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Horse Tracks - 11/25/08


Milehighreport_small_medium Don't think Denver's secondary hasn't noticed that the challenge Sunday against the AFC East-leading New York Jets will be something — and someone — completely different.

Milehighreport_small_mediumWe, the good people of Colorado, paid in excess of $250 million to erect a football palace and tear down the Broncos' home-field advantage.  Happy now?

Milehighreport_small_mediumWow, losing to the Raiders is bad, but getting blown out is awful. By my count, that's three blowouts this season, and two have been to K.C. and Oakland. When you get your doors blown off by bad teams, that's coaching -- plain and simple. When you're getting outcoached by the Raiders, that's just pathetic. I know they're still 6-5, but they're a bad 6-5. Has Mike Shanahan lost this team?

Milehighreport_small_mediumOn his first miss, Prater purposely played the wind that was blowing from right to left. But he struck his 47-yard field goal a little too firm, and his kick had so much velocity it didn't hook in until after it had passed the goalposts. He had a perfect draw on his next kick, a 44-yarder that tied the game 3-3.

Milehighreport_small_mediumJust so you know, that's not saying much. Here's how shaky the AFC West is: The Cardinals, Seahawks, 49ers and Rams were swept Sunday to drop to a combined record of 14-30. That dropped the NFC West into a tie with the AFC West as the worst in the NFL. . . .

Milehighreport_small_mediumThe play: Most people thought the play of the game was the muffed handoff between Jay Cutler and Peyton Hillis from the Raiders' 7-yard line on the opening series. That was big, but it was 10-10 with a little more than nine minutes remaining in the third quarter when a rare heave by Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell was caught by Ashley Lelie, the former Bronco who warded off cornerback Dre Bly.


Milehighreport_small_mediumVOTE FOR THE 4 GREATEST BRONCOS EVER!  Rocky sports cartoonist Drew Litton is looking for a few friendly faces for his mountain. Which four Denver Broncos greats should be immortalized on Mount Crushmore? Help us decide.

Milehighreport_small_mediumAnd on and on it goes. Those are just a few of the theories offered by the Broncos for their 31-10 loss Sunday to the Oakland Raiders. Outside the bubble of their Dove Valley complex, though, all those theories are ringing pretty hollow at the moment.

Milehighreport_small_mediumDenver's often turnover-prone, injury- riddled, rushing-challenged team on both sides of the ball is, at times, seemingly more comfortable on the road than at home. It's also frequently better against top-tier competition than current low-rent franchises.

Milehighreport_small_mediumMediocrity has never looked so good to the underachieving San Diego Chargers.  If they were in any other division, the Chargers would officially be flops. But since they play in the awful AFC West, the Chargers are still in the playoff chase despite losing four of their last five games.



Milehighreport_small_mediumCoach Mike Shanahan didn't seem too upset with his team's effort or overall play Monday, a day after a shocking 31-10 home loss to the Oakland Raiders. He noted some things that Denver did well and a few breakdowns that were reasons for the loss - a fumble inside Oakland's 10-yard line, some special-teams errors and being unable to stop the Raiders on third down in the second half.