Posted Sat Nov 15th by Monty
I play double-duty on game days, chatting with Sam Adams at the Rocky Mountain News and live blogging it right here. Be sure to catch both every Sunday!
Sam was kind enough to answer a few questions for BroncoTalk, tackling the dismal AFC West, playoffs, the West Coast to East Coast myth, the addition of Tatum Bell, and, of course, the upcoming game against the Atlanta Falcons! Enjoy!
The Broncos are 5-4. The Chargers are 4-5. At year’s end the AFC West champion could be 9-7 or 8-8. Is there something to be said for the argument that the top teams should make the playoffs or have home field advantage, regardless of division standings?
I used to think that top teams should have the advantage — especially in baseball … But I think you win your division, you earn a playoff spot (Do we remember 1985, when Denver finished one game behind the 12-4 Raiders. At 11-5, the Broncos lost wild-card tie-breakers and missed the playoffs. Meanwhile, the 8-8 Browns won the AFC Central. That’s probably why Denver put “The Drive” on Cleveland the following season!) …
West Coast teams traveling to the East coast for early games have a ridiculously low winning percentage this season. What can the Broncos do to break the curse against the Falcons this weekend?
What can Denver do to break the West Coast curse? Win! … I don’t know what the deal is with this east coast travel bug — in ’06 the Broncos went 3-0 playing at New England, Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Ed McCaffrey told me something a few weeks ago — there are plenty of guys on west coast-team rosters who are from the east, so they ought to be used to the time difference. I think for Denver, the guys just need to be ready to play mistake-free football on Sunday …
If someone’s going to take the Rookie of the Year award from Eddie Royal or Ryan Clady, it’s Atlanta QB Matt Ryan. What have you seen from this kid, and what can the defense do to give him trouble?
Ryan, in the games that I’ve seen, plays fearless. He’s got young play-makers in place at wide receiver (they still could use Algee Crumpler at tight end) … Ryan rarely seems rattled, but the Falcons do a good job of protecting him with their running game. I think the best scenario for Denver is to get a sizeable lead early, make the Falcons one-dimensional in passing the football and force some turnovers (interceptions).
With three backup linebackers, how in the world are the Broncos going to stop Michael Turner?
Denver’s front four needs to play its best game against the run. Deny the middle, close the B gaps, force the Falcons to run wide and hope the linebackers can use their speed to make the tackles at the line. But Turner isn’t the only back Denver has to be concerned with — Jerious Norwood is dangerous as a runner and receiver out of the backfield.
How do you think Tatum Bell and all the baggage he brings with him (pun intended) will affect the Broncos’ locker room?
I don’t think Tatum Bell will be a problem in the locker room. The team leaders know him, and as far as I know, Bell wasn’t a trouble-maker during his first stint in Denver. I think he’s done what he can to put an end to the controversy.