Broncos at Raiders: The 10 Things I Liked and the 10 Things I Didn’t

This game aggravated me. Yes, yes, I know we won. I don’t think we deserved the win. Our offense was laughable and our defense took some time to get in the game. Like it or not, Carr is a good quarterback on his path to becoming a great quarterback. Had Sebastian Janikowski not missed two field goals, they would’ve tied this game. They could’ve possibly won it since the failed field goals set our offense up in great starting positions. Stomping all over the Raiders is likely over for the next couple of years while Jack Del Rio and Derek Carr are in town.

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Gut Reaction: Is The Offense’s Struggles Really About Resting Peyton?

The Broncos are 5-0 but based on some of the comments regarding the offense’s play against the Raiders, people are aware that all is not well.

That doesn’t mean the wheels are about to come off or the Broncos are destined to finished 2-8 following the Week 7 bye. It is worth visiting the issues that are plaguing the Broncos, though, and exactly what can be done to get the offense up to speed so it can at least complement what’s arguably the best defense in the NFL.

Of course, we all start the conversation with Peyton Manning and one debate that keeps coming up, regarding whether or not the Broncos should sit him out for certain games early in the season, saving him for divisional matchups and the tougher opponents. While I understand the reasoning that you don’t want to wear out Peyton, the problem is that it’s nearly impossible to sell that idea on his teammates when the Broncos are winning.
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Quick Notes Going Into Sunday’s Game

Also, Evan Mathis and Bennie Fowler are questionable but each practiced during the week. I would imagine both will play.

Even more interesting is this tidbit.

Before anyone gets tuned up, there’s another team who has been rotating offensive linemen in and out of the game this season.

One guess which team that is.

Deadspin On DFS

Deadspin had two good articles about daily fantasy sports, one which I shared elsewhere but will post here for those who missed it.

First, an in-depth article about how the NFL’s influence allowed daily fantasy sports leagues to become reality.

Second, Barry Petchesky weighs in on how the recent DFS controversy may do more to set back a push for legalizing gambling than it may convince people to support it.

Needless to say, the DFS controversy isn’t going to die down any time soon, especially because those ads are certain to keep running constantly during NFL programming.

PFF’s Monson On Manning And What It Really Means

Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson examines Peyton Manning’s play against the Vikings and discusses what was the real issue: Decision making.

I said as much in my Gut Reaction earlier this week, but Monson takes time to illustrate where Peyton made good decisions as well. Specific examples of those I’ll point out:
Continue reading PFF’s Monson On Manning And What It Really Means

Midweek Musings: This Is Not Your Al Davis’ Raiders Team

It seemed like only yesterday that the Oakland Raiders were the joke of the AFC West. That is no longer the case, but it doesn’t mean they are evenly matched with the Broncos. Let’s examine this year’s Raiders squad.

First, we must remember that when general manager Reggie McKenzie took over, the Raiders were a mess from both the roster and salary cap standpoint. He inherited a team that wasn’t going to be transformed overnight, even if the Raiders managed to get Andrew Luck, because the late Al Davis was still using outdated strategies to build the roster. And while Al’s son Mark Davis may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, he deserves credit for showing patience with McKenzie.
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The Not So Scientific Power Rankings

A few years ago, when the likes of Brian Burke, Pro Football Reference and Pro Football Focus (I’ll refer to the latter as PFF from here on) were putting together team rankings, I noticed that each site tended to differ on where they ranked teams and what their systems examined.

I noticed that Burke would sometimes rank a team in the top 10 that Pro Football Reference Simple Ranking System put further down the ranks. So I decided to take the rankings that each site did, using Burke’s breakdowns of offense and defense, the same for SRS, and throwing in PFF’s power rankings. I did that to see if it could give a clearer picture of where teams measured up and account for what some might call anomalies in a site’s rankings.
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A Reminder On Who The Real Face Of The NFL’s Domestic Violence Problem Should Be

Greg Hardy.

Remind me again why Rice is considered persona non grata in the NFL, while Hardy will be welcomed back with open arms on Sunday.

For quite some time, I’ve been disturbed that Ray Rice has received the lion’s share of blame in this department.  What Rice did was unquestionably wrong, but he has also done about everything that could be expected to show remorse for his actions and work on making himself a better man.  In contrast, Hardy has continued to show no shred of such decency.

Christine Brennan’s closing question quoted above is a bit rhetorical, but I think it’s still deserves an answer:

  1. Rice was caught on video, and Hardy wasn’t.
  2. Still, there is a defensible football argument to be made that Rice’s skills were prepped for a decline after six years of heavy duty with the Ravens, particularly his 3.1 average on 660 yards in his last season there.

It will be interesting to see how Hardy performs in Dallas, and what happens after his one-year deal there expires.  Will memories of his past fade away? I’m not thrilled to discover what the answer will be.