Wednesday, October 30, 2013

DRC wins NFL's AFC Defensive Player of the Week Honor

DRC (45) AFC Defensive Player of the Week running back a pick six off
Washington Redskins QB, Kirk Cousins. Photo by (AP -
Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie (DRC) of the +Denver Broncos was awarded the +NFL's AFC Defensive Player of the week today for week 8 of the current NFL season. DRC played a fantastic game to compliment an impressive performance to his caliber of play this season. The Broncos pass defense may have had a lot of yards given up as well as an above average amount of points allowed. 

Critics have a way to put too much love into critiquing numbers and stats especially in a day in age when there is some sort of numbers ratings derived from computer algorithms used to rate everything in sports just for the sake of putting a number or scale on it. Although, the eye test normally confirms or denies the critique or acclaim that is directed towards another. DRC is not the reason for it and his stellar performance against a hot Redskins offense on Sunday was outstanding enough to catch the eye and get the honor above any other defensive player in the AFC, the conference the Broncos are part of, of course. In a way, reaffirming that the pass defense does not necessarily fall on DRC. 

In reference to the critics and their numbers, their are so many factors for the Broncos defense to be slightly skewed towards such statistics. The main reason and worthy of touching upon, is that the Broncos have a record setting offense for scoring, pass yards, pass TDs, and number of TD receptions for players. This factor in of itself, in football as a coaching staff, knowing this allows the defense to not have to be so precise and a bit 'further' back with their main focus on stopping big plays for quick TDs and also forcing FGs over TDs knowing that their offense is averaging just below 43 points per game this year. As pointed out before the Broncos defensive struggles coincided with Hammer (Wesley) Woodyard's absence over a few weeks as well. Von Miller missed the first six games and was back in only his second game of action. A noticeable activity increase up front for the Broncos front line in getting pressure and making life difficult on opposing QB's, since Miller has returned. Several players to note about it in another post.

DRC, a great free agent signing, on behalf of the Broncos, John Elway, and the front office to put the caliber of player in Broncos "Orange and Blue." Broncos defense played, "No doubt their best performance of the season...," as Head Coach, John Fox described afterwards. The Broncos defense allowed a season low in total yards offense (226) and passing yards (154) as well as forcing 5 turnovers (of which took place in just one quarter). In a game where the offense unusually committed 4 turnovers, it was the right time for the "Orange Crush" to come up with the momentum swinging (and "Mo") continuing plays that bailed out some of the offense's mistakes.

A big congrats to DRC for his great performance and being awarded for it by the NFL. DRC has been key for the Broncos this year in several ways, one of which, is the fact that they have had Champ Bailey in sweats for all but 1 and a half games played. Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio is certainly glad to have him lock up with the opposing teams top outside WR's. DRC can play either side of the defense on the edge and had given some versatility to their formations and schemes. He also plays the majority of special teams snaps, creating lanes and holes for the dangerous return specialist of the Broncos, Trindon Holliday.

Hopefully the bye week keeps the ignition at the level the defense has begun to show. If so, DRC will be playing an important role for the Broncos D in doing so, we imagine.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Broncos Defense, Home Field too Much for Shanahan, Redskins

Broncos D and Second Half Derail 'Skins

Denver, CO - Broncos improve to 7-1 with 38 straight unanswered points with a 45-21 final.

The Denver Broncos contingency welcomed "Shanny," (Mike Shanahan) back with much warmth and gratitude but by the time the coach of the Washington Redskins left, he was dismissed & sent back to Washington DC unfamiliar with the losing feeling he had just endured at his former home, Mile High. Shanahan filled the stadium and the millions of Broncos fans (Cr3w) with a lot of great memories; which included Super Bowl wins, MVP seasons for players, Coach of the Year awards, and many other historic accomplishments. He is considered by many, the Broncos greatest head coach in their franchise history. It would be hard to dispute such acclaim considering his track record with. The Redskins appeared to have played their best offense of the year the week prior against the Chicago Bears and the Denver Broncos defense had been spoken about in most manners, negatively, regarding their performances.Specifically, when defending the pass along with the amount of points they had allowed thus far this season.

Welker scoring 6 yd TD
AP (
The Broncos started the game as if it were going play by play on their game plan script. Redskins, chose to receive the ball, and the Broncos defense forced a three and out right out of the gate. Peyton Manning and his offensive teammates took their first drive methodically, swiftly, and efficiently down the field capped off by a 6 yard TD pass to +Wes Welker over 9 plays and 3:40 off the clock to take the lead, 7-0. Manning was 5-5 on the drive looking sharp right out of the gates. An unusual start for the Broncos despite a record setting offense through eight games this year, they have consistently been a second half team with Peyton Manning, including last year. This stayed true, though, because it turned out to be the only score the Broncos had in the first half. 

After the Welker TD, both offenses did very little. Both sides punted 3 times apiece. The silver lining came in the fashion of the Broncos defense playing very well. The Broncos moved the ball but stalled out near field goal range for Matt Prater. The discouraging aspect was that one of the drives ended on third and short when they failed to convert on that type of situation in week 7 at Indianapolis several times. A few drives were backed up on 3rd by a penalty or loss of yards on 2nd down. The Broncos were getting first downs but unable to continue with a few in succession. With 7:33 left in the 2nd quarter, the +Washington Redskins controlled the clock and had many small chunks of yards that involved one costly penalty on the Broncos, and scored a TD. The drive started on the Redskins own 5 yard line and took 16 plays over 7:03. The penalty was 12 men on the field on the Broncos on a 3rd and 5 on their 12 yard line to give the Redskins a first down by just enough. On first and goal from the 7, +Robert Griffin III threw a TD to Leonard Hankerson making it 7-7 going into the half. A low scoring affair that was expected to be the opposite for many expecting around 60 to 70 points between the two teams.

The second half was a different story. Turnovers for both sides, the Broncos defense, for the first time, looked like the top five ranked defense they were last year. They created a lot of problems, sacks, pressure, and turnovers with few penalties. That is not to say that after the first 3 minutes and 34 seconds of the half the Broncos were looking unlike the usual second half team they are accustomed to. Digging themselves into a hole after two quick turnovers that the Redskins turned into 2 TDs to go up 21 - 7. One from a pick 6 off of Manning that DeAngelo Hall took back 26 yards after giving Beybey (Demaryius) Thomas a tug, from which Thomas fell to the ground on a slant route that was not flagged. The other was caused by a sack strip by Ryan Kerrigan and recovered by Brian Orakpo on the DEN 19 yard line. Three +Alfred Morris runs straight included a TD on the third run. It was now gut check time for the Broncos coming off of a loss and playing poorly at home, down 14 pts right out of the second half gate.

Montee Ball first career TD, 4 yard run
(AP - Denver Broncos)
The following possession, the Broncos took over at their own 25 and ran 11 plays over 3:37 that was capped off by a Montee Ball 4 yard run that moved the pile and carry both lines of the Broncos and Redskins the whole 4 yards, finding his way into the endzone. This play was the turning point of the game in many respects. The home crowd, who had been silent for much of 2 quarters, ignited by this tough, filled with heart, and physical running by Ball. A key play in the drive was the Broncos 4th down conversion with a Knowshon Moreno 5 yard run on the WAS 20 that heightened and increased the momentum for Ball's TD run.

Broncos came out and allowed 29 yards on 4 plays, but one was 11 yard pass with 15 yards tacked on by an unnecessary roughness penalty on Kevin Vickerson (60 yards by 4 penalties in weeks 7 & 8 by Vickerson). Despite that first play, the Broncos defense allowed 3 yards on 3 plays after and got the ball right back to their offense with 5:03 left in the 3rd quarter on their own 17. The Broncos drove the length of the field to the Redskins 1 yard line. They failed to score on 3rd and goal at which point, the 3rd quarter expired. During the break in between the 3rd and 4th quarters, the Broncos elected to go for the TD on 4th down. In a wonderfully called scheme, Broncos came out in a 3 TE formation (heavy formation) that had a triple shift out of a goal-line formation to bunch TE off of the right tackle. The shift led to outmatching the "heavy" Redskins defense and a +Joel Dreesen TD grab that made it 21-21. At this point the "MO" (momentum) was fully throttled in the the Broncos favor and the home crowd was very alive and enthusiastic.

The aspects of the 2nd half up to the 21 pts apiece score of note were the early 14 points the Redskins got, the Broncos defense came out and got the ball back to their offense quickly back to back, and the biggest plays to that point were the two big time 4th down conversions the Broncos got that led to both TDs they earned in the half.

Only 20 seconds later, the Redskins were punting on their 4th play after 3 RGIII incompletions. A shanked punt by Sav Rocca, landed the Broncos offense on the WAS 35. The first play after, cemented the momentum and control of the game on a screen pass to Moreno for a TD with great blocking, reading those blocks, and a key block by 'do it all' WR Welker to spring the last 5 yards for Moreno. Broncos took the lead 28-21, which included 21 unanswered. 

RGIII losing ball after Von Miller (pulling RGIII Down) Sack
and Derek Wolfe recovery (AP - Denver Broncos)
The next possession is probably the drive that let all of the air out of the Redskins when Von Miller, the All-Pro LB/DE of the Broncos, got his first sack of the season (his 2nd game back) while stripping the ball from behind RGIII, a FF, that Derek Wolfe pounced on the WAS 34. It was the 2nd play on offense for the Redskins after the Broncos took the lead. Those 4 defensive outings (led to 24 unanaswered pts by the offense) seemed to be all wrapped up in one considering how quickly they occurred and the vast change in the game itself.

This led to a Matt Prater FG that put the Broncos up ten points, 31-21. At this point the Redskins had completely abandoned the run even though the Broncos last 17 points had only taken less than 3:46 in all and 11+ minutes still remaining. Another 3 downs and out forced by the defense where the Broncos committed their 3rd turnover on the WAS 18 with a pass intended for a double covered Welker. Two plays after, the exceptional cover DB, Chris Harris Jr intercepted RGIII on the WAS 25. 

Peyton took advantage with a 35 yard pass (because of a holding call putting them 10 yards back) to Beybey Thomas for a TD that truly sealed it up, with a 38-21 score. 31 unanswered points by the Broncos at this point. 
Beybey Thomas 35 yd TD (AP - Denver Broncos)
Leon Hall described the change in score, "It was like a blur," Hall said. "Someone asked me, 'What went wrong, what happened?' To be brutally honest, I don't remember. I looked up one point, 21-7, felt good, everybody smiling. Turned around and it ... was 38-21." 

In the last 6+ minutes, the Broncos added a TD, another 3 interceptions by Rahim Moore, Shaun Phillips, and 1 being returned for a 75 yard TD by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for a pick six, putting the final score at 45-21.

Broncos coach called it,"Without a doubt...," the best defensive outing of the season in the post-game press conference and reemphasized that on Monday. Despite 4 turnovers by the Broncos, all by Manning (1 of which was on him, the interception intended for Welker), the Broncos defense forced 5, giving the Broncos a +1 in turnover margin for the game. The fumble was caused as he was throwing, and Kerrigan got just enough of his arm reaching out for it. DeAngelo Hall twice intercepted him by some savvy pro bowl caliber play on one and the other he slickly pulled Beybey down as mentioned before. The other, Hall got one hand on a ball while Beybey Thomas was bringing it in for a catch and Hall managed to pull it within his grip while airborne, parallel to the ground, with one hand. A play that is described as 'tip your cap to' for making. "That stuff happens in football," Manning said. "We haven't had a ton of that, but the fact we were able to overcome it was critical," in reference to the turnovers committed. An issue that still need to be rectified and minimized if they plan on bigger things this season.

One has to question the Broncos throwing the ball as they had that led to the 2 late INT's. They were not running the ball with big gashes of yards but the Redskins team, and especially their defense appeared to be wearing down and the yards were starting to increase per rush. It was a balanced overall pas/run ratio when you consider the passing offense is setting records for TD passes and yards for 8 games into an NFL season. I would still preferred to see a little focus on what football calls, "The 4 min. offense," when up 17 and only half of the 4th quarter left. 

Broncos wk8 RB Trio: Moreno (27), Ball (28), and
C.J. Anderson (22) - (AP - Denver Broncos)
The Broncos defense earned the nickname, "Orange Crush" from their performance, forcing five turnovers as mentioned, all in the 4th. Also creating two additional FF that they did not recover. CJ Anderson saw some meaningful playing time in his first active career game. The player to pay the price was the fumble ridden RB, Ronnie Hillman. The headlines and writers will mostly talk about Von Miller returning, but the brutal span for the Broncos defense is not coincidentally aligned with Hammer Woodyard missing the playing time he did. Woodyard returned to the lineup and also got some rest because of the late lead and got through the game not aggravating his injury any further. A big positive coming into a bye. 

Regarding the bye coming up in week 9, Manning said, "It could not have come at a better time. A lot of players are quite beat up and could use the rest." John Fox said that Peyton will not see many reps this week in practice. Mannings ankle did not get aggravated either, but Fox recognizes the rest true value, to get their MVP caliber QB much needed rest for his body. They will practice Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday receiving the rest of the week off until Monday after the league finishes week 9. Resuming their week 10 as usual on Monday in preparation for a trip to San Diego.

Terrance Knighton should be noted as well. The guy is getting in the back field disrupting running plays, but also inside pressure on the QB consistently. Something every QB will point out as the most disruptive aspect to the passing game if they cannot step up the middle of the pocket because it is getting collapsed from the front. Despite the 4 turnovers by the Broncos, the defense came out and bailed them out after 2 of them with turnovers of their own and causing all 5 in the 4th quarter. Consistent pressure on RGIII and a very active secondary with linebackers lead the way to this Broncos victory. Former head coach, Shanahana summed it up, "You can't give Peyton that many opportunities because he's going to take advantage of it," coaching in Denver for the first time since the Broncos fired him in 2008.

Julius Thomas and Duke Ihenacho both left the game with ankle injuries and did not return. Julius Thomas had an MRI on Monday, October 28th that turned out negative for a high ankle sprain. Good news for the Broncos and their offense implying he should not miss anytime or much especially with a bye week to treat his ankle with the training staff. No official word for "Nacho."

Orlando Franklin, Joel Dreesen, and 'Hammer' Woodyard all played through questionable injuries and appeared to come out of it no worse. Now the Broncos are heading into a much needed mid-season bye to rest a relatively beat up bunch in Denver.

Manning finished 30-44 and 354 yards 4 TD 3 INT (1 FL)

RGIII finished 15 of 30 for 132 yards 1 TD 2 INT

Montee Ball 11 carries for 37 yards 1 TD
Moreno 14 for 44 Yards 6 rec 89 yards 1TD
CJ Anderson debuted with 4 for 22 yards

Alfred Morris 17 attempts for 93 yards TD

Welker 6 catches 81 yards 1 TD (9 TD catches ties career high and leads the NFL through week 8)
Beybey Thomas 7 for 75 1 TD
Decker 4 for 42

Jordan Reed 8 for 90
Garcon 7 for 46

Monday, October 28, 2013

Julius Thomas MRI Turns out Negative

No High Ankle Sprain for the Broncos TE, Julius Thomas

Julius Thomas (80)
Photo Courtesy of +Denver Broncos

Englewood, CO:  Just reported in presser with Coach John Fox of the +Denver Broncos and Julius Thomas reports that MRI on the ankle turned out negative for a high ankle sprain. Very good news for the Broncos offense as Julius Thomas has turned out to a big time weapon for Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense this season.

Just left the facility MRI showed it wasn't a high ankle sprain so I won't be down long. Be back soon #CantWait

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Broncos 7 Keys to Giving Ex-Coach Shanahan a Loss

Mike Shahahan, Washington Redskins Head Coach.
Won 2 Super Bowl Titles with the Broncos
1) Win or tie the takeaway battle. Just do not turn it over more than the other team and give them unnecessary big plays that can sway emotion and momentum for a road team.

2) Protect Peyton: If this involves running the ball more to keep the defense honest or whatever. Especially the hurries on top of the sacks.

3) Continue to be stout vs the run. (Contain RGIII in open field)

4) Building on number 3, make RGIII beat the defense with the pass which means limiting Albert Morris and Roy Helu Jr, RB's of the Redskins.

5) Convert 3rd Down with a higher efficiency than 50% (convert almost all 3rd and short (3 yds or less)

6) Get the crowd into it quickly. BRONCOS CR3W would love to see the Denver Broncos put a couple big plays on defense (any part of the team though) to boost the crowd as well as the team. Linking this to ComeOutFast

7) Force RGIII to use other weapons in the air other than Jordan Reed, who has really come on lately as the Redskins TE, and his completion rate less than 60%

Notes: Force FGs over TDs and Score TDs over FGs

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Should Elway, Broncos Work a Trade? No Need to Panic

The +Denver Broncos certainly have been depleted on the offensive line with 3 starters out, 2 of them out for the season. The big boys up front on offense or defense, though, have been solid this season. Are they really in need of a trade though at 6-1 and room to improve their execution in many aspects. Some are suggesting to trade for Jared Allen of the Vikings. Does that mean Shaun Phillips, Derek Wolfe, Malik Jackson, and Robert Ayers see less playing time. The issue is not with the D-Line especially since we saw the Broncos best pass defense performance of the year on Sunday and they continue to be stout versus the run. 

Hard to believe, given the score of 39-33. Take into account the Colts scored 26 points off of short-field situations and turnovers from the Broncos (including 2 minutes the Broncos left on the clock before half for the Colts to score a TD).

Not saying that Allen is a bad player by any means, but it is not a need for this team. He is a great player and leader from what has been observed. His teammates always are positive when speaking in terms of Allen. He is also a Colorado type-guy as well (Idaho - cowboy western roots). Shaun Phillips is filling in great on the 'other' DE role aside Von Miller, and Derek Wolfe/Malik Jackson are sound playing hybrid DE/DT pass/run situation roles as well. The pass defense has been inadequate this year, no one can deny that, but the +Denver Broncos rush defense has been solid this year. The call for urgency or quick reaction is not necessary. They are 6-1 and have a lot of room to improve on. If the offense did not continue to leave the defense in such bad situations last Sunday, the defense pulled through rather well in Miller's first game action.

Woodyard being out has definitely hurt the squad as well, him being the captain, signal caller and all. If they feel the necessity to trade for a player or position, the Broncos should pursue a LB if they are looking for assistance or more established depth. Danny Trevathan has improved markedly since coming in whilst seeing more snaps when "Hammer" Woodyard has been on the sideline with an injury.

Malik Jackson (97) applying pressure on Andrew Luck, QB of the Indianapolis Colts.
Photo Courtesy:
The Broncos defense allowed the least amount of total yards and passing yards on their defense all season in week 7 versus the Colts. Even less than when they played the Giants in week 2, Raiders in week 3, and Jaguars in week 6. Two of those game were at home as well. The only game they forced more punts was versus the Ravens in week 1. 10 punts to the 9 they forced against the Colts. The Colts converted 5 of 17 3rd down attempts, the worst percentage that the Broncos opponents have had in a game this year as well.

It may not be enough to stop all the panicky articles and headlines being written. Broncos just need to stay the course and work on their execution and precision more than anything (and game management). The defense looked more active with one game that had Miller in there. The individual stats do not tell the story for Miller's return. Luck was hurried or forced to scramble regularly. The Broncos defense should iron those patches out. They have first year starters Ihenacho, Trevathan, Knighton, Wolfe, and last week Kayvon Webster seeing regular time and they will only improve as a unit. Woodyard returning would significantly stamp that together. A trade, if it is going to take a hit on their salary cap space in the coming off-season or sacrifice a valuable draft pick (every draft pick is valuable), even in the 7th round. A 7th round pick essentially means they are one of the top 210 players coming out of college. To be drafted says a lot in its own place. No trade is necessary unless a great find like Louis Vasquez somehow for the protection of Peyton Manning or a serviceable LB. Reasons the D-Line would be addressed do not stack up.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Taking Issue: NFL Pro Bowl Ballot Outdated

The +NFL needs to address their out of date Pro Bowl Balloting format. This is simply naive from a football experts perspective to not include a team's "nickel" DB or more specifically, the slot DB who has to cover RBs, WRs, and the explosive position of TEs in the league. The call to this attention was easily spotted at the mishap because of the caliber of player Chris Harris Jr is and naturally scanning for his name when the position on the ballot came up.

Photo provided by Chris Harris Jr. (25) with Shaun Phillips (90) after an interception from Flacco in week 1
Chris Harris Jr. of the +Denver Broncos has been lights out this season and is difficult to get noticed because he is rarely thrown on. It is understandable that Champ Bailey and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are on the ballot as they are the edge starting DB, when healthy, but the neglection by the NFL to not include an extra DB position is ignorance. Defensive coordinators regularly address the value of the slot DB (nickel DB) that now has 1 or 2, not 3 LB on the field regularly. The growth of the spread offense should also make the NFL adjust the number of WRs spots on the ballot.

Pro Bowl Ballot link via
Although Champ Bailey has been out significantly this year, the Broncos do not use Harris in place of his position. That is designated to Tony Carter or Kayvon Webster. Harris, for example, faces the likes of +Wes Welker when facing the Patriots last season. Harris finds himself on the next play, lined up across Rob Gronkowski inside at the slot. Last year, the Broncos used a nickel defense on more than 60% of their defensive snaps. Rahim Moore, the Broncos FS, and DRC (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie), Broncos CB, are the only players with more defensive snaps than Harris this season.

Source: Football Outsiders
It is just an example of the value of that "inside corner." NFL offenses are increasingly using stacked receivers to mix and cross up CBs in close, small areas in an attempt to detour/pick a defender. This is to provide that one second of time to catch and turn for a gain if one is the offense. The value of the outside DB that have to mess with the likes of Calvin Johnson, Demaryius "Beybey Thomas, and Eric Decker is not being overlooked. NFL should adjust balloting the position as they did when they added "specialist" players that are standout special teams players years ago. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Manning Sits Out of Practice

Peyton Manning sat out of practice Wednesday as Brock Osweiler and Zac Dysert took the reps. There was cause for concern when originally reported as to what it was. Concern was voided once Manning was out there but working with the training staff on his ankle. Many believed that it had been an issue with his arm which is obviously alarming.

The call for him to sit out, perhaps was the fact the +Denver Broncos were unusually practicing in full pads despite the modern +NFL rarely put players in full pads midseason for practice. Even though Manning is untouchable in pads, anyhow, Coach Fox had reason for the Broncos to be playing in pads. It could have just been due to the loss, but normally that means the Broncos do not have, "cap day," as Manning has called it. A reward usually for a win, "Cap day," is self-explanatory, when players get to wear caps instead of helmets even though they are in shorts usually anyway. Full pads were the call today though.

Photos Courtesy of
Manning continued, "I plan on being out there tomorrow."Manning said of sitting out of practice, "Greek's (Broncos Head Athletic Trainer) call, I can assure you, I didn't go down without a fight."

The hearts of Broncos Cr3w and fans need not fret. #Broncos #BroncosCountry #BroncosCr3w
Manning joked that he was still a believer in HIPPA even though the government is shutdown. Nice one, I thought. HIPPA stands for Health Insurance Portability and accountability Act. Privacy off personal health matters. He's so focused he maybe hadn't even heard the government is no longer shut down. Lol.

Coach Fox confirmed Manning will be practicing tomorrow and playing on Sunday.

Peyton put the helmet on, but not pads. Middle of the season. Many getting rest today. Photo right provided by

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dear NFL & NFLPA, Stop This Before it Begins

+Deion Sanders is one of the best analyst for +NFL out there. Spot on, unbiased and he is still #PrimeTime, what a joy he was to watch on that field. Could not agree with him more about the "bump" by Kevin Vickerson, DT of the +Denver Broncos, and calling out the flop by +Indianapolis Colts QB, #AndrewLuck when playing the Broncos on Sunday night. Is that how former +Stanford University legend #JohnElway would have done it? Simple question, Mr. Luck, is this what we want to see in American professional sports down to high school?

Highlights and a look back at Sunday's game, but Primetime Deion Sanders briefly speaks about it, and I appreciate this man's analogy every Sunday night. 

Personally, players should get fined for unsportsmanlike behavior under the "Spirit of the Game" charter of whatever their overpaid lawyers want to call it between the league and the +NFL Players Association. Repeat offenders should face suspension. Unless they want to see an epidemic in what is supposed to be the "Mens sport" that Americans loved to grab on to when it comes to discussions of soccer and football. 

* Footage rights reserved by the NFL Network and NBC Sports *

Time to pull out your whip Roger Goodell! Just like bountygate or spygate, it is against the integrity of the game and falls under the code of "cheating" to American sports, please keep it that way in the NFL.

+NBA has continually suffered from such an epidemic and have yet to really solve or stop it at all because they have neglected to act upon it. I think it is worse than the unsportsmanlike penalties because it takes the thought of doing so in order to flop because it isn't being forced or caused by anything than one's very own actions. Hence, the thought of doing it and then doing it. Pretty straightforward in my opinion. We will start to see receivers oversell things, defensive lineman oversell a hand or two to get a holding call instead of trying to beat the man across from them. Basketball, a defender used to be making a play on the ball with a steal or block instead of standing and waiting until it is physically impossible for the human body to stop with a half stride at jogging pace, let alone full speed.  

Minimize this before this becomes a very ugly aspect of a truly great sport. Some may see this as an over reaction, but I saw a unanimous All-American college linebacker pull of a flop of sorts to draw holding calls late in a game this year and he was rewarded +Kyle Van Noy of +BYU, It has soured many of the biggest fans and followers of a great sport of movement, fluidity, and spacing in the sport of basketball. NBA did not mind so much as the flopping increase came with an increase in International fans despite a decrease in American fans. Ultimately, to imagine it infiltrating #AmericasTruePastime in football is just sickening. 

This is not a reaction to the game's result on Sunday night whatsoever, but a reaction to the first opportunity to point it out and shut it down hopefully. It takes a person to think of doing it, to doing it whereas the suspensions and fines those players are receiving from bang-bang plays that are just reactionary and instinct from training.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Heir to Peyton's Throne Spoils the King's Return

Peyton Manning and the record setting Denver Broncos offense returned to the throne that Manning quite literally built with his right arm. What was unexpected, the result, as the Indianapolis Colts delivered the first loss of the season to the Broncos. Although the score of 39 - 33 would appear as a shootout, many boneheaded penalties on defense, and turnovers helped the Colts get the points that they did. In some manner, it was still a shootout. The Colts were up as much as 33-14 at one point late in the 3rd. Then the Broncos starting to look like the usual Broncos in the 4th quarter, but came up short. The underlying story was the lack of production the Broncos put up for almost 3 quarters. A lot of that can be attributed to the Indianapolis Colts defense that consistently got pressure on Peyton, forcing four turnovers (one on special teams). 3 fumbles and 1 interception.

The fumble safety, and the interception were caused by the pressure and one being a Robert Mathis sack and the other being a tipped Manning pass by overpowering a below average blocker, Broncos TE, Julius Thomas. There were a lot of questions as to the grabby ways of the Colts secondary. As the saying goes, it is not cheating unless you get caught (unless it is an #UNAMERICAN European flop - that is just unethical, not only cheating in our opinion)

The Broncos, having to play behind a makeshift offensive line because of injuries to their right and left tackles. Orlando Franklin, is expected to be back soon. Manning was sacked four times. The crowd fed off some momentum and unusual caliber of play by the Broncos. Trindon Holliday fumbled on a punt return, giving the Colts the ball inside the Broncos 25 and scored one play later to make it 10 - 7 in their favor. Broncos responded with a 12 yard pass to Julius Thomas and converted on some key third downs as well as the TD. Biggest momentum, and turning the point of the game, was the sack by Mathis in the 2nd quarter that led to a safety and a Colts TD from the Broncos safety kickoff. The score after that was 19 - 14, and they never trailed afterwards. The Broncos offense left their defense out on the field for a significant amount of time, and the defense suffered.

Colts pushed the score up 33-17 with 12:59 left in the game, and it seemed to be posing for a blow out. The hearts and grit of the Broncos showed otherwise though. Battled back impressively to 36 - 30. One drive, took less than a minute after the Colts went up 33-17 to make it 33-23 with an unsuccessful two point conversion as Demaryious (Beybey) Thomas dropped a sharp throw from Manning that looked to have more mustard on it than Beybey was expecting. A catch he will usually make. Vinatieri snuck a 52 yard FG in the lower corner of the goal post, putting it back to a two touchdown game for the Broncos 36-23. Broncos bounced back with a TD drive of their own with a 1 yard TD run by Moreno after some great acrobatic catches by +Wes Welker. 36-30. If Beybey made the 2 pt conversion catch, Broncos would have had a chance at making it a 3 pt. game.

With 7:07 left in the game, the Broncos defense, after having some rest because the offense starting to put points up and also get first downs, forced a Colts three and out and to punt. The ensuing drive, Julius Thomas got overpowered by Colts LB, Erik Walden, who tipped Manning's pass as he released his pass, and it floated up for a Colts LB, Pat Angerer interception. It was the first play of the drive, and it looked like Peyton had Beybey Thomas open deep down the middle. The placed it occurred was detrimental as the Broncos forced another 3 and out by the Colts, but the Colts were able to kick a 42 yard FG making it 39-30.

Despite the offensive engine of the Broncos having issues of getting going, they still had chances to pull the win out. An interception and fumble in the 4th quarter proved too much for the Broncos to overcome. Ronnie Hillman fumbled inside the five yard line and appeared to have it secured to his side while on the ground before Colts safety, Andre Bethea jumped on it and pulled it away. This happened with 3:03 left in the game and really sealed the deal. Broncos had 3 timeouts at the time and were poised to even get the ball back without an onside kick they way their defense was starting to perform. The interception before that seemed to zip the game away, but the +Denver Broncos had a chance still until that fumble. A challenge was not done by Coach John Fox from the Broncos, and the Colts retained possession. Broncos forced another punt but with no timeouts remaining, the Broncos fell short. Kicking a FG with less than 30 seconds remaining and attempting an onside that was recovered by the +Indianapolis Colts.

Peyton Manning finished with an unusually low completion percentage, going 29 for 49 with 386 yards passing, 3 TDs and 1 INT (as well as a fumble lost). Eric Decker led the receivers with 8 catches for 150 yards, and 1 TD. Andrew Luck was 21 for 38 with 228 yards passing and 3 TD (plus 4 for 29 yards and 1 rushing TD, running the ball). Darius Heyward-Bey who will have a big spot to fill with Wayne's injury had 4 catches for 44 and 1 TD.

Boxscore from the game:

Notes: Reggie Wayne tore his ACL in this game. +BRONCOS CR3W wishes the all-pro player all the best in his recovery and would never want to see anyone injured. He is an absolute pro in every manner. Our best wishes to him as he recovers. 

Want to touch upon the flop by Luck and if Vickerson deserved to be penalized such a costly call and why are things like that not reviewable. Such as the man that shoves back in a scuffle that gets a flag. Replay reveals it, it cannot be difficult to buzz the refs down and tell them the penalty goes the other way. The Broncos still had life as the Colts decided to throw a pass that was incomplete and stopped the clock under 3 min to go, but Kevin Vickerson got a questionable roughing the passer penalty that appeared to be a flop of the NBA type of men's European Soccer by Andrew Luck. Vickerson no doubt could have made more of an attempt to avoid "bumping" Luck, but Luck completely oversold it to the "nth degree" as Luck would say. Sports is sports, but American sports used to value being true to the antics of a flop, etc and if football players embrace it, as a fan I will be sickened as I am in every single basketball game I watch now compared to the NBA at its peak in the mid 80s to mid 90s.

A subject I am sure +NBA CR3W will absolutely be touching upon once basketball begins.

The Broncos defense was porous once again, but did show signs of being a more difficult group to attack with the return of their yesteryear sack leader. Champ Bailey re-injured the injury he worked so hard to return back from and may be out for quite some time. Reports on that to come out later from the Broncos camp. Coach Jon Fox declared him "week to week," which can be interpreted various ways, but you normally expect that to be several weeks when it comes to Coach Fox.