Sunday, November 30, 2008

a return of Broncblogging

A little light reading for you all tonight.

Today, the B-men put together a pretty good game, going on the road and beating the New York Jets, which had been one of the hottest teams in the league.

Go figure.

First, some things that are obvious: 1) our defense--as well as it played--was not populated by "normal" pro players, but rather was a hodge-podge of just about anybody we could get to put on a uniform (the tackling was atrocious); 2) the Bronco O-line is playing really well; 3) the Bronco D-line is pretty awful; 4) Peyton Hillis is a real good fit for the Denver running scheme; and 5) Cutler is still taking a few risks with the ball.

But taking all that into account, still it is a little crazy that Denver won--convincingly, at that--at New York. Isn't it?

If you think that, then you haven't watched the Broncos lately.

This is a team that won on the road in Atlanta two weeks ago, beating a team that is playing playoff-caliber football.

Granted, this is a team that also lost to the Raiders last week. Which I think explains in part what happened to the Jets this week. Just like Denver was really flat last week, I think the Jets were a little off this week, too. I mean, Favre had all day to throw the ball and still couldn't do a lot of damage. Giving Favre that kind of time isn't normally a recipe for success, but today it worked. I chalk that up more to ineptitude by the Jets than to anything the Broncos were doing.

So what now? Well, 4 games to go, and the magic number is 2 and they get a home game in the playoffs. Yes, you read that right: if the Broncs just get to 8 wins and the Chargers lose again (which is likely, since they play at Tampa for their next-to-last game), then the B-men play a home game in January.

That's what I call big news. I won't call it "good" yet, since Denver hasn't played well at home all year. Also, the likelihood is that the playoff game would be against either Baltimore or Indy. There's an outside chance that it would be against Pittsburgh or maybe the Jets (depending on how the final weeks go). Those aren't 4 teams that I'd give the Broncs an even-money chance against. Heck, against Baltimore or Pittsburgh, I'd think they have next-to-zero chance.

But for a team this completely decimated by injuries, this has been a good year. Cutler has taken some good steps. There are times when Marshall looks unstoppable. And if we keep the O-line in place and find one strong back to ride for a long time, that back is going to have success. Torain, maybe?

All I know is that Shanny's job is probably safe.

Now if only he could do something about that defense!


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