Lenon, Bolden expected to start

Last updated: Dec 12, 2013 11:15 AM

Good Morning, Broncos fans! There's no two ways about it; playing two NFL games within a span of five days is just ludicrous.

But if the Broncos are able to emerge with a win tonight, and avoid major injury, having played on Thursday night will look pretty good on Friday, and especially, on Sunday.

Obviously, we're putting the cart before the horse here, but a win would keep the pressure on the Chiefs and Patriots, while the Broncos would have an extra few days to rest up for their Week 16 trip to Houston.

A mini-bye, of sorts, if you will.

But while we can afford to look past San Diego, the Broncos cannot.

The Chargers were beat up and coming off a disheartening loss at Washington the last time around, but they arrive in Denver healthier and looking to build on a thrashing of the Giants.

Meanwhile, the Broncos will be without Derek Wolfe, Wes Welker, Kevin Vickerson, Rahim Moore, and probably Champ Bailey, and Wesley Woodyard and Duke Ihenacho have been demoted.

BTW, should Denver emerge victoriously tonight, they would then clinch the AFCW with an unlikely Chiefs loss at Oakland. A Broncos win, Chiefs loss, and Bengals loss or tie at Pittsburgh would garner Denver a first-round bye.

But first things first. 

Broncos News

Paris Lenon will again start over Wesley Woodyard, while Omar Bolden is expected to start over Duke Ihenacho, alongside Mike Adams.

Terrance Knighton isn't thrilled about the quick turnaround, predicting that he'll only be feeling at about 75% by the time tonight's game starts.

The NFL has apparently admitted that the personal foul called for Bernard Pollard's shoulder-to-shoulder hit on Eric Decker was incorrect.

Colorado Springs residents who have basic cable will not be able to see tonight's game.

Broncos Analysis

Jeff Legwold predicts a 13-point win for Denver, while Eric Williams thinks it will be a much tighter affair.

Mark Kiszla thinks Mike McCoy - not John Fox - is to blame for the fainthearted decisions that helped the Broncos lose to Baltimore last year.

David Ramsey apparently would prefer bruising hits (and the injuries that come along with it) to the artistry of this Broncos offense. Perhaps he pines for 2011?

Naturally, the PMFM cold tub photo has inspired some brilliant Photoshop jobs over at KSK.

Chargers

LB Manti Te'o says he's made a lot of progress since the first time these two teams met.

Denver's defenders look forward to their typical war of words with Philip Rivers.

PFF's Michael Mountford thinks DE Kendall Reyes is the key to the Chargers' chances of containing Denver's running game tonight.

News

Instant replay may be taken out of the hands of on-field officials, to be instead handled from a central location. This is a terrific idea.

The Bears are putting out word that they might let Jay Cutler test the free agent waters next offseason.

Seattle re-signed CB Perrish Cox and placed S Jeron Johnson on IR; Dallas activated DE Edgar Jones from IR; New Orleans placed LB Victor Butler on IR.

Miami center Mike Pouncey was in Massachussetts to testify before a grand jury regarding one of the multiple murders that Aaron Hernandez is suspected of.

Mike Shanahan

Shanny dropped some all-time great quotes on Wednesday, first admitting that he's usually full of shit, while also claiming he doesn't talk to reporters off the record. Adam Schefter might have something to say about that one.

Naturally, Jake Plummer says he feels RG3's pain.

John Madden says Shanny's decision to start Kirk Cousins over RG3 goes against the integrity of the game.

Andrew Brandt believes Shanny is sending a message to RG3 and putting him in his place, rather than looking out for his health..

Analysis

Doug Farrar and Chris Burke discuss the SB chances of teams other than Denver and Seattle.

Farrar says GMs in today's NFL have shorter leashes; Burke ranks his 15 worst trades in NFL history.

Gwen Knapp tears apart the completely unfair expectations (and moving goalposts) associated with Cam Newton's progession as an NFL quarterback.

Maths

The 2014 salary cap is projected to be $126.3 million per team.

Brian Burke's efficiency data puts the Broncos as a 77% favorite tonight, the second heaviest advantage of the week.

According to Keith Goldner's NEP data, Peyton Manning and Knowshon Moreno still lead their respective positions, Demaryius Thomas is still #3 among receivers, and Eric Decker is up to #10.

Jason Fitzgerald expects the Broncos will pick up Von Miller's option for 2015 (as do we), but notes that a suspension would actually cost him free agency eligibility in 2015.

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

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