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Old 12-10-2014, 09:21 AM   #1
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From Grantland, an article by Bill Barnwell (not Simmons) about seeding the NFL playoffs like the NCAA FB playoffs.

His take on the Broncos:

2. Denver Broncos (10-3)
Point Differential: plus-92
Pythagorean Wins: 8.5
Strength of Schedule: .538 (third-toughest)
Key Wins: Indianapolis (31-24), Kansas City (24-17), Arizona (41-20), San Diego (35-21), Kansas City (29-16)
Losses: Seattle (26-20), New England (43-21), St. Louis (22-7)

You really have to take a step backward to see just how difficult Denverís schedule has been. Ten of its 13 games have come against teams with winning records, and thatís considering that the Broncos have dealt most of those teams a loss. The other three teams are the Rams, who have looked like literal rams on a football field over the past month, and the Raiders and Jets, who have looked like litó no, that doesnít work.

It would be accurate to say the Broncos slipped a bit from their 6-1 start. Nobody is going to be crying into their team-licensed apparel for a 4-2 stretch, but the Broncos offense has run into a problem: turnovers. After turning the ball over just four times in the first seven games, Peyton Manning & Co. have 11 giveaways in their last six. They had a stretch like this last year, when they gave the ball away 20 times in eight games between Week 5 and Week 13, but that was a team operating on a different orbit, averaging 35.6 points per game over that stretch. This Broncos offense averaged 32 points per game during the turnover-light stretch, but itís down to 26.8 points per contest during these last seven.

Iím not saying the Broncos offense is broken, because itís not. It just in a period when it hasnít been at its best. The offense also managed to shore up its biggest weakness by shifting around its line. The experiment in moving Pro Bowl guard Louis Vasquez to right tackle hasnít been a flawless victory, but the line has improved enough to the point where itíll hold. The work the unit did in the recent win over the Chiefs, particularly with center Will Montgomery and right guard Manny Ramirez putting in a shift against Pro Bowl nose tackle Dontari Poe, is the prototype for the Broncos going forward.


http://grantland.com/the-triangle/se...fs-ncaa-style/

Reference to the bolded text: We haven't really talked about the Broncos schedule since early in the season. Anyone with football acumen thought that the Broncos had a chance to be a better team with a worse record this year because of their tough schedule. That schedule was rated as 2nd toughest at the start of the season and is currently rated as third hardest. The Raiders have the hardest schedule and the Seahags have the second hardest. The article says the Patsies have the 4th hardest but that is inaccurate. They are sporting the 7th hardest schedule in the league.

My point? For all the hand-wringing and b****ing that goes on in here, the Broncos have played a much harder schedule this year than last.

They put up "Star Wars" numbers last year on a schedule that ended up being the easiest in the league. They were 11-2 going into their 14th game last year (a loss at home to SD). With that tougher schedule, they are 10-3 heading into their 14th game against...SD!

So they go from easiest schedule in the league to the 3rd hardest and yet they are 1 win behind last year's pace. Their losses were at Seattle and NE (places any honest fan would say they would probably expect the Broncos to lose) and on the road against a hot Rams team that is 4-2 over their last 6 games.

Of course things aren't as pretty as last year. And yes, I DO think there are some questions surrounding Manning that are starting to emerge. But people, this is still a pretty damn good team that is slugging it's way through a hell of a schedule and is tied for the best record in the league.

I think this team is in a MUCH better position (home field advantage notwithstanding) heading down the stretch than the were last year and I don't think they are getting any credit for that because people are more interested in Fantasy Football than real football. In the SB last year, REAL football prison raped Fantasy Football.

The playoff's are going to be a helluva ride.
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Old 12-10-2014, 09:36 AM   #2
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Last years schedule wasn't the easiest in the league, it was one of the hardest.

Pre-season SOS doesn't matter.
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Old 12-10-2014, 09:43 AM   #3
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I’m not saying the Broncos offense is broken, because it’s not. It just in a period when it hasn’t been at its best.

And that's all that's being said on some of the threads around here. And yet, when somebody even mentions it, half the Mane goes into hysterics.
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Old 12-10-2014, 09:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pricejj View Post
Last years schedule wasn't the easiest in the league, it was one of the hardest.

Pre-season SOS doesn't matter.
It went from a projected 32 to 26th easiest after the year ended. 26th Is hardly one of the hardest.
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Old 12-10-2014, 09:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pricejj View Post
Last years schedule wasn't the easiest in the league, it was one of the hardest.

Pre-season SOS doesn't matter.
Really? Not saying this is definitive, but I thought we had a pretty easy schedule...

http://www.canalstreetchronicles.com...ahawks-broncos
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Old 12-10-2014, 09:57 AM   #6
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I hate the whole easy/hard schedule thing.

It's all "on paper" and eventually, hindsight.
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:01 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Rohirrim View Post
Iím not saying the Broncos offense is broken, because itís not. It just in a period when it hasnít been at its best.

And that's all that's being said on some of the threads around here. And yet, when somebody even mentions it, half the Mane goes into hysterics.
Why do you think this? I recognize the slump, I'm just not worried about it.
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:09 AM   #8
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Ah my bad. I remember looking sometime in the middle of the season last year, at that point it was one of the toughest. Obviously, it finished up easy.
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outdoor_miner View Post
Really? Not saying this is definitive, but I thought we had a pretty easy schedule...

http://www.canalstreetchronicles.com...ahawks-broncos
This was one of the sources I used to look at the numbers. It's easy to find and it was something detractors were using against the Broncos last year. They had the league's easiest "projected" schedule and ended up with one of the league's easiest "actual" schedules.

And I agree with you that pre-season SOS is worthless. The numbers I am talking about are current. They had the projected 2nd hardest schedule. Adjusted to current it is the THIRD hardest. So the Broncos have worked pretty damn hard to be where they are this year. Take in to account that everyone is gunning for them after all the hype last year and they are a battle tested team.

IF they can stay healthy, they should be in a great position for a deep playoff run. The playoff's can't be any harder than their regular season schedule!

Last edited by TerrElway; 12-10-2014 at 10:19 AM..
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonOfLe-loLang View Post
Why do you think this? I recognize the slump, I'm just not worried about it.
http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/48
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabb View Post
I hate the whole easy/hard schedule thing.

It's all "on paper" and eventually, hindsight.
Some odd variables too. Like houston started with an easy schedule, finished with the 2nd hardest. Was that because they contributed 14 wins for their opponents? Tampa finished with the hardest. 12 wins handed to their opponents. Oakland too.
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabb View Post
I hate the whole easy/hard schedule thing.

It's all "on paper" and eventually, hindsight.
And hell, its the NFL and even the **** teams can pull out Ws on decent/good teams. Look at the Raiders and Chiefs. Look at the Raiders and 49ers. Hardly any games are easy.
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drunken.Broncoholic2 View Post
Some odd variables too. Like houston started with an easy schedule, finished with the 2nd hardest. Was that because they contributed 14 wins for their opponents? Tampa finished with the hardest. 12 wins handed to their opponents. Oakland too.
Exactly.
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:32 AM   #14
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I'm not gonna take the result of ONE GAME and ignore mountains of other evidence that suggests he's capable.
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:32 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Irish Stout View Post
And hell, its the NFL and even the **** teams can pull out Ws on decent/good teams. Look at the Raiders and Chiefs. Look at the Raiders and 49ers. Hardly any games are easy.
Look at the entire NFC South. Carolina was 12-4, NO 11-5 last year and both made the playoffs.

They factored into someone's difficulty of schedule this year, and it will in hindsight, end up in contributing to an easy schedule for those that played that division.
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Old 12-10-2014, 07:09 PM   #16
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This has been a tougher more physical season. It's good for them though. It's making them tougher all around.

Seattle's probably going back to the SB for the NFC so we have to be able to beat them. And the way you do that is by running the ball and playing defense.

Because of the tougher schedule it's forced us to become a better overall team. Once the passing game and running game get in harmony we're going to roll. Going on the road won't be an issue.
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Old 12-10-2014, 07:32 PM   #17
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I think the most important aspect of strength of schedule is when you play a team during a given season, which is pretty unquantifiable. As a random team, would you have rather played the Patriots when they were 2-2 with a struggling Brady, a not-quite-back Gronk, and an unsettled running game, or would you have liked to face them the week after they creamed us and looked unbeatable? Same team, but one of those games is much harder than the other.

Last edited by extralife; 12-10-2014 at 07:38 PM..
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Old 12-10-2014, 07:37 PM   #18
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Denver has also been playing a lot of football with the early bye week
A 1st or 2nd seed will help considerably
Morphing mid season to find a way to be "Seahawks proof "'has
been fun to watch
Also playing in the cold in NE is also another reason to try to play defense and run the ball
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:50 PM   #19
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^This.
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Old 12-10-2014, 11:23 PM   #20
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Actually, I'm going to say we've played the hardest schedule. We've played 3 or 4 times with only having a normal week where other teams have had the longer week to prepare and rest up. You absolutely have to take that into account. And yes, we had the very early bye week to add in the mix.
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Old 12-11-2014, 12:13 AM   #21
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My point? For all the hand-wringing and b****ing that goes on in here, the Broncos have played a much harder schedule this year than last.

REP!




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Old 12-11-2014, 01:09 AM   #22
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In addition to the SOS this year, it seems that the Broncos have played much better defenses this year overall compared to last year. The entire NFC East last year had relatively weak defenses compared to most of the teams this year.

This is all for the better. These tough defenses are actually prepping the Broncos for what they are likely to see in the playoffs.
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Old 12-11-2014, 02:44 AM   #23
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If Pittsburgh had played the last 3 games like Denver has everyone would be saying they are playing smash mouth football and they would be creaming all over themselves about how well the Steelers were playing.

I love Denver's new offense, ****ing love it. DT and JT have been battling through injuries and Denver has adjusted and evolved into a smash and pound offense and started running the ball. Hopefully, the Thomasas will get healthy and we can move forward but I like the idea of running the ball 35 times a game. I hope Gase and Manning like that idea as well.
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Old 12-11-2014, 05:01 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drunken.Broncoholic2 View Post
Some odd variables too. Like houston started with an easy schedule, finished with the 2nd hardest. Was that because they contributed 14 wins for their opponents? Tampa finished with the hardest. 12 wins handed to their opponents. Oakland too.
by this logic though, Denver's schedule is even harder, since Denver is contributing losses to these opponents...and they STILL have winning records.
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Old 12-11-2014, 06:57 AM   #25
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If Pittsburgh had played the last 3 games like Denver has everyone would be saying they are playing smash mouth football and they would be creaming all over themselves about how well the Steelers were playing.

I love Denver's new offense, ****ing love it. DT and JT have been battling through injuries and Denver has adjusted and evolved into a smash and pound offense and started running the ball. Hopefully, the Thomasas will get healthy and we can move forward but I like the idea of running the ball 35 times a game. I hope Gase and Manning like that idea as well.
I really agree. I love it too.

there is no reason NOT to protect Manning. When the Running game fails to be effective (and a team may scheme to put the game on Manning's shoulders at some point), Manning should be able to make the needed plays.
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