Welcome to another edition of the Lynch Perspective. This one will be a less than positive version, which is to be expected after a 30-7 blowout loss. It's also a couple of days early since I have finals coming up next week and wanted to make sure I got my, uh, hobby out of the way.
Today, I will be recapping the Baltimore-Denver game, Homerism and the fickleness of the fanbase, the rest of Week 8 in the NFL and preview the upcoming Pittsburgh game.
To see how my opinion stands up to the test of time, check out my previous perspectives:
Let's get on with it...
Denver Broncos @ Baltimore Ravens Recap
First off, let me begin by saying that our defense is easily a Top 5 defense and will keep us close in most tough games. Our guys did everything possible to hold on long enough for the offense to do something, unfortunately, our offense checked out Sunday - no one was home.
The defense held the score to 6-0 at halftime after the Baltimore defense dominated the entire half. Then our guys on defense still came out and held things together all the way until midway through the fourth quarter when the wheels finally came off. I place zero blame on the D for this loss, in fact, I am even more impressed by the quality and physical nature of our Doom & Gloom defense.
In fact, the score should have been 9-7 midway through the fourth quarter, but once again, our unSpecial Teams gave up another costly touchdown return and not only that, our newfound savior at the punting position consistently set the Ravens up with excellent field position.
I lost count of the 35 yard punts in this game, but it seemed like the Ravens offense was consistently starting right around their own 40 yard line. Though our defense held a majority of the time, it would be too much to ask any unit to hold any NFL offense to less than 25 yards of offense in each and every possession. I'd rather have one or two punt returns a year than never having a punt travel longer than 35 yards. Sorry, but field position is more than just unreturnable punts.
Which leads me to the lackluster play from our offensive unit. I learned something Sunday that I suspected, but never was able to prove until now. Our offense is finese. I would say soft, but that seems too harsh - though it may be more accurate than I want to admit right now.
I also have a sneaking suspicion that it will struggle against physical defenses like the Ravens, Steelers, and Giants. Before Sunday, I thought we matched up better against the Steelers than the Colts, but now I think we have a better shot at beating the Colts than the Steelers this year.
The reason for this is that the Colts offense doesn't match up well against physical defenses either and the Broncos defense is far superior in physicality than the Colts defense. While the Steeler offense matches up much better against physical defenses than does the Broncos offense. Losing to Pittsburgh won't be the end of the world, but it will be important not to allow the season slip away if a loss against the Steelers does occur.
Right now, it is wholly apparent that the easiest way to beat the Broncos offense is to rattle Orton. With pressure, Orton regresses to the quarterback that most Bear fans thought him to be. It is imperative that the Broncos coaches figure out how to firm up the interior part of our offensive line - Ben Hamilton was just awful Sunday.
I noticed on MHR Sunday that fans were quickly dividing into two groups. Those that live and die with each play and express their opinions in that way - which includes myself - and those that look at the big picture and do not get too worked up over one bad game - most of the MHR staff fits into this category - and the divide over how to correctly act during a bad game.
I actually found this divide amusing because most of us have been watching football long enough to know that the game was slipping away rapidly during the long interlude between Baltimore's third quarter field goal to make the score 16-7 and Baltimore's touchdown midway through the fourth quarter that made the score 23-7. I even said as much in the threads that the game was lost. Sure it was the third quarter, but I could tell that our guys were spent and the Ravens were unrelenting.
Then I followed up with, "Without a game changing play, this game is over." and I was right. The intensity was sapped completely from our offensive players and you could see it in their eyes. Our defense was still fighting hard, but by the fourth quarter that sapped energy spread to our defense. You can only do so much when half the team no longer thinks they can win. Half the game is mental. We all saw that, but we all reacted in different ways to it.
So I hope that just because some of us get so emotionally wrapped up in the game that we overreact to each play doesn't make us "less of a fan" than someone who keeps a level head about things. I am not an emotional guy in the least, but come Sunday it all comes out at once. I can't help it and neither can half the people in the threads!
My suggestion, ignore those people(myself included) and chit chat with people who share your worldview on fandom. I know I ignore all "common sense" or "level-headed" responses in the threads on game day. Pick and choose who to respond to. ;)
Week 8 in the NFL
The only early game I had on tv, besides the Bronco-Raven feed online, was the Colts-49ers game. If there was a ever a game that Peyton Manning deserved to lose, it was that one. The 49ers defense playing hard and won the battle at the line, but way too many field goals and a gimmick play won the day for the Colts. I think the Colts are likely the third or fourth best team in the AFC despite their record and they will finally get tested in the second half of the season.
Surprisingly, the Colts will face competition from the Houston Texans this year for the division title. I don't believe they have faced each other yet and the Texans are starting to get hot. As a Gary Kubiak fan, I will be pulling for him to finally turn that program around and challenge the Colts. The Texans have always played the Colts tough too.
Oh and I hate Brett Favre and God is certainly no Packer fan. I've decided to root against the Vikings for the rest of the year, but only when they are not playing the Bears. Oh, and speaking of the Bears; they are 4-3 - about to be 4-4, following the path of the 2008 Broncos!
I had an up and down week in the MHR pick'em league and was mostly disappointed by my so-called "upset picks". Which brings me to the point of this section today - Three teams that I hate.
I hate the Arizona Cardinals - Please figure out who the F you are. I hate the Buffalo Bills - You suck! I hate the Packers - You let Favre come into your house and embarrass you, YOU ARE FIRED and stink like rotten cheese!
Let's close out this section with the Rams-Lions recap. Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Can the NFL promote Boise State and Oregon and demote the Rams and Lions please? hahahahahaha! I'm such a jerk!
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Denver Broncos Preview
As I talked about last week, I was slightly concerned about the "big play" - or really any play over 10 yards. This week, our defense held mightily until the fourth quarter where a majority of the nine 10+ yard plays and three 20+ yard plays occurred. I am no longer concered. This defense will hold the big play in check most of the time.
However, there is a trend that is a cause for concern now. The trend goes like this: 7, 6, 3, 10, 17, 23, 30. That is about the worst trend you could want. Our defense is playing well, but also starting to surrender a lot of points. It didn't help that the Ravens had a short field on nearly every drive thanks in large part to the huge leg of our new punter(he who must not be named). This trend must be stopped immediately or even our hopes of the AFC West could come into doubt within the next few weeks.
If giving up one touchdown more in each of the last five weeks isn't too much of a concern for you, how about the way our offense was completely dominated by the Ravens. That doesn't bode well heading into a matchup with the equally physical defense of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
I feel like our defense, once again, matches up well against the Steelers offense, but since I feel like our Broncos offense lacks a power run game and appears to be soft against more physical teams, it doesn't appear to match up well against the superior Steeler defense.
The game should be much closer than yesterday though, since the Broncos will be at home and on Monday Night Football, not to mention the hell week they will no doubt endure this week from McDaniels, but until the Broncos offense can prove to me it can move the ball against a Top 5 defense, I'm going to have to say our team may lose next week. I'll go with a 13-10 loss for now.
Before I am crucified, let me say that the season is not lost even with a loss next week. I still think we match up very well against the Colts and 11-12 wins should be expected. Really though, all of my future opinions hinge on the outcome of next weeks game. Either my suspicions about the softness of our offense will be confirmed or it will be proven that you can't take anything from just one game.
I'm here to give me gut feeling and instinct based on my years of watching the game. Right or wrong, I gave my opinion.
UPDATE: I should have pointed out that 6-1 still sounds real gooooood.