Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver now sits in first-place tie with San Diego atop the AFCW, but they occupy the driver's seat by their lonesome.
Both teams are 3-3, but the Broncos for now have an advantage head-to-head and in division record, and a reasonable chance at going 6-0 within the division.
Denver and San Diego enter their bye weeks on different trajectories, and the Broncos will host New Orleans and head to Cincinnati and Carolina, before hosting the Chargers in Week 11. In the interim, San Diego will visit Cleveland, host Kansas City, and head to Tampa Bay.
As devastating as last night was for the Chargers, it's not that hard to imagine them arriving in Denver with another edge in the standings.
But until then, we have an historic comeback in which to delight.
They say practice makes perfect.
The person who coined that phrase probably wasn't talking about trying to overcome 20+ point deficits, but they obviously had someone like Peyton Manning in mind when they did.
After having fallen short while trying to dig out of 20-point holes against Atlanta and Houston, and a 24-point canyon in New England, the Broncos stormed back from a 24-0 halftime deficit to stun the host Chargers 35-24 (Gamebook, ANS box score).
And on a night where John Fox told the KOA guys that Denver had practiced taking the ball away more than any team he's ever coached, the Denver defense ended six of the last eight San Diego possessions by turning Philip Rivers over.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver (2-3) has an opportunity to tie San Diego (3-2) for first-place in the AFCW tonight; if not, they'll maintain a dubious pace just ahead of the one-win Raiders and Chiefs.
Oakland (1-4) nearly pulled off a shocker in Atlanta, where the Falcons needed a last-second 55-yard field goal from Matt Bryant to escape with a 23-20 win and remain unbeaten. 17 points were scored in a wild final three minutes, with Asante Samuel returning an interception of Carson Palmer 79 yards for a score, Darren McFadden scoring with 40 seconds left, and Bryant capping yet another late game-winning drive by Matt Ryan, who had been picked off by Dennis Allen's boys three times in the first half.
Kansas City (1-5) got demolished in Tampa Bay 38-10 as the Brady Quinn-led Chiefs got outgained by 202 yards, and Quinn threw two interceptions (including a pick-six by Ronde Barber) in his first start since 2009. The Chiefs are denying that embattled GM Scott Pioli has been offered a two-year extension, as was reported by CBS's Jason La Canfora earlier in the day. But Jason Whitlock believes management only issued that denial because the team had just been pasted again on the field, and he says the recent Matt Cassel/booing fans/Eric Winston drama is just proof that the NFL and its players have no respect for their own fans.
The hard hitter, who has displayed a laudable dose of humility and self-awareness when it comes to his misreads and missed tackles, has had a rough year. He's struggled in both coverage and against the run (his strong suit), especially during his last two games (against Houston and New England).
Denver's coaches have apparently seen the same issues.
As Doc had called for two weeks ago, it appears the Broncos will start Keith Brooking in place of Mays tomorrow night. Brooking had been working primarily at Will - splitting time there with Wesley Woodyard - but this week, he shifted to his more familiar Mike spot, working ahead of Mays. Needless to say, we applaud the decision.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Ryan Clady (hamstring) and Tony Carter (illness) sat out Friday's practice; all other players were full participants.
John Fox says Clady is day-to-day; Chris Clark would take his place in the starting lineup should he not be ready to go Monday. Chris Kuper will likely see his first action of the year, but it's unknown whether he'll start at right guard and return Manny Ramirez to the bench.
Keith Brooking was a full participant after having passed his post-concussion tests on Tuesday; he admits he's likely past the days where he should be playing 60-70 defensive snaps per game.
Demaryius Thomas continues to tote a football around with him at Dove Valley in order to improve his ball security, and he hopes defenders will become preoccupied with trying to strip the ball instead of tackling him.
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Demaryius Thomas (hip), Ryan Clady (hamstring), and Keith Brooking (concussion) were limited in practice yesterday.
Denver's claim of Trindon Holliday makes the 5-5 return specialist the shortest player to ever appear on the team's active roster. The Broncos waived safety Duke Ihenacho to make room for Holliday, and beat out the 2-2 Colts in waiver priority to land the player. According to Mike Klis, Holliday will replace Jim Leonhard as the team's punt returner, and could eat into Omar Bolden's role as the top kickoff returner.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! It's been an interesting week for discussing the quality of each city's fans, what with the Arrowhead cheering of the concussed Matt Cassel.
Denver is certainly not above the fray, as some of our own booed then-new starting QB Kyle Orton in the team's 2009 scrimmage at the then-Big IF. Of course, then came the billboards a year ago.
Due south of Kansas City, Dallas's fans have been dragged into the discussion. You know, America's Team.
Brandon Marshall went so far as to say his team's trip to play the Cowboys "felt like a home game," what with the large Bears contingent in attendance.
Good Evening, Broncos fans! By now, all of us who were around for the heyday of Terrell Davis's Denver career have either delivered or been presented with the case for his HOF worthiness.
We like to stress his status as the greatest postseason runner in NFL history, but the most common ammunition is that TD was absolutely dominant, and for a period, the best player in the NFL. He's got the hardware to back that up: the SB MVP, the league MVP, and the 2,000-yard season. Only TD comes to mind as the best (eligible) player on multiple SB-winning teams to not be in the HOF.
Generally, the argument against his inclusion boils down to the supposed brevity of his career, or the success of subsequent Denver running backs in the Shanahan/Gibbs zone-blocking system.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Mistakes and a difficult schedule have often been cited as the main culprits in Denver's three losses.
But let's not forget about the factor of luck, specifically when it comes to fumbles.
As mentioned by Andrew Mason, the team has had the remarkable misfortune of having lost all seven of its offensive fumbles - three by Demaryius Thomas, two by Willis McGahee, and one each by Peyton Manning and Knowshon Moreno.
For clarity's sake, Thomas's first fumble was on the game-ending hook-and-lateral play against Houston, and of course, Knowshon's fumble was clearly recovered by Eric Decker before the scab refs did their thing. From our vantage that's really six offensive fumbles and what should be one own recovery.
Even with those tweaks, the Broncos have been unlucky - but not quite as unfortunate as Mason's 47.82% defensive recovery figure suggests.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! From a league-wide view, rather than a Broncos perspective, there was one facet of Sunday's loss to the Patriots that stood out: the pace with which New England's offense operated.
The haters will always call him a cheater, but the reality is that Bill Belichick always finds an edge. It's ironic that he's considered to be arrogant, with the truth being that Belichick is forever on a knowledge quest, and never do his actions suggest that he thinks he's figured everything out.
It's why he's constantly evolving, and why his Patriots have reflected so many different philosophies despite having the same superstar quarterback for the past 12 seasons.
We are all aware of the Hoodie's meetings of the mind with Urban Meyer, and with former Belichick assistant Nick Saban.