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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Broncos need to run table Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Well, we probably should have seen this one coming.

Entering last night's game, New England's three losses were by a combined four points, with five of their nine wins coming by more than three touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Texans had been blown out by Green Bay in their one loss, and in November had barely squeaked by the Bears, Jaguars, and Lions. Houston had won four blowouts, but none since Week 7.

We're admittedly using hindsight here, but what happened last night doesn't seem so shocking when framed by those facts - especially considering that the game took place in Foxboro, in the cold.

New England (10-3) jumped all over Houston (11-2) with three touchdowns on their first three drives, and things never got closer in a 42-14 rout which made the Texans look like frauds, and the Patriots like prohibitive SB favorites.

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Open Thread and Pre-game Lard: MNF Week 14 - Texans @ Patriots

Andy BenoitBucky Brooks, and Steve Palazzolo break down the matchup. Enjoy the game, and Go Texans*!

* Although a Houston win would immediately place Denver ahead of New England in the race for playoff seeding, and their destiny in their own hands, a Pats victory wouldn't be the end of the world, either. Indy is still very much alive for the AFCS title, although if the Colts were to win their division and end up with 12 wins along with Denver, it appears (by consulting ESPN's Playoff Machine) Indy would tiebreakers over the Broncos and thus gain a higher seeding.

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Broncos add Cornick to practice squad

The Broncos have added tackle Paul Cornick to their practice squad; he replaces Darrion Weems, who had been signed to Dallas's active roster five days ago.

Cornick had signed with the LOLJets as an undrafted free agent out of North Dakota State, where he was named an All-American following his senior season.

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Bring on the Ravens Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver's upcoming trip to Baltimore has loomed as a big game since the moment the 2012 schedule was released, but the showdown has become more crucial by the day.

Although the matchup will likely go a long way to determining who the AFC's number-two seed is, things have suddenly gotten desperate for the Ravens (9-4), who remain stuck on nine wins after yesterday's 31-28 loss to Washington (7-6). It was Baltimore's second consecutive loss, and things won't get any easier for them; after the Broncos, they'll host the Giants and then head to Cincinnati to close out the regular season.

Adding to the pain of having lost two straight nailbiters, the already banged-up Ravens lost two more of their best players to injury yesterday - an ankle sprain left Baltimore guard Marshal Yanda on crutches after the game, and Jeff Legwold says it could be a season-ending injury for the Pro Bowler. LB Jameel McClain suffered a neck injury that had him in serious pain, although X-rays were negative.

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Open Thread: Sunday Week 14

Here are the day's inactive lists. Enjoy the games - Washington knocked off Baltimore in overtime, handing the Ravens their fourth loss of the season, and putting them a full game behind Denver in the AFC playoff race. Thank you, Shanny!

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