and occasion send a fifth blitzer. I am hoping with the emergence of Ayers that him, Bunk, Thomas and Doom will be enough to get after Brady. Add in a few creative blitzes with Miller and hopefully we can but Brady on the turf. That allows us to drop 6-7 guys into coverage preventing Brady from finding the open man. It will be up to these 5 guys to do the number on Brady because if we have to send any more than that we have already lost.

Another issue with sending helps of blitzes at Brady is the Patriots have a good screen game (though McD tried to demolish it with his last stay at the Patriots and with his return will it be a none factor?) The Superbowl the Patriots played against the Eagles who blitzed on a lot of plays were beaten by the Patriots screen game. (Some how the Patriots managed to call a screen on pretty much every play the Eagles blitzed, I wonder how....) If we send to many against the Patriots Brady will quickly dump it off and beat us that way.

I also doubt the Patriots pull a fast one and try to run heaps. But a few draw plays will probably happen to offset the pressure.

If we can cause their offense to turn the ball over a few times the W in the win column will be easy to put up.

Enough on the defense time for some offense. The Patriots D isn't very good, they have a solid middle but not much else. The one thing we CAN NOT do is TURN the BALL OVER. If we give Brady the ball too much he will beat us.

The Patriots will probably back off a bit compared to the Steelers and be more wary of that deep ball. So we run, run and run some more. A health dose of McGahee (who wasn't healthy in our last game against the Patriots) and a few carries by JJ (I think Johnson could tear up the Pats) we should be sweet, but for the love of the holy spirit don't turn the ball over. When we do pass send someone long to spread the defense out and then hit those slants and crossing routes. It is time to get those TEs involved more.

Now Tebow, oh sweet, sweet Tebow. Keep it up buddy. Against the Steelers I really think he started to come into his own. He throw the play into tight windows and let his receivers make a play. I want more of the same, maybe pop that completion percentage up into the 50s but I think you will do just fine, but keep that intensity burning. Now was the game against the Steelers the game I keep talking about where Tebow blows it up? 10 completions for 300+ yards? I say no, that is a regular game for a QB. When Tebow blows up a game you will know, 20+ completion and 400+ yards is blowing it up. But he did blow our minds with that final play of the game.

Speaking of which, Thomas has some serious speed....especially for a guy that torn his Achilles which is usually a career killer for skill position players. Nice job being patient and doing your rehab correctly to get back to 100%.

Inside slant
The last time these teams met, the match-up was closer than the final score would indicate. Denver pummeled the Patriots on the ground in the first half; things turned only when the Broncos started fumbling, forcing them to try to play catch-up. The Patriots also won't have Andre Carter this time around. Demaryius Thomas will be a handful for any Pats corner that lines up opposite him, though the loss of Eric Decker limits Denver's options. Eddie Royal in the screen game could be key.

Oh, did I mention Tim Tebow yet? Yeah, he's playing, too. I have a feeling that on the road, we'll see even more of the read-option, given Tebow's accuracy issues. New England's defense isn't nearly as punishing as Pittsburgh's, but dropping back to pass more than 15-20 times in an away game invites danger.

Denver linebacker Von Miller looked better last week than he has in a month, even with that club still on his hand. He seems to be adjusting to it, and New England's older, beat-up offensive line will have a real test here. I don't think Brady will be quite as comfortable as he'd like to be. This smells like a ballgame to me, folks, and you just never know how long Denver will be able to keep conjuring up that Tebow magic. If the pass rush is going, those screens and little slants to Wes Welker off the three-step drop will be Brady's best friend.

Oh it is that time again the prediction. This game will be close and I would expect nothing less. The Patriots are a veteran team that have done this all before. They will push the Broncos right to the end. I do think we can win this game but it will require the Broncos to play a flawless almost prefect game to beat the Patriots. So with that said about 50+ points will be scored in this game with the Broncos taking home the victory, probably in overtime (which we are automatic in, 4-0 so far this season). 28-21, Broncos win, now TAKE IT!!!

Injury Report
David Bruton (S), Achilles, Limited
Brian Dawkins (S), Neck, DNP
Eric Decker (WR), Knee, DNP
Elvis Dumervil (DE), Ankle, Limited
Daniel Fells (TE), Ankle, Limited
Von Miller (LB), Thumb, Full
Lonie Paxton (LS), Personal, DNP

Kyle Love (DT), Non Injury Related, DNP
Kyle Arrington (CB), Foot, Limited
Patrick Chung (S), Foot, Limited
Dan Connolly (C), Groin, Limited
Julian Edelman (WR), Back, Limited
Dane Fletcher (LB), Thumb, Limited
James Ihedigbo (S), Shoulder, Limited
Matt Light (T) Ankle, Limited
Logan Mankins (G), Knee, Limited
Devin McCourty (CB), Shoulder, Limited
Rob Ninkovich (LB), Hip, Limited
Matthew Slater (WR), Shoulder, Limited
Brandon Spikes (LB), Knee, Limited
Sebastian Vollmer (OT), Back/Foot, Limited
Wes Welker (WR), Knee, Limited
Tracy White (LB), Abdomen, Limited
Tom Brady (QB), Shoulder, Full

Other News
Tebow set a twitter record with over 9000 posts a second

Tebow is ESPN poll's favorite athlete or most popular, whatever, people like Tebow!

DT needs an optimus prime nickname, can you help us out?

A few of the Patriots lovelys.


Q: Why is Patriots player Rodney Harrison perfect for a broadcasting job with NBC?
A: Anyone who has played with Bill Belichick knows a thing or two about being in front of a camera!

Youtube Funny

That is it from me, I will be watching this game live as it is a Sunday for me with a few of my boys, let's Go Broncos! ~ Aussie

January 5, 2012

Wildcard Week: Broncos Vs Steelers

It has been a long time coming but our Broncos are finally returning to the playoffs. But it will be against a very familiar opponent in the Pittsburgh Steelers. These teams have faced off 6 times in the playoffs and have ended each others playoff hopes in the past. The current record between these two team's stands at 3-3 a piece. The Steelers finished the season with a 12-4 record and are only playing in the Wild card round because the Ravens who are also in the Steelers division finished with a 12-4 record but won out on the tiebreakers. The Ravens managed to claim the second seed and do not play this week. Last week the Steelers played the Browns and managed to sneak out a win after not being able to do much for the majority of the game. They do come into this game with a number of key injuries but they have the experience factor on their side.

On the other hand our Broncos finished the year with a 8-8 record and lost their previous three games to enter the playoffs. (Note that the Texans also finished the year with three loses and that the Saints also did this then won a Superbowl) In recent weeks we have struggled to move the ball and have had too many turnovers. But this is the playoffs! What happens in the regular season really means nothing now (it is a good foundation to build off though). We have been invited to the dance and it is up to us to rise to the occasion. Two teams play and only one can win, 50-50, I like those odds. Now it is up to the Broncos to.....TAAAKKKKE IIIIIITTT!

There is some bad blood (mainly between the fans) between these two teams even though they don't play that often. The main reason for this is the fact that the Steelers some how manage to fill out Mile High with their own fans. Hopefully the Broncos ticket holders will hold onto their tickets and show up in force. (Why don't we ban the terrible towel at the ground?) The other reason is like I said before these two have been known to knock one another out of the playoffs.

Match Ups
First we have to look at the Defense and the task that is ahead of them. The Steelers have a good receiving core with a nice amount of speed. The three main targets are Mike Wallace, Hines Ward and Antonio Brown. Wallace I think will be Champ's assignment for this week. Champ needs to limit the big pass to Wallace. (The Steelers love the play action, go deep pass) I am a little worried about Ward, he doesn't have much left and isn't a threat to take it all the way but Chris Harris will have his hands full covering him. If I am correct Ward plays the slot with Wallace and Brown on the outside or does he rotate around with Brown (probably both). That leaves Goodman and Brown. I am most worried about this match up as Goodman has struggled with speedy receivers that can get behind him. I expect to see Goodman give a big cushion and a lot of short passes completed in front of him.

With Mendenhall out with an knee injury it will fall to the backups to carry the load. I watched the Browns-Steelers game last week while I was watching the Broncos game. (It was on locate TV while I was on the computer) I got to say I was impressed with Redman. He seemed to keep plugging away and picking up nice yardage. I do think we can stop the Steelers run game but the D-Line will need to be physical going up against a good Steelers line. Mays also needs to be physical and a force in the run game because he can't cover. Miller if you play on run downs make sure to set the edge correctly.

The RapistBerger did seem to struggle with his passing in the game but got it together towards the end of the game. He does limp around but I am unsure of which ankle it is, whether it is his front or back foot. Either way he struggles to set his feet and transfer the weight between them as he passes. Though if you make him move he does seem to get the ball out better. We need to keep him in the pocket and make him step up. Hopefully we can get some pressure on the outside. Von Doom need to get some pressure on Berger and ruin his day. Also did you notice that Ayers had a sack last week? Almost everyone missed it.

Now for the offense, oh our lonely offense.

For our running backs I want more of the same. McGahee needs to carry this offense but I would like to see him get into the endzone. I has still want to see more from Johnson, he seems electric with the football, like last week I would like to see him get 5-10 carries and spell McGahee not Ball.

It is a bummer Larsen is out because he has some skills when used correctly. Look at last week he goes up makes a catch and holds onto the ball even with his legs are getting destroyed in the process. Larsen is a keeper. The question is who will replace him? Are we going to active Sylvester for the game?

Now for the wide outs and tight ends. This is the most IMPORTANT part of the preview for me. What I want to see or the game plan for me (even if it is only for the first series) is that we go 5 wide. From the shot gun go 5 wide. With 4 WRs and a TE or 3 WRs and 2 TEs. Some have said use Quinn to pass, change it up, the Steelers won't expect it. What the Steelers won't expect is the Broncos go 5 wide with no running back, we are a running team after all. This is also how the Packers beat the Steelers to win a Superbowl (Also was what the Broncos did against the Falcons in Superbowl 33 to completely throw them off as they thought TD was coming) and it is the reason the Broncos may win. With Ryan Clark ruled out for this game (and happens to be the better cover safety) this doesn't allow for Polamalu to roam the field. It also means that a backup safety will be playing. So spread them out and attack the third and fourth string CBs or the backup safety. Doing this we can create a number of mismatches in the passing game and get guys like Ninja Willis and Royal more involved. Plus if we move Decker inside every now and then it will help him get off the line clean and make some plays. Also if we were ever going to use TEs this would be the game for it as they can create mismatches against the Steelers linebackers in the 3-4. This idea has worked before and I think it would work for the Broncos.

The key to it's success though is on Tebow. But this should also free up the receivers, get them more open for some easy completions to hopefully get Tebow in a rhythm. I see a lot of benefit from it.

Now for Tebow himself. Tebow needs to grow a pair for this one. He needs to flat out start balling if the Broncos want to win. Complete passes and don't turn the ball over, that is all I ask. 50% completion rate and no turnovers. If he can do this I think we can win. Plus I am still waiting for that break out game.

Special Teams, the one area I haven't mentioned before. Prater, Colquitt....more of the same please. As for the coverage teams just do your jobs and maintain good field position. I can now breathe a sigh of relief because McCarthy is no longer on our team.

The main part, who do I think is going to win. If you had been following I have been saying all week if Dawkins plays we will win, if Dawkins can play all the remaining games of the year we will win the Superbowl (you heard it here first). The reason I think this is because of two reason. The only real difference from the team that won 6 straight then lost 3 in a row is, One we were missing Dawkins and Two we had no heart, desire or emotion. It is surprising how much Dawkins means to this team and the way he lifts our whole team and not just the defense. It is what we have lacked in recent weeks. That edge, the want to go above and beyond. Remember on this Broncos team their is not one player than Dawkins who wants to win a Superbowl more. He knows his time is almost up and he is trying his hardest to will this team to greatest. Him combined with Tebow have pushed this team to it's limits. When both are playing we are 7-0 without we are 1-8. (Dawkins didn't finish the game against the Bills?) Even if Dawkins does or doesn't play I still need to give a prediction. This game I think will be surprisingly close, probably in the teens. But I say 20-17 Broncos win it late.

Fun Facts
» Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller combined for 21 sacks this season.
» The Steelers put up 161 yards rushing in Cleveland. Expect Isaac Redman (92 yards) to get the ball often with Rashard Mendenhall's knee injury.
» These two teams last met in the playoffs in the 2005 AFC Championship. The Broncos were the two seed, but were bested by the sixth-seeded Steelers, 34-17.

Injury Report
Brian Dawkins (S), Neck, DNP
Spencer Larsen (FB), Knee, DNP
Eddie Royal (WR), Toe, DNP
David Bruton (S), Achilles, Limited
Von Miller (LB), Thumb, Full

Troy Polomalu (SS), Calf, DNP
James Harrison (LB), Toe, DNP
Brett Kiesel (DE), Groin, DNP
Cortez Allen (CB), Shoulder, DNP
Mewelde Moore (RB), Knee, DNP
Ben Roethlisberger (QB), Ankle, Limited
Markice Pouncey (C), Ankle, Limited
Doug Legursky (G), Shoulder, Full
LaMarr Woodley (LB), Hamstring, Full

Other News
The Broncos have made a number of moves lately. Here they are:
Kyle McCarthy S was cut.
Brian Iwuh, RLB was signed to the roster.
Ryan Harris, ROT, was signed to the roster.
DL Jeremy Jarmon was signed to a future contract.
Signed DB Ramzee Robinson to a future contract
Placed G Chris Kuper on injured reserve

These were the 'untouched' ladies I could find :P

I found this picture and I lol'ed haha, too funny.

Youtube Funny

That is it from me, time to shock the world, Go BRONCOS! ~ Aussie.