Mort: Peyton Manning likely to announce return this week

Peyton Manning may announce as early as this week that he's returning for the 2015 season, according to Chris Mortensen, who writes:

Manning has been fairly persuaded that all will work well between him and new head coach Gary Kubiak, who is ready and willing to fit his scheme to play to the quarterback's strengths.

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As bad as the call was, don’t excuse Russell Wilson’s poor footwork and throw

Seattle's last play was Russell Wilson's fault, not Pete Carroll's
ftw.usatoday.com

But he weakly takes his 2.5-step drop, throws the ball off his back foot and sails it high, right to Butler. If that ball is low and around Lockette’s hip, there’s no chance of an interception. Wilson did everything wrong on that play. Had he received the shotgun, stood tall and whipped the ball to Lockette, Seattle would be planning a Super Bowl parade today.

A better throw probably doesn't result in a touchdown. It may even have resulted in an incompletion, or a tipped pass and interception. But with Wilson's muddy drop and back-foot toss, he deserves a good deal of the blame for the outcome.

Mail: Should the Broncos rest Peyton Manning until crunch time?

Here's a fun idea for the upcoming season from longtime reader c_style:

What do you guys think about the idea of benching Peyton for 8 games of the season under these specific conditions:

1) Peyton comes in if Brock gets hurt
2) Peyton comes in if the playoffs are in doubt
3) Ideally Peyton comes in with 4 games left in the season to tune up for the playoffs

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Huge Decision: Pete Carroll goes for it before halftime

That was a pretty awesome game. There were a lot of great moments, and there will be a zillion recaps of those, so you don't need that here. Instead, I just want to discuss the Seahawks' big decisions before the end of each half.

With six seconds left before halftime, Pete Carroll went for the tying touchdown rather than the chip shot FG to take the points, as they say. It was a brilliant, ballsy call, and of course, it made me think of Denver's last head coach. But almost all NFL coaches would have attempted the field goal right there, so it's not fair to ding John Fox just because we all know he would have kicked.

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Madstradamus: video game predicts score of Super Bowl

Super Bowl spoiler alert: Patriots beat Seahawks 28-24, says Madden NFL 15
www.polygon.com

The final score will be 28-24, says Madden NFL 15, which predicts a Seahawk lead of 24-14 before quarterback Tom Brady rallies New England. The whole thing culminates in a hail-mary pass from Brady to receiver Julian Edelman as time expires.

The sim calls for Brady to throw all four touchdowns the Patriots score in a 335-yard, MVP-worthy effort.

They've run simulations for years now, but this is as dead-on as it gets. The score was exact, including the comeback. The yards by Brady within 10, and his MVP title, which isn't the wildest prediction, but still made correct. I might have prefered the video game's ending.

Open Thread: Super Bowl 49

Game Previews: Chris Brown, Matt BowenMike Tanier, Andy Benoit (Overview; Seattle secondary, wheel routes; Russell Wilson; Rob Gronkowski)

Doug Farrar (defensive solutions, why Seahawks will win), Chris Burke (Pats defense, why they'll win), Greg Cosell (Seattle and New England defenses)

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Gut Reaction: Terrell Davis snubbed again by HOF voters

The 2015 HOF class has been announced, and sadly, albeit not surprisingly, Terrell Davis was not included. That's Terrell Davis, Greatest Postseason Runner in NFL History, NFL MVP, Super Bowl MVP, 2,000-yard rusher, and best player on two SB-winning teams. Yes, that Terrell Davis, the one who for a period of time was as great a running back as the NFL has ever seen, but apparently wasn't good enough for these HOF voters.

And yet, some guy who played a really long time and averaged 3.9 yards per attempt is in. According to PFR, the player whose career was most similar to this new HOFer's career is one Corey Dillon. Does anyone think Corey Dillon was an NFL HOFer? Meaning, aside from in that one game we don't want to talk about?

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Chris Harris: Brock Osweiler is the next Joe Flacco

Chris Harris optimistic on Manning’s return, has faith in Osweiler
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

“He’s kind of like a young Joe Flacco,” Harris said of Osweiler. “He has that arm. I think him and (Broncos head coach Gary) Kubiak, I think they’re going to fit perfect together. With the way he ran the offense with the Ravens with Joe Flacco, I see Brock as a similar quarterback.”

Not sure if he means Osweiler is going to win a lot of games, develop a stellar postseason resume, and thrive under Gary Kubiak, or he's going to become one of the most hated men in Denver, but we'll assume it's the former.

Demaryius Thomas: Brock Osweiler is building confidence

Demaryius Thomas thinks some Broncos teammates underestimated Colts
sports.yahoo.com

“I’ve got all the confidence in the world in Brock,” Thomas said. “He hasn’t been around the best quarterback in the game the past two years for nothing. As the years go on, he builds and builds and is more confident. You see him against our first-team defense during the season, and they’ll be going hard, and he’s out there calm and collected. I think he’ll be fine.”

Demaryius says he's going to miss John Fox and really miss Adam Gase, but he's not too worried about free agency, and why should he be?

Here’s the surest sign that Peyton Manning is coming back

Broncos raise ticket prices $2-10 per seat for 2015 season
www.denverpost.com

The Broncos are raising ticket prices, with upper sections going up $2 to $5 and lower sections going up $10 a seat. The team ranked 11th in the NFL last season with an average ticket cost of $99.13 (not including luxury seating). Tickets will go up by an average of 8.5 percent to a little more than $107 in 2015.

What, you think they're gonna raise prices and then trot out Brock Osweiler as the starting quarterback? Come on, now.

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