Broncos’ Saccomano breaks NFL win record

Denver -- And you thought John Elway and Peyton Manning won a lot of games?

Broncos Vice President of Corporate Communications, Jim Saccomano, won his 333rd game for the Denver Broncos on Sunday, putting his win total 147 games above that of previous record holder, Brett Favre.  League officials are currently discussing the validity of Saccomano's record, given that he has not coached or played in a single game since his time with the Broncos began in 1978.

A source inside the league office, who chose to remain anonymous for this story, said of Saccomano's claim, "We've never seen a PR guy claim wins before, so it's new territory.  Either he's got some big brass balls or that much hubris.  We're looking into the issue."

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Seven coaches fired; Bears, Cards must travel to interview McCoy; McDaniels staying put

The day following the conclusion of the NFL season has come to be known as Black Monday, as that's when axes traditionally fall on coaches and GMs who have failed to live up to expectations.

Most of the moves have been long been expected, while others may come as surprises. Job interviews likely began informally or clandestinely days or weeks ago, but this week they will start in earnest, and even quite publicly if other teams follow the model set by Denver two years ago.

Updated 8:34pm ET

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Broncos, Manning atop AFC Lard

GOOD MORNING, Broncos fans! For the sixth time in their history ('77, '87, '89, '96, '98), YOUR Denver Broncos have attained the AFC's top seed, and for the tenth time ('78, '84, '86, '87, '89, '91, '96, '98, '05), they will have a week off* before entering the playoff fray.

Denver (13-3) will host one of Baltimore, Indianapolis, or Cincinnati on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 4:30pm ET, with tickets available today at noon MST for neighbors of the Rockies.

They achieved this lofty status with a good deal of help from Peyton Manning's old team, and by summarily dispatching with this year's NFL doormats in a 38-3 (GamebookANS box score) shellacking of the Chiefs (2-14).

After stumbling to the NFL's eighth worst points differential (-81) in 2011, these Broncos have pummeled their opponents to the tune of a plus-192 margin, which is the fourth largest turnaround in NFL history.

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Gut Reaction: Week 17 - Broncos vs Chiefs

Dan Fouts finally said something I agree with.

The Broncos' ass kicking has become a broken record to the AFC.

Let the music play--three more times.  Whoever comes to Denver won't be getting away.

Not this time; not with this defense;  not as the number-one seed.

Did we mention we've got Peyton Manning, too?

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Colts defeat Texans; Broncos can clinch HFA with win or tie versus Chiefs

Andrew Luck threw two touchdown passes, the Colts defense picked off Matt Schaub twice, and Indy (11-5) took down the visiting Texans (12-4) by a 28-16 margin, providing the Broncos with a chance to claim homefield advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win or tie today against the Chiefs.

As recently as four weeks ago, Houston, at 11-1, had what was essentially a 2.5-game lead on the 9-3 Broncos in the AFC standings, given their Week 3 win in Denver. But they've lost three of four down the stretch - at New England in Week 14, in Houston last week against the Vikings, and today at Indy.

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Open Thread: Sunday Week 17

Inactive for Denver are Caleb Hanie, Trindon Holliday, Tracy Porter, Chris Gronkowski, Julius Thomas, C.J. Davis, and Sealver Siliga. Chris Kuper will dress, but Manny Ramirez gets the start at right guard and should play the bulk of the plays.

Kansas City's inactives are T Branden Albert, DE Tyson Jackson, WR Josh Bellamy, QB Ricky Stanzi, S Abram Elam, RB Nate Eachus, and OL Rich Ranglin.

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Game Day Limerick: Kansas City Chiefs

A lot of things happen when you get on a winning streak.  One of those things is that you forget your responsibilities--namely, a game-day limerick.

So here goes (in pure-form anapests):

It's the last of the games of the year
for the AFC West to revere
     the appeal of the pass
     and a hoof up their ass:
it is Manning and Denver to fear.

Thanks to my boy Alaskan for reminding me of my responsibilities.  Feel free to give it your own shot (anapestic or not) below.  Just remember, crude and lewd is quite shrewd, dude.

We’ve come a long, long way Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Hard to believe it, but the end of the regular season is already here today.

We've all understandably had our eyes to the future - on playoff seeds and scenarios, and dreams of a Broncos trip to New Orleans. And incredibly, after years of mediocrity or worse, last week brought a 34-12 home blowout that was, for all intents and purposes, boring.

It's amazing how drastically things have changed in the nine months since Peyton Manning showed up, and the two-and-a-half months since the team trailed 24-0 at halftime in San Diego. We're already taking blowouts for granted, after having endured, almost exactly a year ago, an excruciating 7-3 home loss to Kansas City in a win-and-they're-in scenario.

364 days later, the Broncos again will host the Chiefs to close out the regular season, and once again, the game has significant playoff implications.

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A Second Helping of Derek Wolfe against the Browns

I’ve been an unabashed supporter of Derek Wolfe for quite some time now - I like his game. It might be easy to forget that I’ve also listed the concerns that I’ve had with his play, starting prior to the draft:

The first problem that I noticed with Wolfe was that oddly, despite his substantial college production and decent test times, he looked somewhat slower in the drills. He lacks some of the lower body development that I thought I’d see, based on the games I'd watched. Explosion, particularly on his first step, seemingly isn’t his forte, which is odd. I’ve seen him blow past an OL player, and I’ve seen him pretty much standing still when they got their hands into him, and I’m not sure which is the real Wolfe - probably both of them. He has several decent pass-rushing moves, including a nice rip move, and that’s not common among college players, but he also forgets how to use his hands and arms on other plays. That was true in the few games that I saw him - hardly enough for a full scouting report, but it matched well enough to those I have.

He cannot smoothly handle a double team and will often end up on the ground when faced with those - you can help him out schematically in degree, but that’s a problem at the next level. It’s back to his lack of good lower body strength and a resulting inability to anchor: his balance and ability to use leverage also play into that.

I’ve seen evidence of those pre-draft concerns at times this year, but I’ve also seen them diminishing.

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I’ll be damned - a self-aware and conscientious sportswriter

T.J. Quinn, a former baseball beat writer, and one of the two key reporters on the BALCO case and other baseball PED matters, has decided not to vote for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

But too often, I've seen writers use their votes as a way to punish or reward players, and I don't think journalists should be in that position. I don't see voting for the Hall of Fame as the equivalent of a political reporter voting for a candidate; it's more like a political reporter serving in the Electoral College. I liked having that power, but I just can't justify it.

This is a really prominent and respected guy, doing a really unusual thing, and he's doing it for extraordinarily sensible reasons.  I'm shocked, and I commend Mr. Quinn.

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