I was wrong.
I was hardly alone, but I was wrong. The Denver Broncos are 5-0. I ranked them #2 in my pre-season Misery Index. Missed it by that much...
My reasoning was sound. The powers that be were idiots for running Cutler out of town. The players were largely the same as last year's losing bunch, aside from an obvious drop in class at quarterback. The owner had fired an experienced Super Bowl winning head coach and replaced him with some fresh-mouthed punk that looks like the assistant manager at Jiffy Lube. Yet another Belichick protégé, none of which have succeeded thus far. No way in hell that works. No way in hell.
Surprise! The Broncos are for real. We have tried to deny it. We have tried to hang the "yeah but" label on them because of their light schedule. But after a hard fought come from behind victory over the formerly mighty Patriots, we have no choice. It's time to buy in. These guys aren't the pony pucks we thought they would be.
Suddenly the team owner that I pitied just weeks ago as being a notch below Al Davis on the senility scale looks like a genius. The head coach that had everybody pissed off, now has a locker-room and city full of people ready to build him a statue. And that "drop in class" at quarterback is looking like a non-issue.
It seems the Broncos can win without Cutler, and Cutler can win without the Broncos. That outcome seemed the most unlikely of the possible scenarios in my mind. Stop the presses, I was wrong!
Sorry coach Skippy. My bad.
And let's talk bad shall we? When I saw the Seahawks neon green uni's I figured that was the absolute limit. These were the ugliest uniforms I would ever see in the NFL.
And then came the Broncos with their court-jester brown and yellow vertical stripes. Apparently the Broncos actually wore those uniforms for the first two years of the teams existence. Note to Broncos: The franchise was damn lucky to survive even two years sporting those clown outfits. Do you really want to press your luck?
On the other hand, it is possible that the Patriots would have won that game if not for the confusion caused by that herd of yellow and brown zebras running around the field. They do create a certain sense of inertia.
The Broncos are exhibit #4298 to show you just never know about this crazy game. For instance, imagine my distress last week when I had Marques Colston and Johnny Knox on a bye, and was forced to start the previously invisible Miles Austin and Jeremy Maclin in their places. Oh the horror.
Yeah, I hit the wide receiver parlay of the week in my dynasty league. Maclin and Austin. And the main reason they were in my lineup is because of bye weeks and unlikely injuries to the guys in front of them.
To say I was cautiously optimistic, but not at all confident would be a fair assessment.
Of course, that didn't stop me from taunting my opponent before the game, telling him how he was going to get hammered by my weak little reserves. My team was minus Gates, Colston, Knox, and Ryan Grant. I talked trash anyway and Maclin and Austin backed me up.
That was cool of those guys. I'm thinking maybe a Christmas card.
It wasn't all good though. I left Austin on the bench of one of my WCFF leagues. If only Derrick Mason (0 pts) had been on a bye I would have looked like a genius in that league as well. The thought did cross my mind. Starting Austin over Mason. But that would have taken balls, and apparently mine were missing Sunday.
These are clear examples of how luck (and lack of balls) helps determine fantasy leagues. Think about it, if Roy Williams and Kevin Curtis had not been injured, chances are that my worst bye week of the season would have lived up to its billing.
Instead, in the blink of an eye now we have a "receiver controversy" brewing in two cities and my dynasty league projects both look to be on their way to starter status. Just like a Hollywood script baby. Nobody saw it coming. I am the Broncos of my dynasty league.
And I am the ball-less idiot of my WCFF league.
When Miles Austin gets off his bye week, I will have the balls to put him in my starting lineup in both leagues, where-upon he will catch 1 pass for 7 yards.
The balls giveth. The balls taketh away.
Hey Gloria, sign my arm!
A touching moment at the first half two-minute warning on Monday Night Football. The ESPN cameras went to commercial with a shot of Gloria Estefan signing a few autographs. Just after Tirico closed, you could hear the dweeb next to the guy that just got signed saying, "Hey Gloria, sign my arm." Then Gloria gave him the wave off. No thank you. Burned him on national TV. What, you don't want to grab some sweaty loser's slimy arm, scratch a signature on it, get swine flu from when he sneezed on it earlier, turn deathly ill, then get sued for ink poisoning when the dork gets a rash? Bitch.
10) Dolphins: These receivers get their hands on balls about as often as Rosie O'Donnell does. Okay, enough already with the balls. Let me be blunt. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams cannot carry this team for an entire season. This cute little dog and pony show is going to come to a screeching halt when one or both of these guys gets dinged up or worn down. And the way the 'Phins are running them into the ground, that moment can't be far away.
9) Lions: What a banner year it is for suckitude in the NFL. The Lions performance to this point would have them top 5 in the Misery Index most any year. I mean, right now you have Daunte Culpepper as your QB and the only player on your team that opposing defenses worry about has turned up lame. And you barely even crack the Index? All that time you have spent scrapping to try to raise yourselves out of the dumpster, never getting anywhere, and now you have to share it with a bunch of damn squatters!
8) Panthers: Surviving the Redskins at home by a field goal isn't exactly a reason to break out party hats and call in the strippers, but a win is a win. Unfortunately they didn't really play much different than in their losses. Lots of problems here. For instance, Jake Delhomme had to call a time-out twice during the first half because plays were coming in from the sideline so slow. Considering the lack of imagination in the play-calling to begin with, how long should it take to get those plays in. Student body right. Student body left. Off-target pass. Just pick one!
7) Raiders: What happens when a team that talks about a commitment to excellence meets one that actually practices a commitment to excellence? 44-7 and lots of mop-up time for the winners back-ups. The only guy in the whole organization that is earning his pay is the punter, and that is only based on the sheer volume of work.
6) Browns: "Winning" that game was like telling us you finally got a date for the school dance, but you showed up with your sister. We are glad you aren't alone anymore, but now somehow you seem even creepier than before. That whole, "winning a game with less than 25 yards of passing and 2 completions." Very disturbing. Not as disturbing as the fact that it only took the Jets only 2 days to turn Braylon Edwards into a football player, but disturbing all the same.
5) Bills: It is a disgrace to have even been a part of that horrendous game with the Browns, but to actually lose that game on your home field? Looks like karma finally landed a solid left hook on T.O. Good on you Karma! Wait 'til T.O. gets a load of your hay-maker: "Buffalo in December at 2-12."
4) Buccaneers: As a Maclin owner, forced to insert him into my lineup due to a bye week, I respectively decline to make snide comments about this fine bunch of individuals.
3) Chiefs: As an Austin owner, forced to insert him into my lineup due to a bye week, I respectively decline to make...aw screw it, this team is Miles away from their first victory. Miles I said...
2) Titans: Proof positive just how fast it happens in the NFL. The Titans were unstoppable a year ago, but now it's their opponents that are unstoppable. Yes, they have played a tough schedule, but the only game they really even had a prayer was a loss to the Jaguars, and that Jags team just got hosed 41-0 at Seattle. The reality is (brace yourselves) this team sucks. They aren't just pretending to suck. They really, really suck. The Colts toyed with them like a cat on a half dead mouse. Simple formula to beat the Titans. Stop Chris Johnson, and let the Titans woeful receivers, stupid penalties, and turnovers do the rest. I don't mean to pry, but does Nashville have some sort of a recent meth epidemic?
1) Rams: Just when you thought the league was at full capacity for celebrity owners, Rush Limbaugh has thrown his size 8 hat in the ring. I would think that Rush would be loathe to get involved in any kind of a society such as the NFL has become. But I suppose ones personal beliefs get pushed aside where potential for profit is involved. And isn't that what makes America great?