October 16, 2007

The Curse of Tommy Maddox?

Ok, we covered the fun side of this yesterday. Now it's time for the not so fun. The "what ifs," the "yeah buts," and all the counter points you can stomach....er at least 5...That's right, it's the "5 Good Reasons Why The Broncos Could Beat The Steelers." Keep in mind, these probably aren't going to be mind boggling. Football is a relatively simple game with relatively simple rules governing a game's outcome. Farbeit from me to try and make it anything it's not, this post will follow suit.

Now, before I launch into my random drivel about this Sunday's game, I just want to reiterate that my true feelings are that the Steelers look pretty good in theory against these Broncos (see this post). Nevertheless, it's important to think about the other side of the coin. As the ol' saying goes - "know thy enemy" or maybe "keep your friends close but your enemies closer." Whatever, I'm not much for remembering idioms. So, anything I say below is merely an attempt to indulge the opposite argument, because you can't ignore what little these Broncos do have going for them.

So without further ado, here are the "5 Good Reasons Why The Broncos Could Beat The Steelers" this coming Sunday night:

  1. Travis "Greenthumb" Henry ~ The likelihood is that any kind of suspension coming his way is not going to arrive any time soon. So we're still going to have to reckon with the man who has amassed 498 yards on 102 carries, which is just about good enough to rank him right behind Fast William Everette Parker (yes that's his middle name) in rushing yards. And yet just 1 lonely TD. What this means to me, besides the obvious, is that provided he is not at all distracted by these charges of reefer-madness, he's due for a score or two. You don't get the ball 102 times in 6 games with 1 TD and expect that you won't get many more. 'Course the same could be said of Parker, who has carried it 121 times and yet only has 1 TD. But we're focusing on Travis Henry here, so I'm gonna stick with that. The other thing to note is - per my post yesterday, Jay Cutler hasn't exactly been Joe Montana this year. The passing attack has been pretty nonexistent for the Broncos. So we can only presume they'll focus on the run. Bottom line is Travis Henry=very dangerous. Oh yeah and there's also some guy out there named Selvin Young who has 136 yards on 18 carries (8.6 yard avg.)...

  2. The Bye Week ~ Here's another one that could cut either way. Both the Steelers and Broncos had byes last week. For the 4-1 Steelers, this could mean that they are now well rested, healthier, and ready to play hard like they have all year. But it could mean something else for the 2-3 Broncos. For the Broncos, this Bye week could've been a wake up call. A "hey, if we don't get our shit together, we ain't making the post season" realization. Plus, as our friends at Behind The Steel Curtain point out, the Broncos are 9-3 coming off bye weeks in the last 12 years. Further, they haven't lost one coming off a bye for at least the last 4 years (since an '02 loss to Oakland...an eventual Super Bowl participant that year FYI). Not that this guarantees anything...just something else to consider.

  3. Champ Bailey, Dre Bly, John Lynch ~ If there were ever a secondary I would not want to face with a QB coming off a 23 INT season in 2006, it'd probably be this one. I'll start with Champ Bailey. Widely recognized as the league's most effective shutdown corner, Bailey is a 6 TIME pro bowler, having been voted in every year since 2000 not withstanding 2001. This season, he has 33 tackles, the majority of which are solo tackles, along with 1 INT. And though ESPN.com has listed him as questionable, I wouldn't count on him missing this game. He grabbed 10 picks last year and I'm sure he's not about to do any less than that this season. But let's now turn to Dre Bly, a recent addition to the Rocky Mountain Way. Bly has been somewhat under the radar for a few years now in underachieving Detroit after his first few years in St. Louis. His stats aren't quite what Champ Bailey's are, but nonetheless, I wouldn't want him one on one. This year, Bly has registered 16 tackles and 1 INT. Respectable. Last but not least, the hard hitting John Lynch. Lest we forget, Lynch's defensive backs coach when he was in Tampa Bay was at one point none other than Mike Tomlin. So not only is he a bit daunting to begin with, he knows Tomlin...at least enough to be dangerous. Sure, he's 36. But that doesn't make me feel any better. He's a cerebral player (Stanford Alum) that will hunt you down and make you hurt. I'm sure you've seen him on Sportscenter once or twice...Oh yeah, 7 time pro bowler and former Super Bowl winner with the Buccaneers...

  4. Mike Shanahan ~ Wait, I know what you're thinking. I, like Domski, and probably many of you, don't really think Mike Shanahan is anything special. He won Super Bowls because he finally used what talent was already there, to his advantage. That said, the man is 75-24 in 99 home games as the Denver head coach. And not only is that a beastly record, but it also means that Sunday's game is lucky #100 for Mike. You think he wants a win??? Still think he's a bum though...

  5. Injuries ~ While the good news today was that it looks like Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, and Troy Polamalu will all be healthy enough to take the field Sunday, Nickelback Bryant McFadden and the "Big Snack," Casey Hampton, will both likely not be ready to go. Hampton has a chance, but I'm going to assume the worst for the sake of this post. Without Casey in the middle to tie up a couple of those stout Denver Offensive Linemen, the infamous Denver running game and focus of point 1, "Greenthumb" Henry, may have a pretty good chance against a previously nasty run defense. Plus, playing in McFadden's place will likely again be rookie William Gay. He looked good last week, but he's still a Rook. Still learning. And there's no guarantee he won't get picked on.

  6. Ample Moral Support From Hired Females ~ Yes I know I said only 5, but this is important. The Broncos have CHEERLEADERS! Come on, there's gotta be something to be said for that, right?
So there you have it. The not so quick and dirty, "5 Good Reasons Why The Broncos Could Beat The Steelers." Could you tell I didn't really believe what I was writing? What do you all think? Is this matchup favorable or unfavorable? Who do you have your eye on? Will Big Ben have a Big game? Feel free to leave a comment...have I mentioned I love getting comments?

PS - just for kicks, look at the comments on The Denver Post's "Eye on...The Steelers"...notice a man with the handle "Phinneas Windbag" who thinks Casey Hampton and Chris Hoke play center...Also, this guy incorrectly listed his own team's record in a previous comment...Those Broncos fans really know their shit I guess. 'Least he's participating in the conversation though...hint hint...bloggers love comments.


Tobinator said...

I like this matchup, particularly because we're facing what amouts to a rookie QB who, without Shanahan's wiley coaching prowess, would only have one win under his belt.

And, I think Hoke filling for "Big Snack" Casey Hampton on Pittsburgh's D gives opponents a whole different set of problems to deal with. Hoke is taller and able(and likely) to bat down more balls in-flight, slightly quicker off the snap than Hampton, and generally a grossly over-sized LB in a DT's body. He can and has dropped back in short coverage effectively. And, he is a seasoned veteran, not a rookie back-up. I like it a lot, really. Especially with Denver's C Nalen out.

William Gay should/could be a huge surprise for Steeler fans: smart, big, aggressive on pass AND run. Everything we need in a nickel D-back.

Steeler's O looks good so far, but here's to the WR's catching the ball and holding it AND the KR's doing the same. As long as that happens things will go fine.

I'd like to think Coach T will get our men out there early enough to get used to the air up there, and that Big Ben (I know you're reading this, buddy!!!!) makes some extra effort to work-out his arm and WR's in the thinner atmosphere before the game. That done, Steeler-O will be effective.

On a final offensive note: the o-line, or lack of D. Kreider, or inexperience of C. Davis is hurting Fast Willie. I hope that gets worked out. And I hoppe Najeh keeps running like a big, mean, fast bad-ass RB with an attitude.

Could go on, but don't have time!

Great work as always Cotter. Keep hacking it out!

PS- did you look up that "ado"/"adieu" thing? You oughtta....just saying. I'd like to know i'm right :-)

Go Stillers!!


Cotter said...

Do what now? Ado vs. Adieu? Well as far as I know, "ado" is to be used when speaking of commotion. You know, like "Much Ado About Nothing." While "adieu" is a salutation. Like "I bid you adieu." But umm, I'm no master grammarian. I just play one on the blogosphere.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure the writer of the Brokeback Gazette or whatever was referring to the fact that Hungry Hungry Hampton & Hoke would be lining up against their back-up center, as their starter went down in the last Broncos game.

Still- thank gawd we get better local coverage than that...

- Eddie Spaghetti

Tobinator said...

I'm not really clear on what the last comment was about "Brokeback Gazette" etc. but I'm assuming it came from out there around the Rockies where the actual movie "Brokeback..." was set. Hmmmm.

As to the adieu/ado issue: i dunno either. Just trying to sound smarter than I really am. Points for your grammatical defense though!

And, according to what I just read in the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE (ahem.): I was also wrong about altittude acclimatization procedures. Apparently the US Army told us all wrong back in the 90's about getting acclimatized ahead of time at altittude. Not true,at least according to a certain "Jack Daniels" of "Northern Arizona U., Flagstaff". Huh. Uh-huh. Brokeback indeed.

Rawk on Cotter. Go Stillers. Tobinator rules.

BTW- If anybody cares enough about this reply to request any clarification I'll get back to you after coffee and breakfast.