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Posts Tagged ‘football’

Oh, those hated Raiders

Posted by Richard on November 24, 2008

I bet you didn't know this: there's a city ordinance in Denver that requires all uses of the proper noun "Raiders," spoken or print, to be preceded by the adjective "hated."

So today the Broncos played host to the hated Raiders. And the outcome sucked. 

That's the trouble with having to rely on lots of young players. Sometimes they provide the energy and enthusiasm that really makes a difference, like the previous two weeks. But sometimes they bring inexperience and errors. 

But, really, most of the blame for today's humiliating defeat belongs to Jay Cutler. When he's on his game, he's every bit as great a QB as he thinks he is. But when he's off, he really stinks up the place.

Oh, well — the Chargers lost, too, so nothing much changed in the division. 

And later tonight, 24: Redemption was good enough to make me forget the game. You've got to love a show where the first villain you see is a cowardly, duplicitous U.N. "peacekeeper" who keeps braying "We remain neutral!" and then sells out a bunch of kids. Now that's realism.

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Broncos – Falcons

Posted by Richard on November 17, 2008

Surprising: Denver defeated a strong Atlanta team on the road.

Amazing: The injury-plagued Broncos did it starting 8 rookies, several at skill positions.

Incredible: They did it with 4th-, 5th-, and 6th-string running backs. The latter, Tatum Bell, was selling cell phones at the Aurora Mall last week.

Unbelievable: One of the rookies, Spencer Larsen, played offense, defense, and special teams. He started at both fullback and middle linebacker. Teammates are calling him "Neon Deon," but I don't see the resemblance.

Things are looking up for the Broncos. A few more injuries and they may be unbeatable. 

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Posted by Richard on November 8, 2008

No. I don't want to talk about it.

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Broncos rose from the ashes

Posted by Richard on November 7, 2008

I admit I gave up on the Broncos after that pitiful first half and switched channels. Hey, CSI was on! But thanks to the DVR, I was able to watch the fourth-quarter comeback later.

That was a pretty gritty victory. Cutler looked impressive for the first time in a while. Brandon Marshall redeemed himself (and was prevented from doing something truly stupid and costly after his TD by teammate Brandon Stokley). And a bunch of unknown backups filling in for the growing list of injured players rose to the occasion.

I swear, I think the Broncos' only remaining running back is some guy they found jogging along the Cuyahoga River just before kickoff.

I've got to say, though, that Browns coach Romeo Crennel seems to have done the right thing by benching Derek Anderson. That Brady Quinn is a pretty impressive kid. Keep an eye on him. I'm just glad Winslow inexplicably let that fourth-down pass slip through his fingers.

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Fullmer sacked

Posted by Richard on November 3, 2008

For anyone who follows Tennessee football, this announcement is probably not a big surprise:

Phillip Fulmer confirmed in a 5 p.m. press conference today at Neyland Stadium that he will step down as the University of Tennessee’s head football coach. Fulmer is scheduled to receive a buyout of between $5.47 million and $6 million.

After several minutes detailing his history with Tennessee, beginning as a player in 1969, Fulmer said, “I accept the university’s decision that this will be my last as Tennessee’s head football coach.”

He will remain through season's end and may remain at UT in some capacity.

Tennessee fans are probably among the least tolerant of poor performance of any football fans in the country. They're accustomed to and have come to expect above-average performance year in and year out. For most of his tenure at Tennessee, Fullmer delivered. But not so much lately, and especially not this year, which may end up being the Vols' worst season ever.

Today's announcement marks the end of 16-plus seasons for Fulmer that brought 150 victories, two SEC championships, five division titles and a national championship in 1998.

Since then, however, the Vols have failed to win an SEC championship despite winning the SEC East in 2001, 2004 and 2007.

The Vols are 3-6 and 1-5 in the SEC this season, just the ninth time since 1896 that Tennessee has lost six games in a season. The Vols have only lost seven games in a season once, in 1977.

For a time this afternoon (until news that Obama's grandmother had died), "phil fullmer" was the number one search term on Google.

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Broncos taking night off

Posted by Richard on October 21, 2008

I really wanted to watch the Broncos play football tonight. But apparently, they've decided not to do that.

I don't know what you call what they're doing in Foxborough tonight, but it doesn't look much like professional football.

I'm not really interested in seeing if Denver can set a team record for most turnovers in a game. Think I'll turn in early.

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Thoughtful analysis of Broncos-Chiefs game

Posted by Richard on September 28, 2008

Well, that sucked.

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Broncos get gutsy win

Posted by Richard on September 15, 2008

Going into today's game, I figured Denver had no better than a 50-50 chance of beating San Diego. I became more optimistic during the first half, but wasn't all that surprised by how badly the 3rd quarter went for them. When Cutler was intercepted in the end zone, I pretty much gave up on the game.

I had an errand to run and wanted to run it before post-game traffic got bad, so I heard the rest of the game on the radio. That reminded me of one of the drawbacks to watching HDTV: the several seconds by which an HD telecast is delayed means you can't watch the game on TV while listening to Dave Logan's play-by-play on the radio. Logan is so much better than the high-paid network TV guys.

If you're a Broncos fan, you probably watched, and you no doubt know all the amazing numbers and what an exciting game it was. Like me, you were probably expecting to see some overtime football when Denver scored with seconds to play. So I won't do a lengthy write-up, I'll just make two observations: 

  1. It's a good thing for the Broncos that Brandon Marshall appealed his suspension and got it reduced to one game.
  2. Mike Shanahan has stones the size of Volkswagens.  

UPDATE: Zombyboy has eight more observations than I do, and they're good.

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Are the Broncos back?

Posted by Richard on September 9, 2008

It's hard to say how much of tonight's Raider drubbing was due to improvement of the Broncos and how much was an indication of just what a sorry team Oakland has. But it was fun to watch the hated Raiders humiliated. If you want deeper, more thoughtful analysis, try Zombyboy's Ten Thoughts About the Broncos Opener. Me, I'm just going to have another beer and enjoy the afterglow.

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LSU 38, OSU 24

Posted by Richard on January 8, 2008

Congratulations to the LSU Tigers on a great victory. I'm happy that my wish came true, and the team that beat Tennessee for the SEC Championship went on to win the National Championship.

I'm also pleased that, for the fourth time since the BCS Championship was instituted in 1999, an SEC team has won (Tennessee, Florida, and LSU twice), lending further support to my contention that SEC football is the best in the nation.

Somebody call that insufferable Ohio State fan, Hugh Hewitt, and ask him what happened to that vaunted Buckeye defense. Hah! 😉

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Vols earn respect, but not title

Posted by Richard on December 2, 2007

Last week, after Tennessee beat Kentucky to get to the SEC Championship game, I expressed doubts about their chances against LSU:

I'm really sorry LSU lost. Having seen both teams play several times, I'm pessimistic about how Tennessee matches up against LSU, and I figured if they're going to lose the [SEC] championship, I'd just as soon have them lose against the team that went on to the national championship. Oh, well.

Well, the Vols came up short, 21-17, but made it a better game than I'd feared. The defense played well, keeping the Tigers' powerful offense under control and forcing a couple of turnovers. Tennessee led at the half, and retook the lead late in the 3rd quarter. But in the 4th quarter, Ainge threw two INTs, one of which LSU returned for the winning TD.

I was prescient regarding a couple of this week's other games, though: 

… But are you kidding me? Missouri and West Virginia vying for the national championship? Well, too soon to say. The way this season has been going, they'll probably lose to Oklahoma and Pittsburgh, respectively, next week. Then it will be a real mess.

Well, waddaya know … they did. And it is. So who's next in line for the national championship? Ohio State, I suppose — which is a shame just because of how obnoxious Hugh Hewitt's crowing about it will be. Then who? Georgia is next in line, but will the BCS really take a team that couldn't even get to its conference championship game and give it a shot at the national title?

It is indeed a mess. But I think LSU has as good a case as anybody, and they may get the nod over Georgia.

If so, I may still get my consolation wish — that the team beating Tennessee for the SEC title goes on to the national championship. Go, Tigers! 

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Broncos beat Bears, lose to Hester

Posted by Richard on November 26, 2007

I suspect there'll be a lot of special teams work this week at Dove Valley (the Broncos' practice facility). To go along with more work on defense.

Hey, Todd "we're not going to kick it away from him" Sauerbrun: didn't Devin Hester's punt return for a touchdown make you wonder about the wisdom of those words? I guess not, because you guys let him do it again on a kickoff. So Denver outscored the rest of the Bears 34-23, but Hester gave them another 14. Because you thought it would be "chicken-shit" to try to keep the ball out of his hands.

I'll tell you what, the next time you're facing an awesome, record-setting kick returner, I'll chip in a few bucks to help buy you a clue.

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Vols prevail

Posted by Richard on November 25, 2007

Back in the old days, "The Vols beat Kentucky!" would have been met with one of two responses, "Of course!" or "So what?" Not these days. This Wildcat team embarrassed Arkansas in Fayetteville and beat LSU at home in three overtimes. They had their ups and downs this season, but they're a good team, and they were ready for Tennessee.

The Vols were ready, too. Wow, what a battle! Tennessee, 52-50. In four (4) overtimes. So, the Vols will face LSU in the SEC Championship game next Saturday. With LSU losing to Arkansas in three overtimes, they may be two tired and banged-up teams.

I'm really sorry LSU lost. Having seen both teams play several times, I'm pessimistic about how Tennessee matches up against LSU, and I figured if they're going to lose the league championship, I'd just as soon have them lose against the team that went on to the national championship. Oh, well.

Elsewhere in the SEC, after watching another Florida game, I don't see how you can not award the Heisman Trophy to Tim Tebow. The sophomore sensation has almost 4000 yards passing and rushing, and has scored 51 TDs, more than any QB who's won the Heisman. And 22 of those are rushing TDs — a bunch of Heisman-winning running backs had fewer (like Reggie Bush, Herschel Walker, Bo Jackson, …). Tebow is a tremendous talent. And as young as the Gators are this year, they're likely to be just awesome next season.

But that's next year. For now, how 'bout them Vols!?! 

UPDATE: Nobody wants to be #1 this year. Missouri just wrecked the Jayhawks' perfect season. Good game. That's the first Mizzou game I've seen, and QB Chase Daniel was quite impressive. But are you kidding me? Missouri and West Virginia vying for the national championship? Well, too soon to say. The way this season has been going, they'll probably lose to Oklahoma and Pittsburgh, respectively, next week. Then it will be a real mess.

Remember back before this silly BCS system, when people complained that there was no objective, definitive way of determining who was #1? Is this system, with computers crunching numbers based on criteria that everyone disputes, really an improvement?

Anyway, I still believe that, top to bottom, the SEC plays the best college football in the country. That's their problem, really — they're so good from top to bottom that they knock each other out of the running nationally. 

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Sweet revenge

Posted by Richard on November 10, 2007

How 'bout them Vols?!?

Last year, Arkansas embarrassed Tennessee. This year, the Vols avenged that humiliating defeat by crushing the Razorbacks, 34-13, in a game not as close as the score would indicate: 

Tennessee (7-3, 4-2 SEC) held Arkansas' powerful rushing game largely at bay, controlling the clock and the line of scrimmage in a 34-13 victory Saturday at Neyland Stadium.

While the 'Hogs Darren McFadden ran for 117 yards on 22 carries, he did not reach the end zone and his longest carry only went for 20 yards — a far cry from his 321-yard performance last week against South Carolina.

Meanwhile, Arian Foster rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, and his 59-yard run in the third quarter put the Vols in command, 27-3. A strong rushing effort allowed Tennessee to have the football for more than 33 minutes, fulfilling a pregame goal by keeping the ball out of McFadden's dangerous hands.

The Vols now control their own destiny. If they can beat Vandy and Kentucky, they'll win the SEC East and face (gulp) the LSU Tigers (now #1 in the nation, after Ohio State's loss) for the SEC Championship.

The victory should quiet the critics calling for coach Phil Fulmer's head. On Friday, almost 200 former Tennessee players told the critics to shut up:

The former players took out a full-page advertisement in The Knoxville News Sentinel on Friday, printing a letter that said the cries for Fulmer to be fired were "laughable — if the potential consequences weren't so serious."

The letter was signed by 191 former Vols, including Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth.

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Bad news Broncs

Posted by Richard on November 4, 2007

The Denver Broncos headed into Detroit having lost 4 of the last 5, with a 3-4 record. They have the worst rush defense in the NFL, and their offense moves the ball, but can't seem to score. They've suffered a spate of season-ending injuries, and hotshot running back Travis Henry is facing suspension for a drug offense. How much worse could the news get?

Significantly worse, it seems. With John Lynch injured, the already weak defense is positively terrible. The offense was already shaky, and now Cutler is out with a leg contusion. Midway through the third, they're trailing 23-0. The Lions just held them on 4th and goal at the 4. While I was typing the preceding, the Lions scored again, covering 90+ yards in two plays. 30-0.

I'm going for a walk.

UPDATE: Final: 44-7. But it's a warm, sunny day, the park was beautiful, and I had a nice long walk.

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