It was around this time last year when it began to become abundantly clear that Peyton Manning had played his last game as a Colt, and therefore we’d spend a significant chunk of the offseason speculating about his next NFL destination. You know the rest of the story: eventually he’d land in Denver after John Elway recruited a fellow Hall of Fame quarterback, giving him a five-year contract worth $96 million, $18 million of which is guaranteed. When a free agent quarterback is given that kind of greenery, he should be trusted with the ball in his hands, and a chance to win a playoff game in the final seconds.
But he wasn’t, and until this afternoon we all had a question: why?
This is the moment Peyton Manning lost the game. Wait, what?
Admit it, you want to blame Peyton Manning. You want to assign him all of the blame for a playoff overtime loss, and watch him wallow in his #Manningface depression. You don’t think he’s worthy of MVP consideration anymore either, because who the hell under throws a pass that badly during OT? (no, narratives don’t care that the MVP is a regular-season award).
As I write this I’m sitting in balmy Toronto, a city where the temperature has reached a record high for this particular day in history. It’s now climbed to 14 degrees in Canadian weather language. For our American friends, that’s about 57 Fahrenheit, and as I look outside I can see well-constructed igloos melting. Truly a tragic day.
But it’s a much different story deep in the Colorado mountains, where a playoff game is starting in about an hour.
The Denver Broncos open their post-season with a contest against the Baltimore Ravens at home. There’s a lot of pressure on Peyton Manning on the Broncos. Not only are they favorites to reach the Super Bowl, the Broncos are also tasked with ensuring we never see Ray Lewis dance again. Don’t let us down. For the love of humanity don’t let us down.
Outside of Running Backs and Special Teams, the Ravens are outmatched. Peyton Manning is not a rookie QB making his first post-season start. Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta dominated a terrible Colts secondary last week. The Broncos secondary is a different story — they rank third in the league, allowing just 199.6 yards per game through the air. In their meeting on December 16th the Broncos trounced Baltimore 34-17. This isn’t going to end well. Read the rest of this entry »
Throughout the season our Madden Nostradamus has given us many bits of wisdom, all of which come from the video game machine’s inner oracle powers. No doubt you’ve used every one of them for your Thursday night fantasy decisions, including starting Kevin Ogletree in Week 1. If we can’t trust a video game, I’m not sure that I can live in this world anymore.
But this week’s sim led us to a strong conclusion. Namely, START DARREN MCFADDEN TONIGHT.
We (and by that I mean Scott Johnson, our Madden maestro) usually do this sim on Wednesday mornings, because despite all appearances to the contrary, there’s some degree of preparation required to produce most of the content which appears on this Internet writing space. So we sometimes have to make a very educated guess about injury statuses, and the expected workload of players who may be playing in a limited capacity.
It’s Week 14, and that process hasn’t taken a big bite our of our collective asses yet. That ends now.
We knew Darren McFadden would most likely, almost definitely play this week, but prior to doing this sim exactly how much work he would receive remained uncertain. So we went conservative, and kept Marcel Reece slotted in. And whatever, because McFadden will bust a body part on his second carry tonight anyway.
What Madden then told us through Reece is that you need to start Raiders running back X in all fantasy lineups.
Use your imagination while watching the virtual reality below (*head asplodes*), and pretend Reece is McFadden It really doesn’t matter, because either way Madden’s message is clear. The Raiders running back who’s the starting running back is a running back that you need on your roster tonight.
Yeah, that just happened. The Raiders beat the Broncos 20-3. Madden cares little for your facts and history, and the Broncos’ real-life spanking of the Raiders earlier this year in Week 4, winning 37-6.
Raiders are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 against AFC West opponents.
Raiders are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Raiders are 22-45-1 ATS in their last 68 home games.
Over is 4-1 in Broncos last 5 road games.
Over is 35-16 in Broncos last 51 games overall.
Under is 5-1 in Raiders last 6 against AFC West opponents.
Over is 7-3 in Raiders last 10 home games.
Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Oakland.
Over is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings.
Broncos are 4-9 ATS in the last 13 meetings.
Road team is 7-2 ATS in their last 9 meetings.
After being treated to a quality NFC South Thursday Nighter between the Saints and Falcons last week, we’re back to the norm when the Broncos pay a visit to Oakland to “battle” the Raiders tonight. The NFL should really consider instituting a rule that prohibits AFC West matchups in primetime. They’re awful. But luckily for everyone reading this blog, we’re blessed with the ability to wager on games as terrible as this one.
It’s natural to fear what’s unfamiliar and different. I still haven’t outgrown my fear of haircuts, for example. This is likely directly linked to the sight of numerous smooth heads at every family outing, and the everlasting anguish over cutting what may never grow back.
Knowshon Moreno is change. He is all of the change, and every reason to be scared.
You haven’t been able to trust Moreno since…well, have you ever been able to trust Moreno? For a minute forget the fact that prior to his 111 total yards yesterday on 24 touches (20 carries and four receptions) Moreno had been inactive since Week 2, and take a little gander at his totals last year. Sure, Moreno’s 2011 season ended early with an ACL tear, giving Willis McGahee the opportunity to continue running with a job that he had already taken anyway. But even prior to that Week 10 injury he only had 127 rushing yards and 224 total yards over six games. In short, he was the epitome of the plodding, backup runner who gave McGahee a blow while never topping 70 yards of offense in a game.
In shorter, he was exactly who he’s always been: an underwhelming first-round pick who’s only rushed for over 100 yards twice in 39 game appearances, yet he’s still managed to fumble nine times. Truly remarkable.
So should you trust him now? (*Looks at schedule*) Yes.