La Canfora: Jared Allen could interest Broncos

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Any time in the National Football League when you're facing a player like Peyton Manning, there's going to be some problems for your secondary.

You know that's what Mike Shanahan has been thinking all week, with memories of the '03 and '04 playoffs looming large.

Today could be just as bad (or worse) for Shanny's squad, which will be without both of its starting safeties.

It's been known for most of the week that Brandon Meriweather would be suspended for the game, and yesterday it was confirmed that Reed Doughty, the other starting safety, would not make the trip west.

Doughty suffered a concussion against Chicago last Sunday, but while he was a limited practice participant on Wednesday and Thursday, he did not practice on Friday, and has been ruled out.

Their fill-ins don't exactly inspire any confidence that the Washington defense - which has allowed 72 points the past two weeks - will present Manning with much in the way of resistance.

The play of sixth-round rookie strong safety Baccari Rambo has been more befitting his draft status than his awesome name, as he racked up four missed tackles and a -8.3 grade in two games, before being benched for the past four.

Corner E.J. Biggers figures to take some snaps at safety, but he's seen only limited action since his four-whiff, minus-4.0 clunker in the season opener against Philly, when he started next to Rambo.

Jose Gumbs and Jordan Pugh (who was re-signed once it became apparent that Doughty was unlikely to play) have combined to play 15 snaps this season.

Sounds like the highlight of Shanny's day will be the 32-second pre-game clip of his halcyon Denver days.

Thanks for everything, Shanny. Now, enjoy this fifty burger.

Broncos

Kayvon Webster sounds like he's been taking his career pretty seriously, and is a good influence on his younger brother.

Peyton Manning was never going to play against Eli twice a year, but apparently, Mark Kiszla missed that memo.

Manning's teammates say the team's last two games beat him up a bit, but that Peyton was "throwing absolute darts" in practice this week.

Sterling Xie reminds us that the perception of Peyton Manning's playoff performances doesn't match the reality.

Paul Klee blames the backs more than injuries along the line for Denver's struggles running the ball last week, which is kind of ridiculous, quite frankly.

Mike Klis makes a statistical argument for the HOF inclusion of Randy Gradishar, who thankfully says he was never knocked out during a football game.

Former Vols coach Phillip Fulmer visited Dove Valley on Saturday, reuniting with his ex-players in Manning, Robert Ayers, and Britton Colquitt, plus Malik Jackson, who played at Tennessee after Fulmer's retirement.

Mike Shanahan

John Elway says that after his own father, Shanny had the biggest influence upon his football career.

Woody Paige does his name-dropping best to honor Shanny's Denver legacy.

Mike Wise wonders if Shanny has done enough to earn a contract extension, with...you guessed it - personnel decisions the biggest question mark. Oddly, Wise claims that Denver fans weren't sure if the Broncos should keep Elway following the 1996 season, but that doesn't ring any bells for me. Anyone recall such stupidity?

Washington

Keith Burns's special teams unit has allowed a touchdown in each of their past three games - a blocked punt at Oakland, an 86-yard punt return by Dwayne Harris of the Cowboys, and an 81-yarder by Devin Hester. Burnsy, you're familiar with Trindon Holliday, right?

Of course, let's not overlook RG3 & Co., who had five touchdown drives last week, with each consuming at least 74 yards.

Andrew Mason discusses the struggling Washington defense.

John Keim goes over Washington's keys for today, and he disagrees with Jeff Legwold's hilarious suggestion that Von Miller has lost some of his fast-twitch quickness.

Ron Jaworski says the Washington offense lost a chance to mature a bit during RG3's offseason rehab.

News

The trade deadline is 4pm ET on Tuesday, but Len Pasquarelli is hearing there won't be much action, even as the deadline got pushed back by two weeks this season. Pasquarelli also hears that Cam Newton has matured a bit and stepped up his work habits last offseason.

Then again, Jason La Canfora says the markets for wideouts and running backs could be pretty hot, and he thinks Denver could have interest in Jared Allen, provided the Vikings are willing to offset some of his remaining salary.

Although it was reported that the Rams contacted Tim Tebow after the injury to Sam Bradford, the reality is apparently that Timmy's agent called the Rams, not vice versa.

Analysis

Greg Cosell has been impressed by Geno Smith's pocket fortitude and willingness to chuck it downfield.

Chase Stuart is soliciting your suggestions/arguments for the midseason award winners he'll be listing in the Times this week.

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

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