Kuper injury not disastrous Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! As feared, a severe ankle sprain will keep right guard Chris Kuper out for as long as a month.

While the credit is not all his, the team's streak of three wins and three games without Peyton Manning having taken a sack, does coincide with the return of Kuper from the forearm injury he suffered during training camp. Denver also had (by far) its most productive game running the ball with Kuper, totaling 225 yards on the ground against New Orleans.

In 175 snaps played over three games, Kuper has graded out at an excellent +3.5; backup Manny Ramirez has a -2.4 grade in 387 snaps.

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Open Thread: MNF Week 9 - Eagles @ Saints

Here are the game's inactivesAndy Benoit, Doug Farrar, and Steve Palazzolo analyze the matchup; Drew Brees claims the ass-kicking delivered to New Orleans by the Broncos last week has served as a sort of wakeup call. Enjoy the game!

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Chiefs cut six-million-dollar man; Crennel gives up DC duties

Romeo Crennel removes himself as the Chiefs’ defensive coordinator
www.kansascity.com

In an effort to fix some of the many problems ailing the 1-7 Chiefs, head coach Romeo Crennel announced today that he has giving up his duties as the defensive coordinator, handing them over to linebackers coach Gary Gibbs.

The Chiefs also released starting cornerback Stanford Routt, signed last winter as a free agent, and signed defensive lineman Shaun Smith, a former Chief.

You may recall that Routt got $20M in guarantees from Oakland in February 2011, and the Raiders cut him following the season. This past February, the Chiefs gave Routt $6M in guarantees, and he lasted seven games with Kansas City; that's $26M for 23 games in a year and a half.

FWIW, the eighth-year corner has graded out at minus-5.7 this season according to PFF, which is 87th among corners. Last season, he was 84th at his position with a minus-4.8 grade. As for where Routt will continue his tour of salary-cap destruction, the Chargers and Raiders could each use a cornerback...

No trap games with PMFM at helm Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The trap game. It's been a while since the Broncos were good enough to actually have one, but the memories are still painfully fresh.

There was the 2006 playoff-costing finale against San Francisco, the 2008 duds against Kansas City, Miami, and Buffalo, and any number of recent losses to Oakland.

But instead of laying an egg in Cincinnati yesterday, Denver overcame a few big mistakes and left town with a 31-23 victory (Gamebook, ANS box score) over the Bengals.

Of course, there are some whopping differences between those middling squads and the 2012 Broncos - namely, Peyton Manning and Von Miller.

With the demanding perfectionist Manning leading the way, it's hard to picture this team having a letdown. Sure, it can lose - but probably not for having overlooked an opponent.

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Gut Reaction: Week 9 - Broncos @ Bengals

Today's game was the sort of contest previous Broncos teams would have lost.

There they were--on the road, starting early, serving up two critical interceptions, and running the ball as sluggishly as they have all year.

Instead, they were ahead by two scores with a few minutes remaining.  I guess having Christopher Walken Peyton Manning at quarterback has something to do with it.

That's an effort you'd expect from a top-flight team and a division champion.

Perhaps a championship team?

We'll see.  Suffice to say, things are beginning to feel a lot different in Denver this year.

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Open Thread: Sunday Week 9

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Who’s afraid of Andy Dalton? Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Among the main storylines for Denver's season is the string of marquee quarterbacks they've opposed and will continue to see.

The preseason chatter on that topic included Cincy's Andy Dalton, but now that tune is starting to change. Why? Because Dalton's had a few poor games in a row, with his team mired in a three-game losing streak.

Mike Klis is declaring that the TCU alum is amidst a sophomore slump, even suggesting that, "No other explanation is needed for his disappointing play this year as the Cincinnati Bengals' starting quarterback."

This, only a few weeks after having called the Red Rifle the league's 12th-best QB, even suggesting he could meet Cam Newton "in a future Super Bowl or three."

Perhaps he's being a bit tongue-in-cheek with the sophomore slump stuff, and we're not meaning to pick solely on Klis here.

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Front office love Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Been forgetting all week to mention a couple of points that came up in our game chat last Sunday.

For one, it was very encouraging to see the extra gear of speed provided by Ronnie Hillman on offense and Trindon Holliday returning punts. It's been a long time since the Broncos have regularly put the ball into the hands of anyone with as much pure speed as either of these guys - a quick look during the game at recent Denver rosters took us all the way back to 2006, for Tatum Bell's first (pre-mobile phone salesman/Lions baggage thief) stint with the team.

Each has some learning ahead of them - Hillman has Willis McGahee to show him better reads and the proper balance between decisiveness and patience with the ball, and Holliday could stand to gain a better understanding from Jim Leonhard of how/when to fair catch a ball. Both have time on their side - Hillman is the youngest player in the NFL, and Holliday has only returned 23 punts in his brief NFL career.

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Porter sitting out yet again

Broncos rule CB Tracy Porter out for Sunday
www.cbssports.com

Denver Broncos CB Tracy Porter will miss a third consecutive game because of symptoms that in August were a precursor to a seizure…

...“We’re still regulating the medication,” Broncos coach John Fox said. “Not that it was a setback, but there was a little bit of an issue, and we’ll evaluate that moving forward. His safety is what’s the utmost concern right now.”

While this move has to be frustrating for Porter, it's hard to fault the Broncos for playing this one ultra-conversatively.

D.J. Williams wants to retire a Denver Bronco

Broncos LB D.J. Williams Q+A: full interview
milehighsports.com

If there’s one message you have for the fans, what is it?

I’m the ultimate team player and I’m willing to do whatever to win. At the end of the day, that’s the most important thing to me. I love playing football. I’ve been playing football since I was seven. I’ve been playing 23 years. I actually played football two years early because I weighed enough. I’ve never had any job but this job. So for somebody to think that football is not important to me, if it wasn’t important – I’m on my second contract, I have money. If football wasn’t important to me, why would I stop playing now and just go live the ‘Dyme Lyfe?’ I think people try to make ‘Dyme Lyfe’ seem like it has been pulling away from my football career. No, it hasn’t. It actually hasn’t, at all.


If it were up to you, would you retire as a Bronco?

Yes. That’s actually my plan, to retire as a Bronco. The crazy thing about it, when I was up for my second contract (in 2008), I spoke to (then-head coach Mike) Shanahan. He said, ‘Hey, I’m going to be honest with you. You’re probably not going to be the highest-paid guy in your position, but we’ll do the best we can to get you as close to that, and we’ll treat you right.’ And since I’ve been here, the Broncos organization – with whatever coach has been here – I’ve been treated fairly and I’ve been treated well. I enjoy the city. I like the fans. I like how the whole organization as a whole treats me, so if it was up to me, I would retire as a Bronco. I’m close friends with Rod Smith, and to see how he went through his career and his life, and the relationships that he built, I want to have the same thing.

In a wide-ranging interview, D.J. Williams opens up on several subjects, including Buddhism, working out, the so-called "Dyme Lyfe," his dislike for some media members, and serving his time for doing his crime.

One topic that wasn't covered by Chris Bianchi, though: D.J.'s non-human urine sample.

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