A week ago, we found the advanced metrics to say the 2012 Broncos were a far better team than their 1-2 record might have indicated.
After a brutal start to the schedule which featured the Steelers, Falcons, and Texans (the latter two remain undefeated), having the rebuilding Raiders into SAF@MH for a visit portended two things:
First, it was something of a breather, traditional rivalry notwithstanding. If everything were to play to form, the Broncos were due to finally whip their AFCW brethren at home.
Second, the strength of schedule figures were sure to take a hit this week. Indeed, they have.
After the high of a great win over a division rival, it’s hard to come back to earth. One thing that’s a difficult reality for Denver, though, has been the disappointing play of Joe Mays.
Suspended for Sunday’s contest with the Oakland Raiders, he was effectively replaced by Keith Brooking, who looked better on Sunday than Mays has all year.
I give Mays, the Broncos, and Jack Del Rio credit for improving Mays’s coverage situation via changes in scheme somewhat as the season has progressed. Mays gave up four completions on four targets in the opener, two completions on three targets at Atlanta, and just one target and completion against Houston, with an average reception of 7.4 yards overall. They’re getting him out of danger well, but there’s more to the problem here. I have to wonder if they’re not following what they expected to have work, despite finding that it doesn’t. They need to look seriously at what has been more effective.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! After 134 games as New England's starting center, Dan Koppen will be making his Broncos starting debut against his old mates.
But the transition to Koppen from J.D. Walton may not be as difficult as one might expect.
After all, Koppen is well-versed in Josh McDaniels's offense (much of which Mike McCoy still uses in Denver), and he also has loads of experience in operating sans huddle. Of course, the real question is, how familiar is Koppen with the Peyton Manning offense?
And as Sacco & Co. want us to know, all Koppen does is win. So what's there to worry about?
Enjoy the game, everyone!
As expected, the Broncos have placed center J.D. Walton on injured reserve with a fractured/dislocated ankle.
Taking his place on the active roster will be linebacker Joe Mays, who returns after serving a one-game suspension for his Week 3 hit on Texans QB Matt Schaub.
Tight end Virgil Green, who is back working with the team after serving a four-game PED-use suspension, was also reinstated to the active roster.
Updated 7:59pm ET
Good Morning, Broncos fans! For anyone spoiled by the Mike Shanahan Era in Denver, yesterday was how Broncos/Raiders games are supposed to go.
Manning had spoken during the week about faring better in the first and third quarters of games, and his teammates clearly got the message. The Broncos tallied all but six of their points in those periods, scored a first-quarter touchdown for the first time all year, and unloaded for three touchdowns in the third quarter, turning what had been a tight game (on the scoreboard, at least) into a laugher.
But the game was never in much doubt.
When Peyton Manning joined the Broncos, this is the type of game fanatics had in mind.
The Broncos get an early lead.
They build on that lead running the ball.
Then, they let loose the angry hounds.
Who are the hounds?
The entire Broncos defense, which allowed the Raiders only one third-down conversion all game long.
And now Carson Palmer needs a rabies shot.
Enjoy the games, and Go Broncos! Here are the inactive lists for today's games.
Denver's inactives are G Chris Kuper, WR Matthew Willis, DT Sealver Siliga, QB Caleb Hanie, RB Knowshon Moreno, LB Nate Irving, and C/G C.J. Davis. As expected, WR Andre Caldwell is active for the first time as a Bronco, while Ronnie Hillman and Lance Ball again get the nod over Moreno. S Duke Ihenacho and LB Mike Mohamed, who were just added to the 53-man roster yesterday, will presumably play on special teams.
Oakland will be without QB Terrelle Pryor, CB Shawntae Spencer, T Khalif Barnes, OL Lucas Nix, TE Richard Gordon, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, and DE Andre Carter.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! We're all too aware that the Broncos have lost four straight home games to the Raiders, and six of nine matchups regardless of location.
No figure has loomed larger in this matchup recently than Oakland RB Darren McFadden, who has racked up 510 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns in his last three games against Denver, all Raiders wins. Injury kept the back out of their last meeting, when the Broncos won 38-24 in Oakland.
Obviously, the Broncos defense is well aware of the threat McFadden brings; fortunately for Denver, Oakland may be somewhat one-dimensional today due to a banged-up WR corps.
Second-year safety Quinton Carter was placed on IR and will undergo microfracture surgery next week on the same knee he had arthroscopically repaired during training camp.
With Joe Mays suspended for tomorrow's game against Oakland, two spots had opened on the active roster; Denver promoted safety Duke Ihenacho and linebacker Mike Mohamed to fill them.