Arrowhead Stadium has been the site of many a Broncos late-season nightmare. Today's week twelve match-up is shaping up to be what dreams are made of, however.
Brady Quinn is starting for the Chiefs at QB as KC's season is crumbling. Aside from Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs have little to offer in terms of offensive fire power. With Quinn's propensity to check-down to the short range reciever, look for Charles to have a decent day, around 65 yards rushing and around eight catches for another 60 or so yards. Aside from that, the Chiefs won't be able to accopmlish much of anything against Denver's surging defense.
This is not going to be a very good game. Yeah, anything can happen. "Any given Sunday" and all that. But the Broncos are going to roll while the Chiefs just roll over.
I predict a 31-3 outcome featuring the following individual stat lines for your favorite Broncos players:
Von Miller: 3.5 sacks
Peyton Manning: 293 yard passing, 3 TDs
Demaryius Thomas: 88 yards recieving (see what I did there?) and a TD
Eric Decker: 3 catches, 64 yards and a TD
Joel Dreessen: 2 catches and a TD
Knowshon Moreno: 42 yards rushing, 1 TD and a fumble
Ronnie Hillman: 68 yards rushing, 5 catches, 45 yards recieving.
Enjoy the game!
The usual suspects, Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen of ESPN are reporting that Willis McGahee has a torn MCL and will miss 6-8 weeks. In other words, we probably won't see him again this season.
"What you talkin' about Willis?" becomes "What you talkin' about, Ronnie, Lance and Knowshon". And soon possibly "What you talkin' about Steve".
Steve Slaton, the one-time Houston Texan, who also had a cup of coffee with the Dolphins this pre-season, is rumored to be working out for the Broncos today. They will bring in other running backs for a look-see as well.
Losing McGahee is bad. bad news for the Broncos. But it would be worse if the running game were more critical to their success. Running the ball has only seemed to slow them down. Denver's won five games in a row behind Peyton Manning's arm. Still, the threat of a running game must exist, otherwise Manning's likely to wind up on his butt more often than any Broncos fan wants to see. Other guys are going to have to step up.
A week ago I was defending McGahee for his fumbling. This week I am wishing him a swift recovery and hoping that we didn't just lose a key cog in the wheel.
One of two things will happen today at Mile High. Either the Chargers will kiss their season goodnight or they will ressurect it. Which of these potential outcomes is this sports blogger expecting?
The answer is, as they say, "after the jump".
Despite the Broncos success this season, plenty of critics still hammer Elway and Co for their handling of the 2012 draft. One critic, in particular, opened up a can of it on them in a piece published today at Mile High Sports' web site.
He made some valid points, but there's every chance he was dead wrong.
For those about to Brock, this post's for you.
Your Denver Broncos have rattled off four wins in a row, having defeated the Chargers, the Saints, the Bengals and the Panthers. Boom, boom, boom, boom boom. Now, at 6-3 they stand high atop the AFC West and trail only the Ravens and the Texans in the Conference. Their goal now is to displace one of those two teams to seize a Playoff Bye and home field advantage.
But first they need to ice the division. And that starts with jamming a length of rebar into the eyesockets of the San Diego Chargers, the walkiing dead. The Broncos can puncture San Diego's brain stem and halt it's directionless wandering on Sunday when the 'Bolts stumble drooling into Mile High.
Although they're barely human, the only humane thing to do is put the Chargers down once and for all. To keep them breathing is unfair. And, if they were to come into Denver and somehow bite the Broncos, their purposeless 2012 march would continue. The zombie Norv Turner would cling to hope and Philip Rivers' limbless torso would keep squirming. However, if the Broncos put them out of their misery by driving a fire axe 3 inched deep into their skulls, the Chargers will fall to 4-6, buried six feet deep in a hole, staring up at the Broncos at 7-3. Their futile qwest will be over.
One week later the Broncos travel to Kansas City to barbeque the Chiefs. At one an seven, the Chiefs can hardly be considered walkers, but their lifeless, grunting corpses are still pressing against the chain link awaiting a visit from the Bengals, who are likely to remove their limbs and jaws this coming Sunday. By the time the Broncos get there they won't need a crossbow to eliminate the Chiefs. If they're smart, though, they'll leave Romeo Crennell standing.
"How f**cking DARE anyone make fun of Willis McGahee after all he's been through?"
Seriously, Broncos Country, the Willis McGahee hate has gone too far. Yes, he has had some problems hanging onto the ball lately. Willis had fumbled five times this season, and four of those have would up in the hands of the opposing team. Still, McGahee has been a warrior and, despite his obvious struggles, gives the Broncos the "best chance to win".
McGahee provides the perfect yin to Peyton Manning's yang in a Broncos offense that uses the run to set up the pass. He's a solid blocker who helps provide Manning the time he needs to scan the field. He's on pace to rush for over 1,200 yards on the season and rack up over 400 yards receiving - not Pro Bowl numbers, but plenty of production that he should not be viewed as a liability.
Still, the Twitter reaction, and the venom coming from callers to sports talk radio shows has been shocking! How quickly a player can go from hero to zero in people's minds. We're all guilty of being too quick to react from time to time. But, when it comes to Willis McGahee, the hate is absurd.
He's one of the best running backs we have had around here since the Terrell Davis glory days. A few dropped footballs doesn't change that. The Broncos signed Willis to a four-year deal prior to last season, so he's not going anywhere anytime soon. He's a fixture. Yes, McGahee will begin to surrender more carries to the rookie, Ronnie Hillman, but he will also be a key to Hillman's development moving forward.
So leave Willis McGahee alone! We've all had bad days at work. We've all made mistakes. Willis is a savvy veteran and he will get the fumbling under control.
Welcome to our newest recurring shtick here at the 'Stands. It's "Crap My Kid Photoshopped For Me".
I always wanted to learn to make silly images with Photoshop but I am far too stupid and lazy. So I make my son, who's eleven, Photoshop Denver Sports Crap for me so that I can post it. It's easier than writing.
Tonight I asked him to show everybody what Cam Newton looked like tonight. Clark Kent.
(photo CBS Sports)
Von Miller is coming into his own as one of the top linebackers in the NFL. His frequent visits with quarterbacks are becoming the talk of the NFL. And, when Miller sacks a QB he's not ashamed to gloat. Even when the Broncos were getting their asses handed to them by the Falcons, Von gyrated after sacking Matt Ryan.
If he gets to Cam Newton on Sunday, Von plans to mock the second-year QB by busting out his famous "Superman" celebration. He told Lindsay Jones of USA Today Sports "I hope I get a chance to do it".
That's funny and all, but we would rather not see Miller so motivated by his desire to mock other players. Sack dances are fun and all, but Miller is a professional - and a very promising one. Fans enjoy his showmanship, but his coaches probably don't care as much about his sack dance preparations as they do his game preparations.
The Broncos defeated the Bengals on the road Sunday. We haven't heard much about them since.
There was an election.
Marijuana's legal now.
The Nuggets season is underway (they beat Houston in Houston!)
The Rockies named Walt Weiss their next manager.
There's been a lot going on. A lot to keep the Denver Sports media spinning. Still, it's a little bit surprising how little breaking down of the Broncos upcoming match-up with the Carolina Panthers, John Fox's former team, there's been. There hasn't been very much post-Bengals coverage, either. Considering how well things are coming together for the Broncos, they've garnered precious little attention this week.
That worm is beginning to turn. With Sunday's game inching closer and NFL week ten getting started tonight with Colts / Jags, the relative silence surrounding the Broncos is bound to dissipate. The focus will start to turn towards John Fox's homecoming.
Carolina may batch up better with the Broncos than we think. Denver hasn't been overly impressive against the run this season. Carolina has an incredible backfield. While they've failed to properly utilize Jonathon Stewart and Deangelo Williams this season, it's not too late for the Panthers to start. Besides those two premium runners, QB Cam Newton is capable some impressive scampering.
The Panthers may have a trap waiting for the Broncos.
Hopefully, the Broncos have been more tuned in than we have this week. What seems like a cake-walk on paper might not be. John Fox might want to show the folks back home that he's a better coach than his 2-12 record his last year in Carolina would indicate, but Panthers head man, Ron Rivera has a thing or two to prove also. Cam Newton, who's drawn more than his fair share of criticism recently, also wants to show people that he's the right man for the job.
The Carolina Panthers have plenty of motivation entering week ten. But the Broncos have Peyton Manning. Hopefully that'll be enough.
With the passing of Amendment 64 to the Colorado Constitution, the Sports world is wondering when athletes will take advantage of legalized marijuana. The reality is that, for athletes, nothing is going to change, and that's too bad.
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I never really liked sports until I had a religious conversion when the Broncos lost to the 49ers in that one Super Bowl. Now I'm obsessed with all aspects of the Denver pro sports world. Oh yeah, I hate college football. It's crap. Talk to me on twitter @johnreidydenver