Houston makes a lot of sense for Shanny

Good Morning, Broncos fans! With yesterday's win over Tennessee, Denver became the first AFC team to clinch a playoff berth, while simultaneously helping Indy back into the AFCS title.

Let's take a quick peek at Denver's clinching scenarios for Week 15.

If the Broncos are able to take care of business against the Chargers on Thursday night, a Chiefs loss at Oakland on Sunday afternoon would clinch the AFCW for Denver.

Should both of those occur, the addition of a Cincy loss or tie at Pittsburgh on SNF would clinch a first-round bye for the Broncos.

As for the Patriots, Denver's main competitor for home field advantage, they face the Dolphins in Miami at 1pm ET on Sunday.

Broncos News

Rahim Moore was in attendance for his first game since his medical scare, and says he's cleared to start lifting weights today.

Denver has now scored nine times (eight touchdowns, one field goal) on their initial second-half possessions this season.

Peyton Manning's 39 completions set a new Broncos record (Kyle Orton had 37 during a 2010 loss to Peyton's Colts), while his 59 attempts tied John Elway's franchise mark (in a 1993 loss at Green Bay) and are a new career high for Peyton.

The cold weather meme appears to have turned up Manning's already legendary intensity.

Matt Prater was caught a bit unaware for his record-breaking FG.

Broncos Analysis

Mike Klis chronicles John Fox's first day back on the sidelines.

As Woody Paige details, Von Miller has clearly been humbled by his 2013.

Andrew Mason discusses the cold weather meme and revisits his three keys to the game.

Paul Klee thinks Denver's defensive injuries mean Manning will have to keep carrying the team.

Titans

Safety George Wilson says he was going for the ball when his hit concussed Wes Welker.

Wilson's partner, Bernard Pollard, is upset about the personal foul he received for his hit on Eric Decker, and frankly, he should be. It was undoubtedly a clean, shoulder-to-shoulder hit. However, suggesting that the call was about favoritism toward Manning, well, that's a bit much.

Chargers

Rookie wideout Keenan Allen scored two touchdowns against the Giants but sprained his shoulder in the effort. He returned to the game after receiving a shot, and is expected to play Thursday night.

LB Melvin Ingram played 13 snaps in his season debut; the team also got Eddie Royal, Jarret Johnson, and King Dunlap back from injury.

The Chargers gave the Giants a heavy dose of Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead.

San Diego has forced seven turnovers in its last three games, after having forced only seven in its first ten games.

Chargers fans greeted Eli Manning (who famously spurned them in 2004) with choruses of boos on Sunday.

News

Pats TE Rob Gronkowski tore his right ACL and MCL, while Cards S Tyrann Mathieu is believed to have torn his ACL. Naturally, the loss of Gronk would make New England a much less fearsome playoff opponent for Denver. The Pats will re-sign TE D.J. Williams to take Gronk's place.

If you're wondering how the Pats managed to score two touchdowns in the final minute yesterday, this ridiculous PI call had a lot to do with it.

Miami Jeff Ireland is apparently the new Teflon Don, as his job is reportedly safe.

Baltimore's wild win over Minnesota included six lead changes in the fourth quarter alone, with the score going from 12-7 Vikings to 29-26 in the game's final 2:05.

During the Saints' thumping of the upstart PanthersDrew Brees became the fastest quarterback in NFL history to reach 50,000 yards, and the first to top 30 touchdowns in six consecutive seasons.

Indy signed RB Tashard Choice and placed Chris Rainey on IR.

Shanny

One doesn't have to read too deeply to realize that Mike Shanahan wants out of Washington, and is doing everything he can to make that happen. Some even think Shanny and Dan Snyder will consummate their divorce as soon as today.

Jason La Canfora reported on Sunday that Shanny is eyeing the Texans gig, which makes perfect sense. While it's not ideal from a human level for him to take over for his old assistant Gary Kubiak, it couldn't be a better fit from a football standpoint.

Obviously, the transition would be seamless, especially on offense, where Shanny's blocking schemes and play-action sprintouts already in place. There's a good chance the Texans land the top pick in the draft, which would allow Shanny to groom another elite QB prospect, perhaps Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater.

Down in Houston, John McClain is reporting that owner Bob McNair is not interested in Shanny (nor Jon Gruden, who claims he's staying at ESPN), but saying otherwise would amount to tampering.

According to McClain, Lovie Smith, David Shaw, and Ken Whisenhunt are candidates.

Analysis

Andy Benoit, Mike Tanier, Matt BowenBill BarnwellPeter KingDon BanksWill BrinsonJason Cole, Sam Farmer, Frank Schwab, and John Clayton wrap up the day's action.

Chase Stuart and Doug Farrar chronicle the wild finishes from Sunday's early games.

Mike Tanier discusses the guys who have performed stellar jobs for crappy and under-the-radar teams this season. You know, great players who just aren't winners as the narrative goes.

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

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