Good Morning, Broncos fans! The selection of Derek Wolfe as Denver's top draft pick has been somewhat controversial, and the success of RB Doug Martin for Tampa Bay has again focused the spotlight on the choice of Wolfe.
But although Derek has hardly created any pressure, and has (by far) the worst PFF grade of any Broncos player, he's also played the second-most snaps along the defensive line (to Elvis Dumervil), and nobody is close behind him in that category.
Dumervil credits Wolfe as having done "the most dirty work" along Denver's line, and that snap data certainly backs that up. Of course, Elvis and Von Miller have racked up some terrific pass-rushing figures this season, in part thanks to Wolfe's hard work in the trenches.
Given the amount of responsibility heaped on Wolfe's shoulders so far - surely necessitated by Denver's lack of line depth - one has to be impressed, at least to an extent.
He's playing an insane number of snaps for a defensive lineman, especially a rookie, averaging 65.7 plays per game so far.
As a point of reference, several of last season's top rookie linemen - Marcell Dareus (46.9), Aldon Smith (31.6), and J.J. Watt (50.5) played much smaller roles on their teams. It doesn't quite make up for Wolfe's poor grades and lack of production, but there's something to be said for how much he's played.
Porter says doctors have not yet found the cause of his seizure; from our perspective, it's hard to picture him playing anytime soon, but that's pure speculation.
Manning tells Peter King these Broncos are an especially close team, and he appreciates that John Fox allowed himself to join in on the post-comeback celebration with the players flying back from San Diego.
In response to a question of the whereabouts of Andre Caldwell, Jeff Legwold reminds us that Peyton Manning's hardly ever thrown many passes to more than three wideouts in a given season. Legwold wonders if the Broncos will have Champ Bailey focus on covering Marques Colston no matter where he lines up, and he says the team's goals for beating Drew Brees are basically the same as what New Orleans needs to do to Manning & Co.
Andrew Mason breaks down the matchup and predicts a Denver win in a shootout.
PFF's Thomas Maney expects Manning to be looking to Brandon Stokley plenty, especially if he's covered by Corey White.
Bill Barnwell calls the Broncos the fifth-most entertaining team in the league, and he wonders if their odd fumbles and clumsiness are the result of a Tebow curse.
Mark Kiszla makes the outlandish suggestion that Manning needs to show his face around town more, but does anyone really want him to be anywhere other than home and Dove Valley?
There's apparently been a rash of counterfeiting of Broncos tickets lately, so be careful!
Although Joe Vitt says TE Jimmy Graham will be a game-time decision, he sure sounds like someone who's ready to play.
Jonathan Vilma trusts the coaches to make sure he doesn't play more than his health will allow at this point.
The Saints acknowledge a need to get their running game untracked, but this doesn't figure to be the week that happens.
Mason's CBS counterpart Guerry Smith thinks the key matchup will be Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil versus New Orleans's tackles, and he predicts a narrow Broncos victory.
The league filed a motion arguing that Paul Tagliabue can hear the bounty suspension appeals fairly. Umm...right.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft told a crowd in London that he believes the city is ready to be the permanent home of an NFL team. Among the more interesting injury news for the week is that Pats TE Aaron Hernandez did not make the trip to London, but Rams wideout Danny Amendola did.
Dallas extended safety Barry Church even while he's out for the season; Minnesota placed CB Chris Cook on IR with the option to return; Tennessee put RB Javon Ringer on IR; the NFL fined Baltimore $20K for hiding Ed Reed's shoulder injury, and penalized Brandon Marshall $10,500 for wearing orange shoes.
Doug Farrar and Greg Cosell discuss the week's matchups in their podcast; Clark Judge and John Clayton preview tomorrow's games, and is anyone else tired of reading about how great the Broncos have fared historically following byes? How different Broncos teams have fared under different coaches for one random week picked out of each season indicates nothing as for how they'll perform tomorrow night. File this under trivia, and not stats, stats haters.
Also (beyond) tired is Bill Parcells's lame quote about a team being what their record says they are, which Mike Lombardi tries to explain here. So, how would this apply to the Giants and their 10- and 9-win seasons which culminated in SB victories over the 16- and 13-win Patriots? Parcells's trite line is the ultimate in intellectual lethargy.
Judy Battista is another writer who expects the Broncos to meet the Texans in the conference championship, and she responds to several hilarious Tebow-related questions, including why the Broncos didn't keep him around to groom under PMFM.
J.J. Cooper hits up the All-22 to examine some interesting blitzes by the Texans and Browns.
Scott Kacsmar shows that Cam Newton has been terrible in comeback opportunities in his first two years, but we're not buying the notion that it will be forever the case with him if he doesn't turn it around soon.
For someone who claims to not have known he was voted the league's most overrated player, Teebs sure did have a
snippy quick response. It must be that he's just so media savvy on his feet...