Peyton pitched a pepperoni pizza in Platt Park Lard

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! As Denver heads into the weekend with a chance to move above .500 for the first time since Week 1, the turmoil continues in Kansas City.

Chiefs fans are planning to again fly a banner over Arrowhead calling for GM Scott Pioli's ouster this Sunday, and to wear black to their Week 11 home game against Cincinnati to mourn their lost enjoyment for KC football.

And yet, the rumors remain that Pioli's contract has been extended by owner Clark Hunt, and remember when many of us thought he was going to bring respectability back to the Broncos' faltering rivals?

It's under these grim circumstances that Brady Quinn is getting his next, if not last, shot as a starting NFL quarterback. Several Broncos players and coaches were complimentary of Quinn to Mike Silver and one executive (presumably his BFF John Elway) called the Notre Dame grad a "class act," presumably for how he handled getting passed over last season due to a bunch of billboards.

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Open Thread: TNF Week 8 - Buccaneers @ Vikings

Bucky Brooks, Doug FarrarNathan Jahnke, and Dan Parr preview the matchup; Bill Simmons predicts a Vikings win and Bucs cover. Enjoy the game!

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Mile High Ass Clownery

Let me preface this by saying we don't have any axe to grind with Mile High Sports (MHS).  Sometimes we'll even link to them.  For us, content is king, whether it's our own excellent work by Ted Bartlett or Doc Bear, or our take on someone else's content.  However, sometimes, in the haste to be first with the news, providers of content can--and we mean this with as much respect as we can possibly muster--look like complete ass clowns.

Today provided a good example:  A few hours ago, Chris Bianchi of the aforementioned MHS wrote the following:

It turns out that Denver Broncos cornerback Tracy Porter isn’t dealing with an illness. It turns out he’s coughing up a bad attitude, and he could be gone soon.

A source told Mile High Sports’ Robin Carlin on Thursday that Porter, who signed a one-year, $4 million contract in the offseason, is not suffering from an illness, as the Broncos claim. Instead, Porter is sitting out due to poor performance and to what the Broncos coaching staff perceives as a “bad attitude;” the Broncos may look to move Porter in the near future as a result. Porter is not expected to play against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, per the source.

A few moments later, the Denver Post broke the story that Porter was actually sitting out because he was suffering from seizure-like symptoms.  

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Digesting the Saints defense

Happy Thursday, friends.  I have a few minutes to cook up a bite-size nugget, so open up.  I had occasion to watch the Saints-Bucs game on Wednesday night, and the most noticeable thing is that the Saints defense is atrocious.

To that end, they’re 32nd in total defense, 30th against the pass, 31st against the run, and 29th in scoring defense.  It’s a complete horror show.

I don’t think too highly of Steve Spagnuolo as a coach, because I think his defenses have tended to be very good when his talent is great.  It’s easy to have a team with a great pass rush when you have Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora, Mathias Kiwanuka, and Justin Tuck.  I don’t think he’s ever elevated marginal talent through excellent scheming, like, say, Mike Nolan or Rex Ryan.

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STDL: Broncos’ metrics get healthier during bye

What's that old saying? A week off makes the metrics grow fond? Something like that...

Following Denver's Week 7 bye, they remain atop Brian Burke's efficiency rankings, and are now ranked number one in offensive efficiency (up from fourth). Their defensive efficiency ranking has slipped from third to fifth.

Broken down by unit, the Broncos rank fourth in passing, are tied for seventh in rushing success, and are eighth in pass defense, and tied for seventh in run defense.

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Denver offensive line: TYJE Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The talk at Dove Valley yesterday was of getting a winning streak going - something that hasn't happened yet this season.

Of course, cleaning up their odd habit of first-half mistakes would go a long way to help build a string of wins, and Peyton Manning says it's about time for the team to put together a sixty-minute game. You'll recall that even their one blowout win, against Oakland, featured a halftime advantage of just 10-6, their only one of the season.

But it's not just a matter of cutting mistakes, especially with the big-play, pass-happy Saints coming to town.

The team is basically at full health, as Sealver Siliga missed practice for non-injury reasons, while Tracy Porter was a limited participant; six others were listed on the injury report as full participants.

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Notes on the Broncos defense, and a step back from writing

Over the bye week, I turned my attention to the notes that I’ve made on the team. Just as the offense did, the Broncos have made key errors on defense that cost them some games.

They’ve also showed the ability to play better. Here are some thoughts on Jack Del Rio's crew:

1. Rookie Derek Wolfe has played every position along the line (including nose tackle on at least one play) and already has three sacks to his credit - he’s also setting the edge with increasing effectiveness. Teams are commonly double-teaming Wolfe and/or handing him off from one blocker to the next, but all that’s done is to create more options for Von Miller, Elvis Dumervil, and the other players.

Del Rio isn’t shy about using his own immense creativity in putting new pressure packages together, and he’s started to use defensive secondary players in his QB pressure schemes, which helps. Most defensive ends/tackles need a couple or more years to really mature, but Wolfe’s off to a fine start.

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Honey, tell your dad we’re gonna run the ball all day long Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! As would be expected, the Broncos aren't taking for granted that they're going to cruise to an AFCW title, despite the turmoil permeating the rest of the division.

​Chris Harris says experience and film work are what helped him nab his game-sealing pick-six in San Diego, and he thinks the same pass would have been completed on him last season.

According to Mike Klis, the determinant in Matthew Willis (still don't understand how he's making more than Willis McGahee this season) being a weekly game-day active over Andre Caldwell is special teams, and he doesn't expect the team to make any deals prior to Tuesday's 4PM ET trade deadline.

Jeff Legwold suggests that Denver's giant fourth-quarter deficits, and the aggressiveness they've necessitated, have led to their whopping 79-6 scoring advantage in the final quarter. Makes sense.

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Porter back after undisclosed illness Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! After four days off for their bye week, the Broncos returned to practice yesterday.

With his former team coming to town, Tracy Porter was cleared on a noncontact basis yesterday, after he was held back from the trip to San Diego by what is being called an illness. According to Mike Klis, it's questionable whether Porter - who is not making a big deal of the reunion - will be able to suit up against New Orleans on Sunday night.

Then again, the player himself declared himself "ready to go," so we'll assume that's the case.

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Open Thread & Cutler/Marshall Schadenfreude: MNF Week 7 - Lions @ Bears

Brandon Marshall, self-proclaimed student of the game:

Five years ago, I didn’t know what conference I was in, probably. When you go back that far, the game was different. It was definitely different for me. I was seeing a lot of one-on-one coverages and we were out there just throwing it all over the place. Now, we have to be smarter. The looks that we’re getting, the disguises, you have to be a student of the game. It doesn’t matter how talented you are, if you’re not a student of the game, you’re definitely going to fail. I think the things you guys are hearing from me is just a maturity — learning the game more, learning the business and understanding the business more — so it’s also refreshing to me to see the growth in myself and the guys around me.

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