Following an outdoor walkthrough, the Broncos' first practice since John Fox's return was forced indoors by cold and snowy weather.
Peyton Manning was held out for the fourth straight Wednesday; Derek Wolfe, Trindon Holliday, and Joel Dreessen also missed practice.
Wolfe is not expected to play Sunday, as doctors continue to try to figure out the cause of his frightening seizure-like episode.
Happy Wednesday, friends. I watched the film of the Kansas City game Tuesday night, and I was pretty surprised by what I saw in the All-22 view, because it went against the notion I had from watching the TV feed in real-time.
That is, I thought the Chiefs played a lot of single-high safety with an eighth man in the box to stop the run, and crowd short routes. You can't see the alignment of the safeties very well on the live view, and the outcome of the game (lots of deep passing by the Broncos, limited success running the ball) supported my thinking.
After all, the previous week, the Patriots stayed in two-deep all game, and contested every short route in front of it, trying to beat up the Broncos' receivers. That's how you get Knowshon Moreno running 37 times for 224 yards; the offense takes what the defense is giving it.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Appropriately, the NFL has fined Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin $100K for his sideline shenanigans.
Additionally, Tomlin has been removed from the competition committee, which also makes sense.
However, the league will await the final draft order before determining whether to dock any of the Steelers' picks.
This would seem a reasonable plan, given that the potential value of each of the team's picks varies quite widely at this juncture.
Eric Decker's career day not only earned him a place in Denver's record book, it garnered him the AFC Offensive POW award for the first time.
The fourth-year wideout set a new personal best with 174 receiving yards in Denver's 35-28 win over Kansas City, and his four receiving touchdowns are the most by any player in franchise history.
Team Efficiency Rankings: Week 13
The New England Patriots are increasingly resembling the good-offense-bad-defense teams of recent seasons…At this point, they may just be a poor man’s Denver, which is a problem considering they’ll likely have to face the real Denver.
Denver remains at #3 in overall efficiency; another flag-filled game (10 for 75 yards and four first downs vs. KC) has them at #23 (tie) in penalty avoidance.
On offense, they're again #1 overall: #1 in passing, #7 (tie) at avoiding picks, #5 (tie) running, and dead last in fumbling, even with Sunday's clean performance.
Defensively, they're down to #19 (allowing KC 452 yards didn't help): #20 against the pass, #13 (tie) at intercepting the ball, and #3 (tie) versus the run.
Denver's route to the playoffs is actually a bit easier than had been reported earlier in the week. There are three scenarios that clinch a berth for the Broncos:
Good Morning, Broncos fans! If Sunday re-established that Denver is the team to beat in the AFC, Monday night did the same for Seattle in the NFC.
The Seahawks (11-1) scored 27 first-half points in a 34-7 demolition of the visiting Saints (9-3), getting three touchdown passes from Russell Wilson and holding Drew Brees to just 147 yards.
Seattle clinched a playoff berth with the win and now holds a commanding two-game edge over New Orleans and Carolina for best record in the conference.
Good Afternoon, Broncos fans! Sitting atop the AFC and AFCW with a 10-2 record, Denver has a chance to clinch a playoff berth against Tennessee next Sunday.
The Titans (5-7) will come to town having lost three of its past four games, including a 22-14 decision at Indy (8-4) yesterday (their second loss to the Colts in three weeks).
Those three losses have come by a margin of just 13 combined points, with Ryan Fitzpatrick quarterbacking the team in place of Jake Locker, who was lost to a foot injury similar to the one suffered by Ryan Clady.
Seahawks can clinch playoffs tonight, more teams can clinch Sunday
In the AFC, the Broncos will clinch a playoff berth if they beat the Titans on Sunday. Even if the Broncos lose to the Titans on Sunday, they’ll clinch at least a wild card if the Dolphins lose to the Steelers.
Yes, they're aiming for much bigger things than a Wild Card spot, but clinching a postseason berth in Week 14 would still be pretty great.
A quadruple Decker
“DT got hurt on the first play of the game,” Manning explained afterward…“That third down to him, in that type of play, usually he can go up and make it,” Manning said. “He couldn’t even reach with his other hand. He goes up with one hand and obviously tips it, and it ends up getting intercepted. I probably told him he could have told me that earlier, that he only has one hand, and I might not have thrown to him.”
It was easy to criticize Manning for that pick - and we did - but as usual, context is king.