The much anticipated Matt Patricia era mostly officially begins tonight! The Lions have made their way out to Oakland to take on the Raiders in their first preseason matchup under new head coach Patricia. We all know that these are mostly scrimmages, but here are some things that I’ll be watching out for tonight.
Kerryon JohnsonJohnson was the 2nd round pick of the Lions in this past draft. He’s a running back out of Auburn, and man, have the reports been good on him coming out of camp. Anyone who’s watched a Lions broadcast in the past year or two knows that the Lions haven’t had a 100 yard rusher in a trillion years.
Could Kerryon be the one to break that? As of now, it looks pretty good. He’s been hardworking, playing different roles, such as pass catching, and pass protection. He’s also gotten tips from former Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount. Hoping we get to see some of that tonight.
Free agency is pretty much on the quiet front with some players still trickling on to teams, such as quarterback Blaine Gabbert to the Tennessee Titans, and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to the Los Angeles Rams. But now it’s all about the draft and filling the holes that will make or break a team. So here is my attempt at Round 1 of the NFL Draft.
All wins are not equal. Sure, a win is a win and it’s a step closer to the ultimate goal. However, howyou win does say a lot about a team. Monday night’s game against the Oakland Raiders was one of the most embarrassing wins I’ve witnessed in my fourteen years as an Eagles fan. Have there been some prior to 2003? Of course, but I didn’t see them so it doesn’t count. We’re talking about my feelings here.
It was long odds for Denver to pull off a win: on the road, rainy, new Offensive Coordinator, a quarterback in his third start and first in 11 months. Sadly, it may have been his last.
We’d been told that the new OC would tailor a game plan for the new guy. That would equate to being in the shotgun, lots of passes and some run pass option since the dude can run, drop backs limited to three steps.
What we saw instead was… I don’t know what. The exact opposite, only worse. Ten passes were called even though he needs, needed, every chance he could get. With only three days of practice throwing to the ones since August, you’d think getting the timing down would be a priority. It wasn’t. Plus, there was a right tackle in his second start at that position, against Khalil Mack. There was no run, didn’t even crack 60 yards total.
The series of events that took place before the half pretty sums up the NFL life of Lynch. Missed opportunities, poor timing and bad luck. Despite a high ankle sprain, he threw a deep pass that few can do. It was over the shoulder, had perfect touch and into the bucket of our running back Devontae Booker for a TD.
On review, with only one angle to see and it was fuzzy, the TD is overruled. They decide he’s a 1/2 yard shy. On two plays, our backs couldn’t get anything. Lynch rolls to his left and throws a laser across his body right into TE Virgil Green. The ball bounces off, hits a Raider, bounces off him and drops into another raider as he’s falling down. It was a classic, are you kidding me, Blake unfortunate Bortles, interception. Had Green caught it, TD or had it dropped, we’d have kicked a FG. Continue reading “Review Denver Broncos vs Oakland Raiders – The 2nd Half”→
Today the NFL announced that Oakland Raider Wide Receiver Michael Crabtree and Denver Bronco Cornerback Aqib Talib would be suspended for two games without pay as a result of the fight that took place on Sunday.
Michael Crabtree and Aqib Talib are being suspended two games each for unsportsmanlike conduct and unnecessary roughness.
The 3-7 Denver Broncos travel to Oakland to take on the 4-6 Raiders. Every time I type 3, it hurts.
Oakland’s defense has been bad. We’ll now see if it was lack of talent or lack of coaching. To me, it’s 3/4 talent. I’m going to assume they have been thinking of this switch, but seeing us change quarterbacks and offensive coordinator was their perfect time. Not a lot you can do with three days of practice with a new defensive coordinator, but when your opponent is facing the same thing on offense, what better time?
Head coach Vance Joseph has made it clear he has no belief in quarterback Paxton Lynch, Denver’s first first-round pick who had two starts last season. He’s told the media more than once that the game plan will be simple and for Lynch to run, not stay in the pocket (as if quarterbacks Trevor Siemian and Brock Osweiler were good in it) and basically act like a running back. Joseph is equating Lynch to former quarterback Tim Tebow. I wish he was just pulling a Bill Belichick, but this guy keeps little to his chest.
Based on this, Oakland could underestimate him. The combo of Raiders assistant coach John Pagano not having game film, not knowing if Lynch is as dumb as Joseph portrays him or if new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave will have him use his cannon arm more than his fast legs, could help Denver.
What the combo of Musgrave and Lynch have going for them is using the RPO because of his legs and arm. The question will be timing. Three days of practice with the ones, former quarterback Peyton Manning would laugh at. Lynch throws the ball quite a bit faster than Siemian and a little more than Osweiler. Four MPH faster rounds off to two yards per second. Plus, Lynch hasn’t thrown to the ones since August and hasn’t had a day of not splitting reps since last December…when he had three days.
On offense, the key for Oakland is to have quarterback Derek Carr pass to receivers who can catch, wear down Denver’s defensive backs and linebackers. Especially if Carr is throwing to tight end Jared Cook. For their defense, show Lynch looks he’s not seen before and hope he throws some interceptions. Our last win was week 4, the only time our quarterbacks didn’t throw a pick; against Oakland.
On offense, the key for Denver is giving Lynch freedom to make plays any way he wants. Use him 180° from Siemian. I hope Billy puts Vance’s remarks and advice in the trash. Musgrave needs to be his cheerleader. Paxton Lynch has taken the biggest beating I’ve ever seen from any fanbase/media group ever, so having just one guy in his corner will be crucial to his confidence.
The defense needs to sack Carr, early and often. Send defensive end Derek Wolfe up the middle. Since Carr injured his back the last time these two teams played, I’m betting he’s got some bats circling the belfry when the defense takes the field. He’ll want to dump the ball quicker than he should and that’ll set up the chance for our defense to get some picks. Jam their receivers at the line. Just that one step, combined with throwing the ball early, should work.
The weather forecast for Oakland has projected rain, giving Denver the edge. Not that Denver gets a whole lot of practice in wet weather, but rain usually means more run. I’ll take our run defense over theirs. When it comes to catching wet footballs, I’d say both teams are equal.
When head coach Sean McDermott finally hangs up his whistle at the end of his football career, he should take a job in marketing. McDermott has a slogan for every situation. He has them printed on signs hanging around the locker room. They are sprinkled throughout his speeches to the players and the media. For home games, McDermott came up with the catchphrase, “Defend Our Dirt,“ and went so far as to give each player a little glass jar containing some of the rubber fibers from the playing field at New Era stadium mixed with sand from training camp.
As corny as that may be, the message was received. The Bills are a perfect 4-0 at home following Sunday’s 31-14 win over the Raiders. This is the first time they have been perfect at home since 1995.