Confession of a spoiled Broncos fan

Good Afternoon, Broncos fans! It's bound to happen when your team's quarterback is Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. Or John Elway.

Still, I have to admit that I'm feeling pangs of remorse and self-contempt for having my thoughts dominated by what could have been for Denver last night. This is the way obnoxious Colts and Patriots fans have been thinking for the past 12 or 15 years.

Come to think of it, I was probably equally ridiculous in my expectations for the Broncos in 1998, and had been waiting 15 years for the opportunity to again act like a spoiled brat.

They should have put up 50+ points...held the Raiders scoreless...not punted...had no penalties...dropped no passes...

Really, is there anything worse than a fan who thinks like that?

It's one thing for the players themselves to say they still see room for improvement. This is especially so on a team led by the most notorious perfectionist in the sport's history.

We want the Broncos to remain motivated, and of course, not to take satisfaction from easily dispatching one of the league's worst teams at home.

But there's something unclean about wishing for more, all while it's being written that Peyton is playing at a new level and on his way to the greatest-ever season for a QB, or even that the Broncos offense is unstoppableindescribably great, and already looking like the best or most intimidating in NFL history.

Some are already looking 4.5 months out to the Super Bowl, calling the Broncos the league's most complete team, and declaring that Denver's greatness can only be validated by a Lombardi Trophy.

Meanwhile, the Broncos are on pace to shatter several league records and are #1 in the NFL in points scored, yards gained, first downs, passing yards, touchdowns, and interceptions, and offensive efficiency as measured by scoring and giveaway percentage. They're tops in every PFR per-drive statistic: field position, and time/plays/yards/points per possession.

Denver's defense also ranks #1 in every per-drive metric, along with scoring and takeaway rates. They're also tops in rushing yards, interceptions, and yards per rush.

The reality is that the Broncos are off to an historic start to their season, and may eventually make that 1998 team seem pedestrian in hindsight.

Yet here I am, lamenting their non-perfection.

Even if Manning sticks around beyond 2013, chances are that our wait for the Broncos to return to this level of dominance is going to be longer than the 15 years that have passed since 1998. In truth, it will probably never happen.

So, here's some advice - to myself, but also to anyone else who's feeling this way today (I know you're out there):

Appreciate these Broncos, and Manning.

Savor each pre-snap gesticulation, adjustment, frenetic footstep, and perfectly timed throw.

Peyton himself will probably tell us (daily) that he, and they, can improve.

But really, this may be as good as it's going to get.

Broncos

Injuries: Tony Carter (ankle) left SAF@MH in a walking boot, Duke Ihenacho aggravated his injured ankle, and Paris Lenon suffered a thigh strain.

Denver is now 7-0 against AFCW opponents since Manning's arrival.

Peyton says Ryan Clady's holdout helped Chris Clark develop his own skills, especially from a mental standpoint.

Andrew Mason revisits his three keys to last night's game and details the defense's rise to the top run-stopping unit in the league relative to yards gained.

Benjamin Hochman sees lots to like in Denver's defense, and that's without Von Miller and Champ Bailey...

According to PFF, Robert Ayers was quite efficient in rushing the passer (five pressures) despite playing limited snaps (30).

Jeff Legwold has apparently been hanging out with trend-discoverer John Clayton, because he suggests that the two lost fumbles by Montee Ball are a trend that's bound to continue and someday cost them big. Indeed, they are a problem, but it's illogical to assume they will continue.

Raiders

Although his touchdown pass was pretty sweet, Darren McFadden's nine yards on seven carries weren't quite of a world-shocking quality.

Jerry McDonald says the Raiders got a dose of reality last night after having previously surprised Indy and beaten the hapless Jaguars.

Mark Purdy thinks Terrelle Pryor showed enough last night to give Raiders fans hope for the future.

Prior to the game, Oakland placed TE David Ausberry on IR and promoted Lamar Mady from their PS.

News

According to Mike Florio, the NFL suspects that Von Miller isn't the first player to have convinced a urine collector to help him cheat the system.

Kansas City worked out ex-Steelers RB Chris RaineyMiami signed DT Marvin Austin.

Niners LB Aldon Smith checked into rehab on Monday and could be out for as long as a month; San Francisco placed him on its Reserve/NFI list.

After missing two games with injurires to his throwing hand, Blaine Gabbert will start at QB for Jacksonville against the Colts this week.

Bengals CB Pacman Jones was arrested for disorderly conduct during a traffic stop.

Former Washington corner Fred Smoot referred to Shanny as 'Red Lobster' (LOL) and called RG3 a 'brat' during a sports radio rant.

Injuries

As feared, Chicago lost DT Henry Melton for the season; Dallas DE Anthony Spencer may require microfracture surgery on his knee and is likely done for the year; Falcons RB Steven Jackson is expected to miss 2-3 more weeks with a hamstring injury; Lions WR Nate Burleson broke his arm in a car accident and will undergo surgery today.

Analysis

PFF's best (Peyton Manning, Louis Vasquez, Manny Ramirez) and worst (half of Oakland's secondary) players of the week.

Manning's night led the league's QBs in DYAR (by far) for Week 3, Ronnie Hillman ranked third among running backs, and Eric Decker was second among wideouts.

Brian Burke uses Rex Ryan's decisions from Sunday's Jets/Bills game to provide a lesson on a coach's risk relative to using up challenges; Bill Barnwell discusses the week's best and worst coaching decisions.

Mike Tanier explains how Handshake Haley & Co. can turn the Steelers offense back into a productive unit.

Eric Edholm looks ahead to the Week 4 matchups.

Mike Silver and Frank Schwab each have the Broncos at #2 in their power rankings, behind the Seahawks, while Pat Kirwan and Pete Prisco have them at #1.

Christmas Ape translates PK's MMQB; Sarah Sprague displays KSK's influence over the NFL.

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

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