Good Morning, Broncos fans! There are many reasons to love that Denver's bye falls after eight games, mostly of the mathematical/statistical variety.
Obviously, the timing of the bye as relates to injuries is more about luck; the Broncos happen to be quite banged up right now, so the bye seems ideally timed. But we might be saying the same thing had their week off come sometime in November.
From a mathy viewpoint, though, it's now so easy to do the ever-dangerous extrapolations: Denver is on pace for 14 wins; Peyton Manning for 58 touchdown passes and 5,838 yards; Knowshon Moreno and Wes Welker are on pace for 18 touchdowns, while Julius Thomas is on a 16-score pace.
Also easy and fun? Trolling Tebow Zombies.
Yes, it's one of my favorite pastimes.
In this case, all it takes is Jeff Legwold pointing out that Denver has 44 touchdowns through eight games.
Naturally, reading this makes me think, "I bet that's more than they scored in all of 2011."
Indeed, the Broncos scored 36 touchdowns in the 2011 regular season. Even if we include the playoffs, that brings the 2011 squad up to just 40 touchdowns in 18 games.
Again, the 2013 Broncos have 44 touchdowns. In eight games.
Thank You, John Elway.
Videos: John Fox and several players speak after practice; John Elway discusses the Broncos' season at the halfway point; here's Wes Welker on Sound FX, plus Welker and Rahim Moore mic'd up against Washington; BTV counts down the top ten offensive plays of Denver's first eight games.
John Fox goes heavy on the cliches and platitudes while defending his own conservative decision-making. Of course, cliches and platitudes (along with a bit of intellectual laziness) are really the only way to defend conservative decision-making when Peyton Manning is your quarterback.
Running backs coach Eric Studesville attributed Montee Ball's early fumble woes to an issue of technique that's since been fixed.
Benjamin Hochman makes a reasonable argument that Louis Vasquez has been Denver's second MVP, behind Peyton Manning. I'd go with either Wesley Woodyard or Chris Harris, soon to be overtaken by Von Miler.
Mike Klis reminds us that Denver's defense might not deserve blame for any of Washington's three touchdowns last week.
Tom Gower and Mike Kurtz discuss PMFM's freakish fantasy stats and the team's first- and second-half splits.
A report from the Institute of Medicine says high school football players face nearly double the risk of concussion that college players do.
The No Fun League is considering whether to make taunting penalties so severe that they wipe out touchdowns. This is about as bad as an idea gets...
Deadspin is hearing that several Jaguars players got beaten up in London following the team's loss to the Niners.
Miami tackle Jonathan Martin took so poorly to a prank by teammates that he left the team; he is listed as doubtful (due to illness) for tonight's game against Cincy.
Niners LB Aldon Smith is out of substance abuse rehab, but there's no indication yet as to when he'll be back on the field.
Our own Ted Bartlett has been beating the "elite left tackles are unnecessary" drum for quite some time now; Andy Benoit says that with how teams are throwing the ball nowadays, this is consistently becoming more true. Really, it's too bad that no other team signed Ryan Clady to an offer sheet last offseason...
Matt Waldman breaks down tape of Denver/Washington in marvelous detail, finding that RG3's injured knee has rendered him far less able to compensate for the craptastic talent Shanny, Son, & Friends have surrounded him with.
Greg Cosell credits Carolina's front seven and Cam Newton's sudden maturation as a passer for the Panthers' recent success.
Plain Old Analysis
Doug Farrar says Greg Schiano isn't the first coach to be known as a complete dick early in his NFL career (Pete Carroll, Tom Coughlin); the only question is whether Schiano can salvage his reputation quickly enough to save his hide.
Andrew Brandt explains why it's so hard to get trades done in the NFL, especially midseason and as the deadline approaches.
Greg Bedard visits with beastly Bengals DT Geno Atkins and discusses his devotion to film study.
Gil Brandt includes Montee Ball among his rookie underachievers; there's no doubt that Montee has been a bit underwhelming, but there's plenty of time for him to turn it around.
Eric Edholm looks at the Week 9 matchups.
Even with the Broncos and Niners off this week, there are plenty of lopsided matchups according to Brian Burke's efficiency-based probabilities.
Chase Stuart shares Game Script and FP data from Week 8.