Denver Broncos blog, news and rumors

My power rankings are fittingly named the ‘Tentative Ten’ because every week it’s subject to check, and erratically at that. Also featured is a Rookie, Defensive, and Offensive Player of the Year Watch, and a Coach of the Year Watch.

1.  New Orleans Saints (4-0)

The defense has arrived.  Darren Sharper showed Mark Sanchez what it’s really like to be a rookie. I bet Matt Stafford was probably thinking “How does it feel Mark!?!”

Glaring Stat: Drew Brees has done practically nothing not breaking 200 yards passing or thrown a touchdown in the last two wins.

2.  New York Giants (4-0) 

They’re not number one because of their sickly opponents. The Giants are praying that Eli Manning is alright. However I think David Carr/anyone will be fine against the Raiders. Steve Smith is looking at a Pro Bowl where Steve Smith is not. Everyone knows which one I’m talking about too.

Glaring Stat: The New York passing defense has allowed only 115 yards a game and their opponents average passer rating is 57.5.

3.  Minnesota Vikings (4-0)

Brett Favre Brett Favre Brett Favre revenge revenge beaten all teams in the NFL, Brett Favre Brett Favre. You’re welcome, I just recapped ESPN this week for you.

Yes, Brett Favre abused a very good secondary Monday night. Of course that happened, the man lives for the drama. Who Favre should thank is the Vikings defensive line and the Packers offensive line. I feel terrible for Aaron Rodgers the man has two seconds tops in the pocket. Right now the Vikings are sure contenders for the NFC North, which is good in terms of Denver’s draft pick.

Glaring Stat: The Vikings’ defensive line sacked Aaron Rodgers eight times last night.

4.  Indianapolis Colts (4-0)

Who are these scrubs Peyton Manning is throwing to? Pierre Garcon? Without Manning I’m sure the Colts would not be 4-0, possibly not even 2-2. Their defense still concerns me, once they play a better offensive team we’ll get a better feel.

Glaring Stat: The T.O.P is still very bad at 27:21.

5. San Fransisco 49ers (3-1)

That is how you beat a crappy team, especially one in your division. Today I read a stat that amuses me very much. The Steelers kicker Jeff Reed has out scored the Rams offense 25-24 this year. Not to take away from San Fran’s dominating win, they scored on both sides of the ball. Shaun Hill, a.k.a. Kyle Orton 2.0, did well game managing and not turning over the ball. What is also impressive is that superstar Frank Gore was still not in and Glenn ‘You suck, now go get me a’ Coffee averaged a whopping 3.1 yards a carry.

I really mean it when I say Patrick Willis will kill a man during a game before his career is over.

Glaring Stat: Mike Singletary cured cancer by making Chuck Norris cry.

6. Denver Broncos (4-0)

I remember before the season started talking about how insane the Giant’s pass rush was going to be. Well it is, however I would have never imaged that the Broncos’ pass rush is currently better. If it wasn’t for the Packers’ pathetic excuse for an offensive line Denver would be first in the NFL for sacks at 15. The Vikings doubled their season total last night to get to 16.

Speaking of pass rush, Denver is going to need to make the best of every drop of it against the Patriots. Tom Brady obviously doesn’t like to be touched, so the defense needs to disrupt his menstrual cycle rhythm. What is the interesting match up is Josh McDaniels versus Tom Brady. McDaniels knows how Brady operates and he needs to use that to his advantage.

Glaring Stat: Denver has six interceptions on the season — each pick by a different player.

7.  New York Jets (3-1)

Yes they did get embarrassed by the Saints, but the Saints are well… the Saints. I still believe the Jets are number one in the AFC East at the moment. It is theirs to loose though. Mark Sanchez and the Jets should rebound from that ass-whomping just fine.

Glaring Stat: The Jets had 14 first downs against the Saints but only two trips to the red zone. Probably due to their third down efficiency 3/12 (25%).

8. New England Patriots (3-1)

Tom Brady is a pansy. It’s not that the call was made, it was that he squealed like a clubbed baby seal.  New England would be rated higher if it wasn’t for those controversial calls and Mark Clayton’s huge drop. Analysts say Denver has something to prove, but I believe New England does. This isn’t the same New England of the past right now, they need to beat Denver at home to prove they are.

Glaring Stat: Tom Brady wore pink not knowing it was for breast cancer.

9. Baltimore Ravens (3-1)

Just like I had some words for Brady I also have some words for some members of the Raven’s defense. Ray Lewis is one hypocritical son of a gun. He whines about Brady’s whining. What is even more pathetic about that is that Ray ‘knifestab’ Lewis is one of the most loudmouth players in the league. Such as like last year with the Santonio Holmes questionable touchdown. I don’t care what you think, really, same goes for you Terrell Suggs. His comment about the league turning into two hand touch is atrocious. I don’t care how right he is, act like a real man not like a child put in timeout. Make it to the playoffs and prove it again there if you’re lucky enough. What you guys should be complaining about is Mark Clayton’s drop.

Glaring Stat: Former Bronco Trevor Pyrce is in his 13th season, but the man has 3 sacks on the year.

10. Chicago Bears (3-1)

No bias or anything but I wish this team was lower, much lower.  Also if I hear one more time that Jay Cutler pulled a John Elway, I’m gonna Ray Lewis someone. It was not a Super Bowl!

In all seriousness the Bears could seriously contend for a playoff spot this year. Jay Cutler has recovered from his week one debacle by not trying to win the game on his own. The Chicago defense is playing will without Brian Urlacher but their depth is still very poor. If a player such as Adewale Ogunleye gets hurt they’d be in some real trouble.

Glaring Stat: Matt Forte more than doubled his season rushing total against Detroit. Before he had 95 yards on the year, he had 121 on Sunday.

San Fran above Denver again? Like I said last week, San Fran forces you to pass on them and right now Kyle Orton isn’t ready to win games himself… yet… hopefully.

Top 5 spot for Denver in Associated Content’s Zac Wassink’s rankings.

Coach of the Week

Josh McDaniels – Josh McDaniels has officially pimp slapped the mainstream media. If McDaniels’ only remaining wins are against the Chiefs twice, the Redskins, and the Raiders, he’ll go 8-8. Meaning he’ll still have never had a loosing season, and he’d have more more than double of the games most analysts picked. If McDaniels manages to beat the Chargers and a couple teams besides that Denver could be looking at 10-6 or 11-5.

Rookie of the Week

Mohamed Massaquoi – After only have two receptions all year, he grabbed eight receptions for 148 yards.

Offensive Player of the Week

Brett Favre – Sigh… it pains me, but it’s true. Anytime you’ve finally beaten every team in the NFL and debacle your old team in the same game you deserve a little credit.

Defensive Player of the Week

Darren Sharper and Jared Allen – Sharper proved to everyone this week that age means nothing to him. Allen proved that you need to triple team him or he’ll do his sweaty rock star fist pump sack celebration every time.

Rookie of the Year Watch

1. Mark Sanchez – You’ll have more games like that in your career Sanchez, get used to it.

2. Percy Harvin – Last night I think it was John Gruden who said “Percy Harvin likes to hit a guy.” I flashed back to high school when he actually did so in basketball game thus forfeiting his athletic eligibility for the rest of the year. This guy is a playmaker though, he’ll have many more touch downs before the year is over.

3. Knowshon Moreno – He’s getting better and better every week. Moreno is great at every facet of the game, may it be rushing, catching, or blocking. He leads all rookies in rush yards as well.

4. Johnny Knox – His return was amazing, also against a terrible special teams unit, but amazing nonetheless. If Knox stays healthy expect more plays like that out of the speedster.

5. Matt Stafford – This really depends on how healthy is right now. Stafford has been the architect  several 70+ yard drives, including a 99 yard drive to win the Lion’s first game since 2007.

Defensive Player of the Year Watch

1. Elvis Dumervil – I may be a little biased with this pick but I don’t care. Right I believe he deserves it more than any other defensive player out there.

2. Antwan Odom – Last year not many people knew his name and now coaches plan games around him.

3. Darren Sharper – Already five picks on the year? Two more to the house and he ties Hall of Famer Rod Woodson’s record.

4. Darrelle Revis – Darrelle Revis continues to shut down everyone he goes against.

Offensive Player of the Year Watch

1. Peyton Manning – I know it sounds extremely cliche but look at what he’s working with. Manning usually has little to no time with the ball and he scores touchdowns with rookies like Pierre Garcon and Donald Brown. Keep in mind that Manning also has a new coach in Jim Caldwell and at the age of 34 he still hasn’t lost a step.

2. Eli Manning – All offseason analysts questioned the Giant’s passing offense and none of them out there would have guessed the passing offense would trump the run game. Yes the defense is good, but they’re also banged up missing Tuck, Phillips, and Canty. Just like his older brother Eli has turned wideouts like Steve Smith, Mario Manningham, and Hakeem Niks into stars.

3. Drew Brees – He hasn’t done much in the last two games, but that isn’t always a bad thing. Don’t think before the year is over he won’t have another multiple touchdown 500+ yard game.

4. Joe Flacco – Without Flacco the offense would struggle to put up 14 points (see the Kyle Boller and Steve McNair years). Had  Mark Clayton not dropped that pass Baltimore could be 4-0 right now.

5. Adrian Peterson – Starting to slip a little, but I don’t think that will last for long.

Coach of the Year Watch

1. Josh McDaniels (4-0) – Seriously, Josh McDaniels doesn’t care what you think. McDaniels was left with a bad hand defensively and now look at it. Obviously Mike Nolan has a huge part in it, but you’d be hard pressed to prove to me that Steve Spagnuolo would have coached a team that has allowed only 26 points so far, tallied 15 sacks, 8 forced fumbles, and 6 interceptions (all by different players).

2. Sean Payton (4 -0) – Offense and defense, you can thank this man. Payton pulled in Darren Sharper as well as defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

3. Mike Singletary (3-1) – Possibly one of the scariest head coaches ever. The man made his own mountain just to put his players in pain. This year they’re playing tougher and better than ever. Singletary didn’t have much going for him in terms of players and now San Fran looks like they could take the division. Who needs Michael Crabtree anyways?

4. Rex Ryan (3-1) – Rex dropped hard in my rankings only because I really think all of the above coaches deserve it more. Unless Rex sweeps the NFC East en route to the home field advantage for the playoffs.

What do you think Nation? Any more deserving teams in the Tentative Ten? Air it out!

  • magster

    How far would anyone say Shanahan's stock has fallen as a potential head coach hire (if at all) because of the success McDaniels has had turning around special teams and the defense in one offseason? It seems to me that Shanahan's consistent inability to turn around a defense over the past 4 to 5 years that was then seemingly cured by a new coach makes Shanahan less attractive as a potential hire, especially at the price and absolute command terms Shanahan would demand.

  • MrEast

    I agree completely.

    Why not hire someone who cleaned up Shanahan's mess like Mike Nolan for considerably cheaper?

  • Kyle

    I disagree. The Broncos' defense was bad for two seasons, 2007 and 2008, and I still believe Shanahan would have made it right.

    This quickly? No. But still. Shanahan knew football, he wasn't an idiot who didn't understand the X's and O's.

  • roshon2411

    1. Saints
    2. Vikings
    3. Colts
    4. Giants
    5. Patriots
    6. Ravens
    7. Broncos
    8. 49ers
    9. Eagles

    I have the Broncos at 7 b/c I believe all the teams ahead of them would be favored even if the game was at Mile High. However, I win this work and Denver could be up for the top spot, depending on how the other games go.

  • roshon2411

    I'm with Kyle on this one. From 1995 to 2005, the defenses weren't that bad under Shanahan. Greg Robinson looked like a great DC for awhile and what has he done since he left Denver? Besides Nolan has a great track record for being a coordinator but not as a head coach. If Shanny wants to coach, he'll have no problem finding a job. I for one hope it's not in the AFC let alone the division. Remember what he did to Oakland when he had a vendetta.

  • roshon2411

    Good piece again East,

    Tentative Ten is one my favorite weekly write ups!

  • MrEast

    Thanks Roshon! It's always fun writing it when Denver is 4-0.

  • MrEast

    I don't think Shanahan messed up the defense X's and O's wise (except for the 3-4 half ass switch last year). However, the defense looking this good not even a year after his departure does make him look bad. If Shanahan would have kept Trevor Pryce and consistency in his defensive schemes then he would most likely still be the coach of the Broncos.

  • MeOMy

    1. Saints: Hardest Schedule of any 4-0 team
    2. Vikings: 4-0, Farvra, Peterson…
    3. Jets: Hardest Schedule of any division leader. Only loss… Saints
    4. Patriots: 2nd hardest Schedule of any division leader. Only loss… Jets
    5. Denver: 2nd hardest Schedule of any 4-0 team.
    5. Colts: Easier Schedule so far than Denver but they do have Manning…
    7. Giants: Opponants record 4-10. Only beat Dallas by 2. Denver won by 7
    8. SF: Division leader but has played a weak schedule
    9. Ravens: Tied for 1st in their division
    9. Cinici: Division leader. Would be higher but… OT vs Browns?

    I know I have two ties in there but too early in the season still to really make a tie breaker there.

  • roshon2411

    Losing both Trevor Pryce and Al Wilson was the downfall of Shanny.