Archive for September, 2012

Week 2: Denver Broncos vs. Atlanta Falcons

Quite possibly the best pass rusher in the league.

This week Denver faces the high-powered offense of the Atlanta Falcons, in Atlanta. As I’ve said before, Denver has the toughest first half schedule in the league, and this game is just another milestone in a monstrous marathon to the bye week.

In week 1, Atlanta crushed the Kansas City Chiefs, 40-24. Atlanta’s Matt Ryan lead the league with a monster passer rating of 136.4. He was 23 for 31 and 299 yards with 4 TDs. Wide Receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White were huge and while Running Back Mike Turner didn’t have a big game, he remains a dangerous threat to teams pulling defenders from the line.

But, Atlanta played what is turning out to be one of the worst defensive units on the field who were missing four of their starters, so racking up big numbers against second string guys isn’t very impressive.

On top of that, Atlanta allowed the Chiefs to run for 152 yards – Jamal Charles had 87 of those yards – and Matt Cassel to pass for 253 yards. If it wasn’t for Cassel’s bad decisions – and turnovers – that game could have been a lot closer. But the most crucial bit to Atlanta’s defense was the Achilles tear of star Cornerback Brent Grimes. This is going to put a lot of pressure on a secondary that did not have a lot of talented depth.

Which brings us to Denver. While Ryan had a great game against the Chiefs, Peyton Manning also had a great game against one of the toughest defenses in the league. Manning 19 for 26 and threw for 253 yards with 2 TDs. That would be TDs number 400 and 401, making Manning only the third – and fastest – QB to ever throw 400+ TDs. Denver’s defense overwhelmed the Pittsburgh offense, holding them to just 19 points and 284 total yards. Denver also got five sacks against Pittsburgh’s QB, whereas the Chiefs best pass rusher didn’t play against Atlanta in week one.

My Prediction: Denver victory, 35-28

Denver’s defense is much stouter than the Chiefs and will do a better job of limiting Jones and White, though Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez will likely have a big game as Denver’s linebackers struggled a bit in coverage and containment. More importantly, Denver Linebacker Von Miller and Defense End Elvis Dumervil, along with rookie Derek Wolfe will get tremendous pressure on Ryan. With the loss of Grimes, Atlanta’s secondary is going to be exposed and Manning will be surgical in testing its weaknesses.

The rest of the predictions:

  • Manning will throw for 300 yards, 3 TDs, 0 Ints
  • Denver will have combined rushing for 200+ yds, 2 TDs
  • Denver’s defense will get 3 sacks, 1 Int and 1 Forced Fumble.

 

Week 1: Denver Broncos vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh’s WR Mike Wallace is defended by Broncos free safety Quinton Carter.

Football season is here and the Denver Broncos open the season at home in prime time Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Oddly enough, the last game Pittsburgh played last year was in Denver during the Wildcard round of the playoffs. Denver won the game on the opening drive of overtime with a pass from a little known quarterback to a fellow second year receiver. You might remember hearing about it:

That was an exciting play and it was essentially the highlight of the season for Denver.

Well, a lot has changed for the Broncos since that game. Tim Tebow is gone and Peyton Manning is the new QB. The old Defensive coordinator – Denis Allen – is now the head coach to Division rival Oakland Raiders and the former coach to the Jacksonville Jaguars – Jack Del Rio – is now the new DC. We’ve some new faces on the team who look to be big factors in the season to come.

We have a tough schedule. Technically, it is the second toughest in the league (behind the NY Giants) but it is certainly the toughest opening stretch of any team. Denver’s schedule till the bye week includes its opener against Pittsburgh, at the Atlanta Falcons, home against the Houston Texans, home against the Raiders, at the New England Patriots and at the San Diego Chargers. Four of the six games are against teams that went to the playoffs last year, including league runner up New England. It is a tough schedule for any team, especially one with a new QB, new offensive and defensive playbook and new DC.

So, what can we expect in the season opener? I expect Manning’s game management to be a major factor in the game. I expect the offense to move efficiently and because of the offenses success, that the defense will be effective because they’ll be more rested and will have better field position.

My Prediction: Denver victory, 31-24.

Pittsburgh’s QB, Ben Roethlisberger, is learning a new playbook. The Steelers offensive line is already hurt and porous. Both Pittsburgh running backs are hurt and won’t start and star wideout Mike Wallace held out through camp, thus missing drills on the new playbook and conditioning, and will be off on plays.

Denver’s first pick in the draft, Derek Wolfe, had a great preseason and is going to team up with stars Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller in attacking Roethlisberger. With Wallace being off the mark and Pittsburgh running game in shambles, expect Antonio Brown to be the main target for Roethlisberger, which means he’ll be covered mostly by future Hall of Famer Champ Baily. Denver worked hard to improve its secondary during the offseason, which will help Denver’s passrush because QB’s will have to hold the ball longer.

I’m excited the season is finally here and I welcome the Steelers, once again, to Denver. Play safe, play hard, play clean.

With that, the rest of my projections:

  • Manning throws for 300+ yds, 2 TDs, 0 Ints
  • Denver rushes for a combined 250 yds, 2 TDs
  • Denver Defense has 3 sacks, 1 Int, 1 forced fumble

Mirror, Mirror…

The 800lb Gorilla in the room.

This week, we get to see the Dems hold their convention, making their pitch to the American people why we should continue to trust them with our economic future. Of course, they can’t tell us why we should trust them, just that we should. Further, we should ignore the fact that while Obama made lots and lots of promises, and then failed to keep most of them, that we should again accept his promises for being “genuine”, at least this time around.

I, and many others, asked my blogging friend Rutherford to post a plan for how Obama is going to fix:

  • Unemployment
  • The Economy
  • Energy
  • National Debt and Deficits
  • Budget

What we got was a vanilla styrafoam cut out of platitudes, generalities and a regurgitation of days long past. Essentially, what we got was blah, blah, blah, this is hard, blah, blah, blah, this is still hard, blah,blah,blah, Mr. President we need a plan.

It took him two weeks to come up with that.

 

 

But alas, the Dems think they are saved because the Democrat National Convention is here, and as the official new ‘shinny object’, they think that folks are going to more or less forget about the fact that Obama has no plan to deal with any of the things that the American people care about. To help Obama pull off this slight of hand, Obama is going to rely heavily on President William Jefferson Clinton. That’s right, Bubba is gonna save the day.

The premise is that Clinton was popular, and there was a stronger economy during his administration (except at the beginning and the end) and that his endorsement will transcend to Obama. Never mind all the factors that went into why Clinton’s economy was stronger, just that it was (cough, cough, Contract With America, cough, cough, GOP House, cough, cough). I think this strategy will be an abject failure, and here’s why:

Obama has done NONE of the things that Clinton did in his administration. When Clinton saw his Dems lose overwhelmingly in the 1994 mid-terms, he pivoted to the middle and started taking GOP issues as his own. So balanced budgets, welfare reform, etc, became the mantra of Clinton and it helped him get re-elected. After all, he had co-opted the successes of the GOP and made them his own, so the GOP struggled in isolating Clinton policies.

Obama didn’t do this at all. When the Dems were crushed in the 2010 mid-terms, instead of pivoting to the middle to work with the GOP, he pushed farther to the left in an effort to isolate them. This was a critical mistake because Obama underestimated the new media in the country. In 1994, most people got their news from the traditional sources: broadcast TV news and the major papers and periodicals. Today, overwhelmingly, people get their news from the internet, which means the control of what people read or see has been dramatically reduced. The left has dominated media for years, and they have used their power to ignore an issue to influence popular perceptions. It is pretty much impossible to do that today. Thus, Obama was unable to isolate the GOP, nor was he able to deflect the repercussions of his policy actions.

But this is what I think is then greatest flaw in Obama’s Clinton-play: people are going to see Clinton and remember how his administration worked- namely bipartisanship and cooperation with the GOP, then they are going to see Obama and look at how his administration has worked- namely partisanship and isolation. The American people are not stupid. They are extremely upset with how Congress – and the Government in general – is working right now. I think they have zero expectations that there will be any bipartisan cooperation any time soon, yet, they recognize that the stalemate in Congress and its inability to get anything – anything at all – done is destroying this nation. So, what does that mean?

People have no confidence in Obama or the Dems. None. There is no reason to believe that the Dems have anything to offer other than four more years of the same: record poverty, rampant unemployment, record deficits and skyrocketing national debt. With that said, I think they are more than willing to stack the deck with Republicans in a hope that, at least, they can get the economy back, along with jobs.

Why trust an Obama administration that is, however unintentionally, comparing itself to an administration that headed the voters and successfully changed course – and thus demonstrating – how wrong, awkward and out of touch Obama has been. It learned NOTHING from the 2010 mid-terms. It hasn’t accepted that the People were pissed and wanted an change in direction. Not in four years or in the next term – they wanted change RIGHT FUCKING NOW. Cease and desist with your actions. Period.

Obama hasn’t listened. Frankly, he doesn’t care what the American people. He only cares about himself and what he wants, and what he wants is power. Well, the American people are going to remind him where the power resides – we own this country, and its time that we let Obama go.