Lewis and Suggs practicing; Woodyard and Kuper on track

According to Sun reporter Aaron Wilson, linebackers Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis, and Dannell Ellerbe are all practicing for the second straight day, although it's not clear Ellerbe will play Sunday.

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Has Elvis Dumervil been effective in 2012?

In a column posted yesterday at Pro Football Focus, Ben Stockwell suggests that, outside of favorable matchups against the Chargers, Elvis Dumervil hasn’t done a very good job of rushing the passer this season.

It even discusses the idea that potential opponents might just try and shut down Miller (good luck there) and let the rest of the line try and beat them. I think that in this case, even PFF’s own stats show this to be a weak argument. So does the film.

In this explanation, I used some numbers that I took out of PFF's own website - an article from earlier in the week on pass rushing productivity on third and fourth downs. According to PFF, Miller is second in the league in total late down pressures, which isn’t surprising. Who’s tied for tenth? Elvis Dumervil, the player who supposedly isn’t performing well. This ignores, incidentally, the fact that Von and Elvis have each forced six fumbles - which only serves to expand the impact of their pressures.

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Last AFC spot basically down to Bengals/Steelers Lard

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! The AFC playoff picture got slightly clearer last night, as Cincinnati (8-6) pulled away in the second half of a 34-13 slopfest, turning over the Eagles (4-10) five times along the way.

The win puts them a half-game ahead of Pittsburgh, whom they'll visit next Sunday. A Steelers loss this week at Dallas would give the Bengals a chance to clinch a playoff spot next weekend with a win over Pittsburgh.

Cincy and Pittsburgh are essentially in a battle for the AFC's sixth seed, with an outside shot at overtaking Baltimore for the AFCN title.

The Jets have a slim chance at a wild card, while the Bills, Dolphins, Browns, and Chargers are essentially holding lottery tickets. To make the playoffs, San Diego needs to win out, have four other games go their way, and not be joined at 8-8 by Cleveland.

Meanwhile, a Denver win at Baltimore would almost ensure they'd be at least the number-three seed, and maintain their hopes of gaining a first-round bye.

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Open Thread: TNF Week 15 - Bengals @ Eagles

Bucky Brooks, Nathan Jahnke, and Brian McIntyre break down the matchup; Benjamin Hoffman is picking the Bengals. Enjoy the game!

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A Second Helping of Demaryius Thomas gaining 19 yards against Oakland

Today, I want to briefly look at a play from the Raiders game that went for good yardage, and talk about why it worked.  I'm going to try to start doing this at least every week to stimulate thought and discussion.

The situation in last Thursday's game that we're covering is a 1st-and-10 from the Denver 36, right after the Broncos have received a third-quarter punt.  The score is 23-7:

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Roger Goodell: tone deafness exemplified Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! It's been quite a week in the hubris-filled, awareness-free alternate reality occupied by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Paul Tagliabue's smackdown of the Ginger Hammer's disastrous handling of the NFL PR department-crafted Saints bounty scandal showed how a quality commissioner should perform his job, and called into serious question whether Goodell deserves to keep his.

At least Tagliabue did Rog the favor of providing closure for the scandal and maintaining the power of the commissioner's office, even if it came with a sharp rebuke of Goodell's methods.

Were Goodell a reasonable person, this would have been a humbling, chastening experience - one prompting self-reflection and a reconsideration of one's tactics.

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Every Denver Bronco who’s worn the number 12, because 12-12-12

We happen to hate things like this, but today's quirky date has inspired us to look back at the history of the Broncos and the number 12.

Besides, the world is coming to an end in nine days anyway, so there isn't much time for people to call us the Broncos fan's version of Bleacher Report (and isn't that title already taken, anyway?).

So without further ado, here goes - our first, and presumably last - countdown column.

Here are the eleven different players to have worn #12 for the Broncos in the regular season, ranked in ascending order of Career AV (couldn't make this a completely brainless exercise):

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Braylon Edwards shows you can call your old boss an idiot and still have him rehire you Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! John Elway called it "one of the best throws I've ever seen," which is heady praise from one of the best throwers of the football in history. The recipient of the pass, Demaryius Thomas, is still marveling at it, more than a week later, and having already played another game in the interim, but he does so with good reason.

We're talking about the first of Peyton Manning's two third-quarter TD passes to Thomas against Tampa Bay, and we've been meaning to show how ridiculous a play it was. Not much needs to be said, aside from pointing out that while Demaryius is just two strides into the end zone, the ball is already coming out of Peyton's hand:

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Taking stock of the Patriots and Texans

Happy Tuesday, friends.  After the shellacking that the Patriots put on the Texans last night, it’s time to take stock of both teams, since it’s likely that the Broncos will play at least one of them in the playoffs, and maybe both.

There were some noticeable things on display in the game that will be of interest to us in the coming weeks.

Here are five for each team:

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Tagliabue vacates suspensions; Vilma defamation suit to continue

Former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has affirmed the league's findings regarding the Saints bounty scandal, but has vacated all player suspensions. Makes total sense, right?

Tagliabue's statement, via NFL spokesman Greg Aiello:

Unlike Saints' broad organizational misconduct, player appeals involve sharply focused issues of alleged individual player misconduct in several different aspects. My affirmation of Commissioner Goodell's findings could certainly justify the issuance of fines. However, this entire case has been contaminated by the coaches and others in the Saints' organization.

Having reviewed the testimony very carefully, including documentary evidence that is at the center of the conflict, and having assessed the credibility of the four central witnesses on these matters, I find there is more than enough evidence to support Commissioner Goodell's findings that Mr. Vilma offered such a bounty (on Brett Favre).

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