Adam Teicher, Tom Krasovic, Scott Bair, Michael Gehlken, Bucky 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Thankfully, Peyton Manning says his right thumb is okay after it hit the helmet of Saints DE Martez Wilson on Sunday night.
However, the team is upset about the hit applied by Wilson on the play, and will likely ask the league to examine it and consider disciplinary action against the second-year player.
Turns out that only Peyton's thumbnail was damaged; maybe he (and all QBs?) should be wearing a nail polish to protect his nails, in the way knuckleball pitchers do.
The NFL trade deadline was supposed to come this afternoon, but due to Hurricane Sandy, the league offices have been closed, and the deadline has been pushed back to Thursday at 4pm ET. Among the players rumored to be potentially involved in deals are several high-profile running backs, Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe, and the punt protector who can't protect the punter; Titans TE Jared Cook has reportedly asked to be traded.
The return from suspension of D.J. Williams after the Broncos' Week 10 game at Carolina has created questions about how the team will handle its LB corps going forward.
Unfortunately, a fractured fibula suffered by Joe Mays will go a long way to forcing Denver's hand there. Mays is done for the year after he was injured during a Broncos punt return last night, and is expected to be placed on IR tomorrow.
Mays had lost his starting Mike job to Keith Brooking, and had been relegated to special teams duty for the past two weeks. 2011 sixth-rounder Mike Mohamed is on the practice squad as a likely replacement for Mays, if a temporary one until Williams is reinstated.