Stanford University: A Wealth Of Broncos Connections

We all know and respect John Elway mostly for his accolades in professional football.  But the Pac-12 made incredibly sure not to ignore his college accomplishments, as in the lead-up to Saturday’s conference championship between Stanford and USC, Elway was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player Of The Century.

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The Morning After: Broncos and Advanced Metrics

So after 12 games, how do advanced metrics measure how the Broncos have performed? Let’s examine a few numbers.

We’ll start with Pro Football Reference’s Expected Points. I’ve gone over this previously when examining Super Bowl winning teams, in which I’ve used the following scale for evaluating PFR’s Expected Points and what they mean for each area.

Positive double digits: Great performance
Positive single digits above 2: Good performance
Between +2 and -2: Average performance
Negative single digits below -2: Mediocre performance
Negative double digits: Bad performance
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David Bruton Out 1-2 Weeks; Safety Depth To Be Tested

It remains to be seen if T.J. Ward will play this week, but all things considered, it was a smart decision for Gary Kubiak to rest DeMarcus Ware. Getting him to full strength will improve the pass rush and take pressure off the defensive backs.

If Ward can’t play against Oakland, it’s likely you’ll see plenty of Josh Bush and Omar Bolden. Bradley Roby could play safety on a couple of downs, too. And it might mean Lorenzo Doss sees a couple of snaps on defense.

The important thing at this point is to get everyone healthy, as after Oakland, two key games against Pittsburgh and Cincinnati await.

(EDIT 1:25 P.M. MST: I meant to say Lorenzo Doss, not Taurean Nixon, although it’s possible the Broncos could move Nixon up from the practice squad.)

Broncos Playoff Standings: 2015 Week 14

I spent a lot of words talking about this last week, when more scenarios were open. But I made sure to bold the simplest and best path for the Broncos: “win out and one Patriots loss”.  Well, thanks to the Eagles, that one Patriots loss came earlier than we thought.  Coupled with the Broncos’ win at San Diego, Denver now controls their own destiny to the #1 seed.  Win out, including defeating the Bengals, and the path in the AFC goes through Denver.

The Broncos are going to be nowhere close to clinching that for a while, but they will have two paths available to get into the playoffs come Week 14:

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Here’s Brock Osweiler at Jon Gruden’s QB Camp

I don’t know if you know, but in 2012, before the draft, Jon Gruden had a film session review with ten QBs that were going to that draft.

Here’s Brock’s one, and I found it amazing. He was already intelligent, good at recognizing his mistakes, easy to put the blame on his shoulders and also the way he takes notes and pay attention to what Gruden says is incredible.

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How Can NFL Officiating Be Improved?

It seems we can’t have a single high-profile or prime-time game go by this year without having a questionable call by the officials that gets scrutinized to death and debated as to whether or not that call should have been made and, if not, that it decided the game.

The latest one was in last night’s game between the Packers and the Lions, in which the Packers attempted an endless lateral that led to the Lions’ Devin Taylor tackling Aaron Rodgers, but Taylor getting flagged for grabbing the face mask. On the next play, Rodgers completed a Hail Mary pass for the winning touchdown.

It’s not the only high-profile game to have a debated call, but it’s only compounding the narrative that officiating has gotten worse. There have been multiple suggestions about how to solve issues with officiating, but most of them tend to be reactionary or not understanding all the facts. Let’s go over a few things:
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Midweek Musings: Chargers’ Real Issues Aren’t On Offense

Hello, Bronco fans! It feels good to know your Broncos are 9-2 and have beaten a bonafide playoff contender, doesn’t it? But as we all know, the work isn’t done yet and the Broncos face an opponent that has struggled this season but it isn’t going to go away quietly.

The San Diego Chargers are 3-8 but not for the reasons you may think. It has nothing to do with the offense, even though the offensive line has been hit hard by injuries and most of the linemen have struggled. The only offensive lineman to have started all 11 games this season is Joe Barksdale, while all other linemen have missed multiple games with injuries. As things currently stand, D.J. Fluker did not practice Wednesday as he recovers from a concussion and King Dunlap was limited, after missing several games with an ankle injury.
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Reviewing Brock Osweiler’s Draft Report

We get to witness Brock Osweiler starting more games while Peyton Manning is recovering his injuries. Scotty Payne from Mile High Report gathered various draft reports back in 2012, which you can read here. I want to go over some of the analysis and compare to the reports against what we’ve seen so far.

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