Final Score: Patriots 34, Broncos 31

For thirty minutes of play, Manning/Brady 14 did not appear to have much of a chance of living up to billing. Of course, it was a matchup between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, and Sunday night’s game did not disappoint.

But bouncing footballs were the stars of the show, rather than the future HOF quarterbacks.

The Broncos (9-2) stormed out to a 24-0 lead, allowed the Patriots (8-3) to score 31 straight points, and then forced overtime with a fourth-quarter touchdown drive, before ultimately succumbing in a 34-31 (Gamebook) classic.

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Report: Fox coming back to Denver this week

According to Mike Klis, John Fox's recovery from open heart surgery is going well enough that the Broncos head coach will return to Denver on Wednesday.

It's unclear when Fox will return to coaching the team, or where he is relative to expectations, but it's great to hear he's progressing.

Live Blog: Broncos @ Patriots

Inactives: Broncos - Julius Thomas, Champ Bailey, Ronnie Hillman, Michael Huff, J.D. Walton, Chris Kuper, Zac Dysert

Patriots - S Steve Gregory, DL Chris Barker, WR Josh Boyce, DL Jake Bequette,  DL Marcus Forston, TE Michael Hoomanawanui, and LB Steve Beauharnais

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Final Score: Chargers 41, Chiefs 38

For the third straight week, Kansas City's overrated vaunted defense allowed over 400 yards, and the Chargers (5-6) knocked off the Chiefs (9-2) in an epic 41-38 shootout.

Philip Rivers threw for 392 yards and three touchdowns, including a last-minute 26-yarder to Seyi Ajirotutu, giving the Broncos a chance to take sole possession of first place in the AFCW tonight with a win at New England.

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Open Thread: Sunday Week 12

Here are the day's inactives. Enjoy the games, and Go Chargers and Cardinals!

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Game Day Limerick: New England Patriots

Happy Game Day, Broncos fans. Time again to break out something completely obscene:

If you're pondering Belichick's class

then you ought to consider a pass

on the shaking of hands

when he's losing the fans  

and the score is shoved up his ass.

Sorry, I tried, but I just couldn't get McDaniels to rhyme with tiny Napoleon.  See if you can.

Gearing up for Manning/Brady 14

Good Morning, Broncos fans! All week long, we've read conflicting reports out of New England regarding the health/availability of corner Alfonzo Dennard.

The second-year corner was listed as a limited practice participant each day, and is officially questionable for tonight's game.

Jeff Howe and Albert Breer reported that Dennard would be out tonight and perhaps for as long as three weeks, and have stuck with that.

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You Got Served: Some observations on the Patriots

Happy Sunday, friends. I had some time materialize on my calendar yesterday, so I used it to watch the Patriots’ last two games.

In Week 9, they hung a franchise-worst 55 points on the Steelers, and won 55-31, and in Week 11, they lost a hard-fought game to the Panthers, on what was frankly a screwjob call by the officials as the clock expired.

The Steelers game was a clear outlier among a ragged group of offensive performances this season, and everything worked well in that game, as they had for Patriots teams of past years. Against the better Panthers defense, the Patriots had a harder time stringing together the drives they had two weeks earlier.

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Broncos offense is in another stratosphere

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver's 2013 campaign has been a statistical marvel in many senses. From our good friend Chase Stuart:

  • The gap between how much Denver and Chicago (the #2 team) score is greater than Chicago's advantage over the Jets (the #31 team). That's all kinds of insane.
  • The Broncos have the most efficient red-zone offense as far back as that data goes (only to 1997
  • Denver's per-game scoring is 75% higher than the average of the other 31 teams

Of course, you should read Stuart's piece in its entirety.

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Injury Report: Welker will play; Bailey unlikely

All signs this week had pointed to Wes Welker making the trip to New England to face his former team.

Indeed, he's listed as probable after participating in full during Friday's practice, but Jack Del Rio says there's no question whether Welker will play.

Welker, Peyton Manning, and seven other Broncos are probable; Julius Thomas and Champ Bailey were again limited and are questionable for Sunday night's game.

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