Denver Broncos blog, news and rumors



Jay Cutler vs Raiders

Another week, another… Bronco column. I was back to Beckett’s for the third week in a row, I’ve met several Broncos fans (shout out to Waylon and that gorgeous waitress)- we’ve formed a bit of a monopoly in the corner of the upstairs area. So if you’re in New York City, come join us. There are fans from everywhere, Harvard graduates, London footballers, men and women.

The loss to the Oakland Raiders brings me to something that I was going to write about a couple weeks ago- how am I going to justify to my girlfriend that she should spend her Sunday watching the Broncos with me? The women in our ragtag group of Colorado/Wyoming ex-patriots are dripping in sarcasm. For example, when Jay Cuter’s full-screen “Mr. 4th Quarter,” graphic popped up, it showed that Cutler has thrown eight touchdowns and two interceptions in the fourth quarter this season.

“So he throws an interception twenty percent of the time?” said the young lady sitting next to me- surprisingly, this wasn’t the Harvard grad, but this does pretty much summarize why I love women.

Here are some facts, I’m going to give them to you straight:

  • When Denver has had the lead in the AFC West following Week 11 (which they do now) they’ve gone to the Super Bowl. Every time (except once) whether they won or lost that Super Bowl is another subject entirely. The only year they didn’t go on to the big game was the 1978 season.
  • Tatum Bell is a bit of a curse, last time he started was Cutler’s rookie season. The game which essentially knocked us out of the playoffs was the season finale versus the San Francisco 49ers (12/31/06). Against the Oakland Raiders he finished with six carries for 14-yards. Please, everyone, don’t rush to pick him up off waivers in your fantasy leagues.
  • The Broncos have played 12 rookies this season, compare that to a team like the Kansas City Chiefs, who made it very clear that they were rebuilding this season- the Broncos, unless they completely fall on their face will be in the playoffs by years’ end… With those 12 rookies still playing, the future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades. We’re not one draft away from being a contender, last season we were one draft away from being a contender.
  • Chad Jackson, Mario Haggans and Roderick Rogers all had significant playing time this game. With the exception of Rogers, was anyone really aware of the fact that Jackson and Haggans were on the roster?
  • Peyton Hillis has scored three times in the last two games.
  • As it stands, Denver will have the following running backs in their stable come the 2009 training camp: Selvin Young, Andre Hall, Michael Pittman, Ryan Torain, Anthony Alridge, Peyton Hillis, Tatum Bell and P.J. Pope. Let’s draft a running back! Seriously though, screw character, let’s get a guy whose friggin’ knee can hold up for longer than three games. There are an awful lot of nice guys sitting on our injured reserve right now.
  • Don’t be too mad we lost to the Raiders, it was basically our third-team defense, if you don’t believe me go back to the training camp notes and see who was playing on what defense.
  • Nate Webster, D.J. Williams and Champ Bailey are all expected back for the New York Jets game.

Back to the words- I mused allowed that Denver could very well be an 8-8 playoff team, which would put them in a nice spot for the draft, while also letting us into that Russian roulette round known as the playoffs. Are we the Pittsburgh Steelers of 2005? I don’t know, we might be if we could keep guys healthy.

Doom and gloom, that’s for fans from Detroit, we’re the other D city. This was Oakland’s Super Bowl, we got tagged in a trap game, it’s happened twice this season. People start mentioning MVP, Pro Bowl, Player of the Week and then Denver kind of makes a mess on the bed.

Here’s the good news, Mike Shanahan’s pissed, in his post game press conference he said, “I think there was a lot of plays out there that people could have made, that they didn’t make today. We had a few drops, and that doesn’t help our quarterback. Obviously the interception [Cutler] threw doesn’t help either. They challenged us man-to-man the whole game, and normally plays that we make the second half we didn’t make. If we made those plays, it would have changed the momentum of the game. But congratulations to them, they did it, and we couldn’t get it done.”

Why is Shanahan pissed?

On what it felt like coming back to Denver, former Bronco receiver Ashley Lelie said, “It’s like being wronged, like having your ex-girlfriend cheat on you, and then coming back and playing like this, is like getting her back. It felt good to come back and get a ‘W’ most importantly. But, playing well definitely makes it feel even better.”

Now, another former Bronco/current Raider Gerrard Warren said that, “We just have to continue to build; getting a win against a divisional opponent is always big. Things are wide open, and we’re not looking ahead, but if we were able to run the table, we might be able to squeak into the playoffs.”

The Broncos played so bad that the 3-8 Raiders think that they have a chance at the playoffs…

Against Oakland- gone were the short passes, it was bombs away and Denver couldn’t capture that lightening in the bottle that throttled them ahead in the game against Cleveland. Cutler played scared and after the game, he even threw his teammate Champ Bailey under the bus, “We knew they were going to come in and play hard. They played good defensively. They have the best cornerback [Nnamdi Asomugha] in the game. He takes away half of the field. They have a good defensive line and linebackers and they came out to play. They had a good game plan and they were smart about [it].”

Fact is, the Raiders, Chiefs, Chargers- whatever, they’re better than they’ve played this season. The AFC West is the whipping boy this year, but check back in 2010 and this will be the toughest division in football. Denver will win against the New York Jets next weekend and I will spend this week trying to show you why. The thing is, I don’t call Denver wins, I never guarantee a win, but I promise that Denver will beat the Jets…

  • Thomas

    Ian, I really hope you are right, cause I’m gonna be at that game!

  • http://broncos-denver-broncos.blogspot.com/ Ian Henson

    Thomas- Enjoy yourself man! I’m going to be upstate, wish I could come!

    Everyone else- I just realized that the comments were off for this post, they should be back on. Sorry about that =)

  • Thomas

    Thanks Ian! I’ll be sporting my white cutler jersey… hopefully I don’t get a beer shower if the broncs pull off the upset

  • merc22

    consistency is our GOAL

  • T-Money

    Here’s another fact.

    If the chargers win out they will be 9-7. If they drop one they will be 8-8.

    If the broncos win out they will be 11-5 and if they drop one they will be 10-6.

    If the playoffs started today we would play INDY AT DENVER in the wild card round.

  • http://broncos-denver-broncos.blogspot.com/ Ian Henson

    T-Money- Indianapolis is scary… They’re like the Jaguars, can we beat them? Maybe with our whole defense and if someone steps up at nickel and safety. Is it me or has every other rookie stepped up except Jack Williams and Josh Barrett? Where is that JMFW that we saw picking off passes in preseason?

  • T-Money

    I was just dishing out facts. I would rather play the Giants then the colts to be honest. We ALWAYS loose to Indy in the fist round. but if we can get everybody healthy and somewhere along the road find a running game that can dig us out of a hole rather than put us in one. Then i think we have a ligament shot at going deep into the post season. But that’s a alot of IFs to ride off of.

  • MIAbronco

    T-Money, a ligament shot? denvers injured reserve just shuddred at your post

  • jchase8410

    I don’t care who they play if they make the playoffs. If they play like they played against the raiders, the Lions would beat them. There have been flashes of greatness from the broncos, followed by the most horrible of moments. If they don’t show some consistancy soon then we won’t be cheering anyone on in the playoffs…I’m happy that they are so young and have so much potential. I agree that the broncos are a few draft picks from being an elite team in the NFL. U don’t want to be negative because I will cheer on the team with all the breath in my body, I just want them to play to their potential. GO BRONCOS! Beat the Bretts!

  • http://broncos-denver-broncos.blogspot.com/ Ian Henson

    Thomas- You might be in for a little more than just that:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/11/20/breast-flashing-is-the-g_n_73508.html

  • http://broncos-denver-broncos.blogspot.com/ Ian Henson

    T-Money-
    Denver can beat the Colts, it’s just a scary thought, the good news is (rookie) Foxworth isn’t matching up on Reggie Wayne if we see them in thee playoffs. Matter of fact, Manning might even be stonewalled at thee lack of defensive corrections to his audibles. We have essentially Michael Pittman in Peyton Hillis and that’s not too bad. Tatum’s not really comparable to anyone that we had earlier in the season, but remember he has the potential to break one- but we have that evil beast of a receiving corps… Marshall, Royal, Stokley, Scheffler and even Hillis. We’re getting way too aheaed of ourselves.

    Let’s focus on the Jets- there will be some more tidbits in an upcoming article… But I’d like to add, if Daniel Graham catches everything thrown his way, we’re good. He’s open, he needs to catch the passes thrown to him.

  • olen

    We cannot allow Brett Favre time to complete his passes . Jay needs to complete a bunch . Sounds simple . Come on Champ help us.

  • http://thejetsblog.com Andrew Weiss

    Ian,

    I love the optimism. As a blogger for the Jets, I know how hard it is sometimes to find the silver lining.

    I don’t have to tell you why you’re wrong about Sunday’s contest. We’re scoring 30+ per game against the best defenses in the AFC. You won’t be able to run against our base D. We’ve got a shutdown corner on one side and an improving secondary everywhere else. When it counted, Tennessee had less than a hundred yards passing and Collins isn’t prone to mistakes anymore, the way Cutler is. Favre is the best short passer in the history of the game and he’s making very few mistakes in recent games. We have the leading rusher in the conference, we ran for 192 on the Titans D-line and you’re small on defense. Oh, by the way, we’re superb on special teams with a game-breaking return man–and, we’re healthy. For good measure, you’ve got to fly across the country for the game.

    Still, I give you credit. If you’re right, I’ll tip my hat. But, I wouldn’t expect that any time soon.

  • T-Money

    Andrew… Have you ever heard the saying…. ANY GIVEN SUNDAY???

    Don’t offer you team to the gods until they are worthy. and last week makes a good point in the jet’s case.

  • http://broncos-denver-broncos.blogspot.com/ Ian Henson

    Andrew,

    You may be right, it’s of my opinion that the Jets can put up 30+, they may very well just steam-roll the Broncos defense. However, amongst common opponents the Jets have lost to Oakland and San Diego- Denver has beat both of those teams.

    Speaking of good defenses, Tampa has a great one (better than Tennessee). I’m going to write another column, so I don’t want to give up everything in the comments. I am going to head over to check out your blog though.

  • http://thejetsblog.com Andrew Weiss

    I doubt the Oakland, San Diego comparisons are relevant. That was before the Jets team came together. I know you’ve got a lot of new players but the Jets had to integrate 9 new starters from day one. If you remember, you guys were playing lights out the first few weeks. But, later, we’ve improved and you’ve had injuries and all manner of other troubles. You’ve got losses to KC, Miami and the Patriots. We’ve beaten all those teams and your recent loss to the Raiders at home was nothing short of embarassing.

    Obviously, they play the games to see who’ll win. I’m not guaranteeing anything. Still, the way the Jets are playing in all three facets now is pretty convincing. I don’t see how you guys can match up unless we shoot ourselves in the foot often and repeatedly.

    Sure, Shanahan is a smart guy and your O-line doesn’t give up sacks. But, Fisher’s a smart guy, too, and his O-line doesn’t give up many either. The Titans couldn’t run on our D-line, despite a running game that is far better than yours and we rang them up rushing for almost 200 yards while their D-line is light years ahead of yours. Your only chance is to forget the run, go no-huddle on every play and hope that Cutler doesn’t make a mistake.

    Let’s offer one another a drink, if we’re ever in the other’s town. Good luck to both squads.

  • http://broncos-denver-broncos.blogspot.com/ Ian Henson

    Andrew,

    The mutual teams are relevant- we’ve got nine rookies starting, we were together and have come apart… If coming apart means beating Cleveland, Atlanta and losing to Oakland. The returning starters is also a bad point to make against Denver, Marshall, Cutler, Graham and Hamilton were the only returning starters from last season on offense.

    The KC game, you could have just as easily have lost and don’t get started on our Miami game around here. There was a pass interference call on Marshall that didn’t exist that would have changed the outcome of the game… That’s the past though. I respect the Jets, but I’m more scared of a team like the Jaguars, Colts or Steelers- for the Broncos.

    We haven’t won a game this season on our ability to make sacks. We’ve won games on our ability to put up more points than other teams. I really think that Shanahan mailed it in on playing defense this season and said screw it, let’s just score more points than them.

    Your running game is better than ours, but barely, my next article will point that out. You guys are four, we’re five basically, the Titans per rush average isn’t in either of our arena and it doesn’t really matter who we put back there.

    I’m very excited, I checked out your site by the way, it’s cool- trying to find a place where I can fit in a comment or two.

    As for the drink, I’m in New York, careful on that offer =) Check out my article tomorrow, I break down a lot of what I’m trying not to say here.

  • http://thejetsblog.com Andrew Weiss

    As for almosts, it works both ways and in your case, a lot in your favor. Do you want to give back the San Diego, New Orleans or Atlanta games? You are what your record indicates.

    As for outscoring the Jets, look at the points scored. We’ve scored 323 this year and 115 in the LAST three games. You’ve scored 258 points and 114 in the FIRST three games. Your last 8 games you’ve averaged 18 points per game.

  • http://thejetsblog.com Andrew Weiss

    Oh and by the way. The last two times you faced a good defense, you scored 23 points, total in the two games. That’s Tampa Bay and New England.

    I know what it’s like to try and spin a season. But, from the outside, the Broncos look clueless. The Jets would be favored over the Colts or the Jaguars, even on the road. The Steeler game would be a pick ‘em depending on where it was played. How big a dog would the Broncos be to either team? If it looks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck …

  • T-Money

    We are only 7.5 point dogs Andrew. And you are making worthless, meaningless stats so here are some more for you. Look at who you have played CIN, KC, OAK, and STL. Not to mention that you LOST to OAKLAND TOO. All those teams have a combined record of 6-36-1.

    That’s impressive. You can beat bad teams and lose to oakland. and yes we all know that you can beat good teams too, but you record would be ALOT different if it was actually challenging.

  • http://thejetsblog.com Andrew Weiss

    I didn’t make the point about comparable opponents. Ian said it was relevant. But, while we’re on the subject, you’ve played Oakland twice along with Kansas City and Cleveland. From that, your record is 2-2 against teams with a combined record of 11-32 (counting Oakland twice). You’ve also got wins against Jacksonville and San Diego with a combined record of 8-14. That’s 4 of your six wins against teams with losing records. Need I mention that your losss to the Raiders was 31-10 at home and ours was overtime, on a 57 yard field goal on the road across the country? Hardly comparable.

    Aside from our weak opponents, we’ve beaten New England, Tennessee, Buffalo, Miami and Arizona. Our record against these teams is 5-1. At least three of these will probably go to the playoffs. These teams have a combined record of 44-24. Where are the comparable opponents for the Broncos? Your one win against a quality opponent was Tampa Bay, which lost its starting quarterback in the third quarter. Your record against the clubs the Jets have played is 0-2 by a combined score of 67-24.

    I didn’t start this nonsense with strength of schedule, but it’s not a fight you can win.

  • AKscott

    Andrew, we lost to Jax

  • T-Money

    Whatever. I agree. This is pointless. Come bring you silly antics here after sunday.