Bama, Broncos and other Football thoughts, week 7

College Football Thoughts

The initial BCS standings came out and I’m having a hard time finding anyone — even the OU fans that I know — believing they are the best team in the country. As one OU fan said to me – “This team struggled against Air Force and Cincinnati this year. Am I really confident that we can beat OSU and probably Nebraska in Big 12 title game? No. I hope we do but it depends which OU team runs out of the locker room on that particular day.”

Fortunately for him, almost every other undefeated school could say the same thing about their school. (Except Boise State. Does it really matter which team rolls out against the likes of Utah St, San Jose St?)

Bama looked okay against Ole Miss but here is my frustration with this team. Offensive play calling. This team is shaping up to be a pass-first, run-second team and that is going to be disaster long term. I find myself shouting out the TV when most Alabama series go – incomplete pass, incomplete pass, screen on 3rd down, run, pass, pass, then punt. What’s hiding this problem is when a back breaks a screen pass for 85 yard.

The formula for this team to beat Auburn – which is looking freakin’ unbelievable on offense – is to keep that offense on the sideline. And you’re only going to do that if you can run the ball, something that traditionally Alabama is very good at but hasn’t been able to do well this season. Big games ahead for Tide – Tennessee, MSU, LSU, and Auburn. Fate is still in their own hands…for now.

NFL and Broncos

I’ve always said that officiating doesn’t loose a game for anybody. It’s part of the game that you either have to overcome or never put your team in the position where one call can hurt you.

Then this past Sunday happened that tested that mantra. Two calls that were sickening similar.

KC @ Houston – 4th quarter, Pass Interference against Brandon Flowers.
Jets @ Broncos – 4th Quarter, 1:30 left in game, Pass Interference @ Denver 1 yard line.

I’m a bleeding orange Bronco fan, so take with grain of salt.

Point 1: If you replay those plays 100 times, 98 times there isn’t a flag on either one of those plays. We see this every week in every game and it never gets called. Never. The play then would stand as it played out.

For Denver, that means it’s a turnover on downs, 1st and 10 for Denver and they run out the clock and win.

For KC, Andre Johnson still made the catch. And that defense still has other opportunities to stop Houston and they don’t. The immaturity and complete lack of composure of Flowers after the bad call did more to distract the young defense around him than the call itself. He’s got to keep his head and understand that those rookie, younger players are looking to him for leadership. When they see him off his rocker, they aren’t focused on their jobs. And that’s what happened the rest of that drive. He knows better.

Point 2: After each of the bad calls (and they were), each team STILL had an opportunity to win the game.

Denver – offense gets the ball with a little over a minute to play (an eternity in NFL), and a chance to score. Offense doesn’t get it done. They can’t punch it in as time runs out on the clock.

Granted, this was against one of the best defenses in the league. With Denver not really having a running game to take the air out of the ball, this is the scenario they should know they are going to face every week. Having to score last because they can’t kill the clock. And it cost them this game.

KC – I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a team meltdown in the last 5 minutes of a game after playing the rest of it so wonderfully. It was painful to watch even as a non-KC fan. (One instance — the famous “They were who we thought they were” game between Arizona and Chicago.)

A defense that dominated for 3 quarters just rolls over in 4th? A delay of game in the 2-minute offense? A pass to a rookie tight end on a 3rd and 2 after you’ve just spent the whole day running all over Houston and you have 2 backs who can get you 2 yards? Coming out of a timeout not knowing where to line up? The whole last series of offensive plays were just a disaster, nothing like the way they played the rest of the game.

Bottom line – just like Denver, they had an opportunity to win the game and didn’t cash it in.

Tough losses for both teams but there are some disturbing differences for this Bronco fan – Denver is at the bottom of the AFC West, KC is at the top. McDaniels is 4-12 in his last 16 games. Haley is 7-9. McDaniels seems intimidated by strong assistant coaches (Nolan). Haley seems to embrace them. McDaniels wants “his guys” with trades and drafts. Haley wants players who will bring it every down – (Berry, McCluster, Areanas).

I think KC fans should be feeling pretty good about their future. I’m not as optimistic about the Broncos.

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