Holy Monday, Batman! Lots going down these past few days. To be honest, yesterday’s Bronco loss was the easiest one I have ever “taken.” I have positive feelings about the aspects of the team that have flat-out hindered us all year long. Too bad our quarterback didn’t feel like showing up……
DOUBLE HIGH FIVE!!!
10. Aesthetically speaking, it wasn’t a pretty weekend around the Pepsi Center, as the Nuggets hosted a pair of games against improving, but inferior competition. Production-speaking, however, two wins are two wins and the Nuggets were able to back up Friday’s 109-104 win over the Clippers with a one-point win last night over the Memphis Grizzlies. Yes, the High Five family (minus the young one) was in attendance for Blake Griffin and Clippers and I was able to speak with Blake both before and after what was one of the worst statistical nights of his young career. An in-depth scouting report of Griffin will be up on www.slamonline.com later this morning.
Last night, the Nuggets (for seemingly the 10th time this year) raced out to a big early lead, before falling apart in the second half. After a strong game Friday night, Carmelo Anthony struggled to find both his shooting form (4-20 for just 13 points) and his proper manners, garnering another technical foul for arguing calls. But the Nuggets got “step-up” performances from Nene (27/11) and Aaron Aflalo (25), which ensured a 7th straight win. With the double-win weekend, the Nuggets now sit at 13-6; just one game behind Utah for the divisional lead.
9. The Avalanche, on the other hand, suffered the opposite of their Pepsi Center neighbors, as they dropped a pair of road games, losing Friday night in OT to Carolina before losing a 6-5 goal-fest the next night in Tampa. Three straight losses have the reeling youngsters still in 2nd place, but more road action lies ahead, when they face the Panthers in Miami tomorrow night. Pro hockey in Raleigh, NC; Tampa and Miami is just weird, still.
8. It appears to finally be official, as later this morning, former CU tight end great (and Denver native/Cherry Creek HS grad) Jon Embree will be named the school’s next head coach. It’s kind of funny that all of last week’s rumors, leaks and concerns were largely centered on Coach MAC’s inability to keep his mouth closed. Either way, it’s a good hire and maybe as important, was the school’s ability to lure Eric Bienemy back to Boulder. For a school that does not give its assistant coaches multi-year deals, being able to commit 5 years to EB is a huge move for the university.
7. Tiger, Tiger Woods, y’all!!! He’s BACK!!! Oh wait, maybe not. Either way, it was good to see him relevant in a star-studded field like the Chevron. True, he did blow a 4-stroke Sunday lead (which I don’t think he ever has before), but his play all week was pretty spectacular. Honestly, he was just bested by the US Open Champ that has played unbelievable all year (ie. the Ryder Cup).
6. For the first time since, NEVER, I was not cheering for Gonzaga basketball this weekend. The Zags were beaten on Saturday across the state in Seattle, by a barrage of Illinois 3-point shooting and were unable to keep up with the Fighting Illini. (Note I didn’t say I was cheering “against” the Zags, just wasn’t cheering “for them”.)
Nationally, there wasn’t much craziness over the weekend, with most of the top teams procuring wins, although, last night, the Texas Longhorns were pounded by a rebuilding USC Trojan team. (DeathTruck, were you in the hizzie last night?) Locally, the CU Buffs played a strong 1st half and then cruised to a relatively easy win over the Oregon State Beavs and the struggling DU Pios were also able to lock down a win over Cal State-Northridge.
5. As was expected, Auburn will face off against Oregon in the college football national title game. (Which is like 2 months from now.) Also, FACE Nebraska. Good riddance, beat it, hit the bricks, don’t the door hit your ass….. See you in Pasadena in a couple years.
4. I still see just a couple title-worthy teams. The Steelers, Ravens and Patriots are my front-runners and I am curious to see what happens tonight between the New England and the NY Jets. However, I think we might have just seen the AFC title game (and de factor Super Bowl) last night in Baltimore. Several teams made fools of themselves yesterday, as well. I’m looking at you Indy and San Diego.
3. The AFC West Round-up got all shook up yesterday as all four were facing off against each other. A big day, of course, for the Kansas City Chiefs beating Denver in the early game before watching the Chargers do little against the Jekyll and Hyde Oakland Raiders. Yes, there is still some time left in the season, but that was bad loss for the historically late-charging ‘Bolts. FACE MARMALARD, FACE! (I’m obviously, in a FACE-kind of mood.)
SPEAKING OF JEKYLL AND HYDE!
2. What the hell?!?! For a team that has struggled to run the ball, has played porous defense all year and has been over-reliant on their quarterback, everything got flipped around yesterday. We get 161 yards on the ground from Knowshawn but just 86 through the air (on almost 30 attempts)? For being the NFL’s top passer (in yards) Kyle Orton flat-out sucked yesterday. His throws from the very beginning seemed to be late, floated out of his hand and his usual telescopic accuracy was in bad need of some “resighting.” Kudos to Knowshawn and the O-Line for putting the team in a position to get a rare December win at Arrowhead. Tebow, anyone?
1. On a day of bizarro Bronco performances, the defense put forth one of their best total efforts of the year, keeping both Matt Cassell (November NFL Offensive Player of the Month?) and the vaunted KC ground game in relative (points-wise) check. Speaking of being in check, Dwayne Bowe? Coming in on the heels of one of the league’s most prolific 3-game stretches, Bowe was literally shutdown by Champ Bailey. Can the league’s best defensive player (does anyone else do every aspect of the game as well as champ?) be on one of the worst units? Don’t tell me Champ is “losing it” either. Best defensive back in the league’s history. And there ain’t nobody that can argue me off that point.