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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Chiefs probing new depths of futility Lard

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Anyone remember when the 2012 Chiefs were supposed to be all kinds of teh awesome?

Haha.

KC managed to stay with the host Chargers for three quarters - but then the floodgates opened, in the form of three quick touchdowns - two of them off Matt Cassel turnovers. The $63M man now has 18 out of his team's league-leading 29 turnovers, and the Chiefs have still not held a lead at any point during this season. Among entire teams, only the Cowboys have more giveaways (by one) than Cassel alone.

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Open Thread: TNF Week 9 - Chiefs @ Chargers

Adam TeicherTom Krasovic, Scott Bair, Michael GehlkenBucky Brooks, Nathan Jahnke, and Benjamin Hoffman preview the matchup; Gehlken says Norv Turner and Romeo Crennel are coaching for their jobs at this point. Enjoy the game, and Go Chiefs!

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STDL: Denver still rising

For several weeks, the advanced metrics were telling a Broncos story that was not reflected on the scoreboard. That tale was of a team among the league's most efficient across the board.

Among Broncos fans, the half-full crowd saw promise in the data, while the Debbie Downers mumbled, "Stats are for losers."

Denver had lost three of four before escaping San Diego with a Week 6 win despite having spotted the Chargers a 24-point halftime lead.

The conventional wisdom said the Broncos and Saints would have an epic shootout on SNF, with Peyton Manning and Drew Brees orchestrating a classic QB duel.

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Manning Offensive POM Lard

Good Afternoon, Broncos fans! We've just overcome some technical difficulties brought on by our friend Sandy; apologies for the late Lard.

The latest Broncos accolade belongs to Peyton Manning, who was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for October. This is Peyton's fifth time winning the award, and the first such honor for a Bronco since Jay Cutler won in September 2008.

As for the state of his right thumb, Peyton says it's fine, and "more of an irritant than anything."

More great news comes in the form of Tracy Porter's return to practice Wednesday, albeit on a limited basis. It remains unclear whether Porter will be available for Sunday, but appears certain he won't start.

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Notes from Broncos/Saints

Some things came up during my time watching game film that made resting up this week less boring, so I thought I’d share them:

1. During the opening possession Sunday, Saints wideout Marques Colston ran a crossing route on 3rd and 3, and nickel linebacker Danny Trevathan dove to knock away the pass from Drew Brees, setting up the first punt of the game. Trevathan had three solo tackles plus that pass defensed in limited reps; it’s good to see him get onto the field. I think he has a bright future with Denver, and his excellent defense of a pass while in zone coverage - a weakness of his in college - suggests that he should.

I’m hoping that the team’s experience with Wesley Woodyard - seeing how that kind of drive, focus, and effort translates into production over time - should help shorten the duration before Danny sees more regular playing time. He also had one assisted tackle on special teams against NO; his reps with the nickel package were at MLB (according to PFF), so he’s been learning a new position. More power to him. He was on the field for nearly half the defensive snaps. John Fox’s comment on him was succinct: “I've been impressed with his development." Me, too.

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Beastly night for Woodyard results in AFC award

Wesley Woodyard has been named the AFC Defensive POW for Week 8 after filling the stat sheet against New Orleans.

Woodyard piled up 13 tackles, one sack, a forced fumble, an interception, and two passes defensed in Denver's 34-14 victory. He joins Tracy Porter (Week 1), Matt Prater (Week 4), and Peyton Manning (Week 6) as Broncos to have won weekly awards this season.

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Orlando Franklin as Cleopatra Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! No new word yet on the health of Denver cornerback Tracy Porter.

But if/when Porter is cleared to play, Mike Klis expects he'll spend a week working behind youngsters Chris Harris and Tony Carter, who have proven themselves more than capable in his absence.

As for the sophomore improvement exhibited by Rahim Moore, Klis says the 22-year old has matured quite a bit, perhaps thanks to the humbling experience of a difficult rookie season. Moore apparently worked extremely hard over the offseason and has earned newfound respect from both teammates and coaches.

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AFCW News: Mays to IR; Cassel starting for Quinn

As expected, the Broncos have placed LB Joe Mays on IR, and have replaced him on the active roster with S Duke Ihenacho, who had been on the practice squad.

Filling Ihenacho's spot on the taxi unit will be former Cowboys CB Mario Butler, who has been active for one game since signing with Dallas as an undrafted rookie last year.

Elsewhere in the AFCW, QB Brady Quinn has been ruled out for Thursday night's Chiefs/Chargers game after suffering a concussion against Oakland.

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