Gearing up for Manning/Brady 14

Good Morning, Broncos fans! All week long, we've read conflicting reports out of New England regarding the health/availability of corner Alfonzo Dennard.

The second-year corner was listed as a limited practice participant each day, and is officially questionable for tonight's game.

Jeff Howe and Albert Breer reported that Dennard would be out tonight and perhaps for as long as three weeks, and have stuck with that.

Meanwhile, ESPN Boston's Field Yates did little more this week than pass along the Patriots' smokescreen, noting Dennard's presence on the practice field and offering no more information than Bill Belichick's typically murky injury reports.

We should note that Yates is a Wesleyan alum and former Patriots coaching and scouting intern; Belichick is a Wesleyan alum, and of course, Yates's former boss.

On Saturday, the Patriots provided their first real hint that they'd be without Dennard, as they promoted corner Justin Green from their practice squad and dumped RB/KR Leon Washington.

Still, Yates only reports the bare minimum - that Dennard is listed as questionable, along with Kyle Arrington and Aqib Talib, even while ESPN Boston colleague Mike Reiss acknowledges that Dennard "isn't expected to play."

Hacktastic.

Broncos

Tonight's game figures to be the coldest for Peyton Manning's Broncos, by far.

Jack Del Rio has apparently made it clear during his time in Denver that he'll dole out playing time based upon how hard and well his guys practice.

Prior to signing with Denver, Michael Huff drew very little interest around the league, only working out for Dallas and talking with Cincy.

Mike Adams says Denver is his favorite among NFL towns he's called home, with San Francisco second.

Mark Kiszla says tonight is the Broncos' chance to prove they're a tough team.

Selection Committee member Gary Myers thinks Terrell Davis deserves inclusion in the HOF.

Manning/Brady

Woody Paige shares a great scouting report on the two QBs from former Ravens and Jets linebacker Bart Scott, who predicts a Patriots win tonight.

Scott Kacsmar goes over several fascinating but lesser known facts about the first 13 meetings between Manning and Brady.

Mike Klis discusses the quick releases of the two passers and for perhaps the first time ever, criticizes the slowness of Tim Tebow's. Guess there's no more hope of selling those books...

Paul Klee isn't sure which QB is better between Manning and Brady.

Karen Guregian wonders which two quarterbacks will provide the next great rivalry.

Patriots

As gigantic as tonight's matchup is, New England's players are sticking to the mantra of it being just another game.

Earlier injuries to Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola threw the Pats' rookie wideouts into the fire, providing them the experience to deepen the offensive options now.

Andrew Mason examines the statistical impact Gronkowski has had on New England's offense.

Jarrett Bell says we'll learn a lot about New England's defense tonight, although he doesn't expect they'll do that well.

Dan Shaughnessy reads plenty of dislike in Belichick's comments about Wes Welker, and he thinks the Pats must win tonight if they're to land a first-round bye.

Steve Buckley weirdly claims that tonight is all about Wes Welker, and much less about Manning and Brady.

Here's a pretty funny column from Leigh Montville about the whining in New England over the non-call at the end of Panthers/Patriots.

News

NFL investigator Ted Wells is done with his first series of interviews with Dolphins players, and it's reported that they're not being very cooperative. Meanwhile, Richie Incognito reportedly shelled out $30K to silence the woman who accused him of groping her during a team golf outing.

It now seems odd that the NFL suspended umpire Roy Ellison, given what's being said about Washington tackle Trent Williams.

Rams CB Cortland Finnegan and QB Brady Quinn, Packers corners Casey Hayward and James Nixon, and Jags WR Stephen Williams were each placed on IR.

Seattle CB Walter Thurmond reportedly faces a four-game suspension for violation of the substance abuse policy.

Jon Bon Jovi apparently wants to buy the Bills someday.

Analysis

Greg Cosell likes what he's seen so far from Tampa Bay QB Mike Glennon, but he thinks Oakland's Matt McGloin could have used another year at Penn State.

Chase Stuart recaps the moronic use/non-use of timeouts by Baltimore's John Harbaugh and Chicago's Marc Trestman last week.

Chris Burke collates some of the better clips of Philly's Chip Kelly breaking down film this year.

Brian Burke shares an excerpt from a book he's quoted in, on the decision making of NFL coaches.

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

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