Good Morning, Broncos fans! We'll open with a couple of notes from Sunday's Lions/Dolphins game.
Detroit (7-2) overcame a special-teams nightmare to pull off a last-minute 20-16 victory on a touchdown pass by Matthew Stafford.
Of direct interest to the Broncos, the Dolphins (5-4) lost left tackle Branden Albert for the season to a knee injury.
That will, of course, present a serious problem for Ryan Tannehill & Co. against Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware.
Of direct interest to Broncos fans hanging on Brandon McManus's every move, Matt Prater had a 42-yard attempt blocked.
Miami returned the ball 58 yards, setting up a go-ahead three-yard touchdown pass by Tannehill on the next play.
Prater now has three misses on the season. He would have four, but for the Lions' delay of game penalty in London.
Why is this important?
Brandon McManus has also missed three kicks, but none of those came during close games.
And yet, every McManus miscue is dramatized by the ridiculous claims that Prater is the league's best, most automatic kicker, and is also incredibly clutch.
Laughably, each of McManus's misses is accompanied by ironclad declarations that Prater would have made it, because of course he would have!
We made this point when John Elway made the switch: McManus is going to miss some kicks, and so is Prater. But McManus costs one-seventh of what Prater did, and isn't a single brewski away from a one-year suspension.
That cap space is going to matter next offseason, when the Broncos have a slew of pending free agents, all of whom are far more important to Denver's chances than Prater was.
The space freed up in 2014 by cutting Prater will be carried over to the 2015 league year. And then there's of course the space saved on the 2015 ledger.
It won't help them keep every one of Demaryius and Julius Thomas, Chris Harris, and Terrance Knighton, but it could easily be the difference in keeping or losing one of them.
Peyton Manning has a 48-game touchdown pass streak going (surpassing Johnny Unitas) and has 15 straight games with multiple scoring throws.
Mike Klis says Denver's offensive line shakeup was spurred by a dissatisfaction with the rushing attack.
Michael Ginnitti takes a guess at how the Broncos might hang onto their top pending free agents.
As usual, Aaron Rodgers (six first-half touchdowns) pwned Jay Cutler (three turnovers, 1-11 versus Green Bay, 3-∞ against great QBs) in Green Bay's 55-14 win over Chicago. The Bears became the first team in 91 years to allow 50+ points in consecutive games. The Packers improved to 6-3 but are not currently in playoff position. Doug Farrar recaps.
The LOLJets pulled off a huge upset of Pittsburgh with a 20-13 win buoyed by two Michael Vick touchdown passes and four takeaways. As the clocked ticked down on their loss, the Steelers pulled a Schiano and tried to blow up the hosts' victory formation.
The Rams are said to be the favorites to move to Los Angeles, perhaps as soon as next season.
A pressbox spotter appears to be to blame for the bungled handling of Chargers safety Jahleel Addae's obvious concussion against Denver.
Several teams have reportedly contacted Michael Sam, but apparently they're eyeing future contracts for 2015, rather than current practice squad spots.