Broncos are fumbling less, lucky when they do Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver has gone four weeks without having lost a fumble. In most years, this probably wouldn't be particularly notable.

But in the case of these 2012 Broncos, it's quite a turnaround, given that they had lost at least one fumble in nine of their first ten games, for a total of 13 lost fumbles out of 16. As we had shown after nine games, much of this was a matter of luck, but the team's improved fortunes have not solely been about not losing fumbles - they've also been putting the ball on the ground much less often.

After those 16 fumbles in 10 games, Denver has just three fumbles in its past four games - a poor snap by Dan Koppen against Tampa Bay, a muffed punt by Trindon Holliday at Oakland, and a Holliday fumble on a kickoff last week. The former two were recovered by Denver, while the latter went out of bounds and stayed with the Broncos.

As well as Denver has played during its nine-game winning streak, don't discount the factor of luck.

Through 5.5 games and a 2-3 start, and the 24-0 halftime deficit at San Diego, the Broncos had fumbled nine times, and lost all nine of them. Since then, they have 10 fumbles in 8.5 games, and have lost only four of them.

Broncos

Video: John Fox speaks after practice, from which BTV reports; NFLN's Playbook crew examines the matchup - Brian Baldinger marvels at the dominance of Von Miller, while Donovan McNabb apparently thinks Eric Decker is slow because he's white.

Chris Kuper is apparently dealing with pain in both of his ankles, not just his surgically repaired one. Let's hope Chris doesn't have to play again for three weeks from now, and that Manny Ramirez doesn't get Peyton Manning injured.

If you're worried about a letdown, know that the Browns are doing their part to prevent it, by apparently sending plenty of smack talk the way of old teammate Mike Adams.

In his film study, Andy Benoit contrasts the importance of Manning's constantly moving feet to the lack of anticipation in Brandon Weeden's throws.

Bill Barnwell includes Peyton Manning, Ryan Clady, Zane Beadles, Von Miller, and Champ Bailey among his picks for AFC Pro Bowlers.

Although Ring of Famer Goose Gonsoulin is fighting both cancer and heart troubles, he's still finding joy in watching his Broncos thrive this season.

Knowshon Moreno added a FedEx Ground award to his AFC Offensive POW honor for last week's performance at Baltimore.

SAF@MH will receive $30M in upgrades to its video boards, none of which will be paid by new taxes.

Browns

PFF's Cole Schultz says the key matchups tomorrow are Von Miller vs. Mitchell Schwartz, Manning against Cleveland's corners, and Knowshon versus D'Qwell Jackson.

Brandon Weeden is already well-acquainted with Von, from their college days at Oklahoma State and Texas A&M, respectively.

The knowledge that Mike Lombardi is likely headed to Cleveland makes it hard to read his praise for a Kyle Shanahan/Kirk Cousins package without wondering if that's a potential fallback for himself should Nick Saban or Josh McDaniels not join him with the Browns.

Meanwhile, with Jason Cole having reported that Saban was interviewing staffers to take north with him, the Alabama coach's people scrambled to claim he's not leaving the Crimson Tide.

News

Ray Lewis is expected to make his return for Baltimore tomorrow, while Jeff Saturday has been benched for Evan Dietrich-Smith as Green Bay's starting center.

Miami placed kicker Dan Carpenter on IR and replaced him with Nate Kaeding, who would be a fine candidate to replace Matt Prater next year at a fraction of Prater's 2013 figure, except that he can't seem to stay healthy anymore.

Buttfumble is expected to be the backup QB this week behind the LOLJets' 2009 SEC Champion quarterback; the week's news out of Jersey prompted a return of the Worldwide Leader to the land of TebowCenter, where the absence of tangibles is apparently trumped by mystical intangibles. Old friend Trevor Pryce thinks Sexy Rexy is just too loyal and caring for his own good, as far as winning football games goes, and he says that becoming a worse person would make Rexy a better coach.

At least Chiefs fans recognize they're being fed shit sandwiches by Clark Hunt & Co., and have appropriate desserts with which to chase them.

Analysis

Ben Muth studies the adjustments in line play made throughout Niners/Pats; J.J. Cooper examines Jake Locker's struggles against the LOLJets and credits Von Miller for having set Derek Wolfe up for his sack of Joe Flacco; Bucky Brooks sees plenty of weapons in Seattle's offense beyond QB Russell Wilson.

Jack Moore finds Mark Sanchez in the dubious company of Joey Harrington, Tim Couch, Aaron Brooks, and possibily pre-Denver Jake Plummer, while Brian Burke places Joe Flacco's value at around $11M/year in cap dollars; here's guessing he'll undeservedly be getting more than that.

In an attempt to remove some of the statistical noise and influence of teammates in quarterback statistics and produce a football version of baseball's FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching), Neil Paine of course finds PMFM atop this year's passers.

Clark Judge and John Clayton preview the week's games; as noted by Judge, a win tomorrow would extend Peyton's NFL record for 12-win seasons by a starting QB to a staggering nine.

Bill Simmons thinks the Broncos will cover the 13 points they're giving the Browns tomorrow, and because he's a biased chowderhead, claims that Peyton Manning needed last week's performance to move into "elite" territory along with Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.

Drew Magary pulls off the seemingly impossible task of ranking the stupidity expressed within a year of Gregg Easterbrook's unbearable writing.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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