Good Morning, Broncos fans! At some point, do we all have to feel badly for the Chiefs?
After having been predicted by a near consensus of NFL punditry to be this year's AFCW champs, KC has been reaching new levels of futility and despair by the week.
Last night, the Chiefs (1-8) lost to the Steelers (6-3) by an overtime score of 16-13, on a field goal set up by yet another turnover by Matt Cassel - this time an athletic interception by Lawrence Timmons. It was the team's 30th turnover on the season, but their only one of this game; they got to OT after Cassell connected with Dwayne Bowe on a 4th-and-15 conversion late in the fourth quarter.
Lowlight of the night for KC has to be the 15-yard celebration penalty they were hit with on a touchdown that had been called back.
Dumb rule, for sure. Still, quite befitting for the 2012 Chiefs.
On the bright side, Romeo Crennel's squad opened the scoring to take their first lead of the year, and avoided breaking a dubious record held by the 1929 Buffalo Bisons.
And obviously, they played well enough to make a game of what had been expected to be a total blowout.
Helping their cause was that Ben Roethlisberger departed in the third quarter with a separated shoulder that had the hacktastic Rick Reilly begging Stuart Scott on air for attribution on a so-called "story" he didn't even break (Steve Young's reaction is epic).
Prior to the game came actual news, in the form of Chris Mortensen reporting that Marty Ball would not be returning to Kansas City. Rather, the Wily E. Coyote to John Elway's Roadrunner is merely helping Chiefs owner Clark Hunt in an advisory role.
It's been a careening fall from preseason prognosticator darlings to where the Chiefs are now.
But pity them? Not just yet - we'll stick with laughter and schadenfreude for now.
Fox instructed Trindon Holliday to bring any future touchdown balls all the way to the sideline instead of his foolish celebration. But as the Broncos put that behind them, Mike Silver says the replay officials' error in not overturning Holliday's score, plus a clock-keeping blunder in San Francisco, show there's still significant room for improvement in NFL officiating.
Denver's grayest vets are confident that this team will not become complacent as the accolades continue to roll in; a win Sunday would make for the first time Denver will have beaten Philip Rivers twice in one season.
While the rest of us focus on his vastly improved run defense and remarkable number of hurries, Legwold is busy focusing on Von Miller's sack total.
San Diego will likely be without NT Aubrayo Franklin, who suffered a bone bruise in his knee against Tampa Bay.
WR Danario Alexander has emerged as a real threat for the Chargers only weeks after having joined them.
The mark of San Diego's season thus far has been their tendency to blow big leads.
Khaled Elsayed blames the poor play of Michael Harris, the derpitude of Philip Rivers, and the strange deployment of San Diego's linebackers for their loss to the Bucs.
Kevin Acee doesn't envision the Chargers turning their season around like the San Diego teams of recent years, especially with PMFM leading the Broncos.
More in QB injury news: Jay Cutler's concussion will likely lead the Bears to re-sign Josh McCown; Niners QB Alex Smith admits he played with some blurred vision before exiting Sunday's tie with the Rams. Eagles QB Nick Foles will start in place of Michael Vick, whose concussion was characterized by Andy Reid as being "significant," prompting chatter that Reid may use the injury as an excuse to bench Vick for the remainder of the season in an effort to save his own hide. We'll join Mike Tanier in applauding NFL teams for this evidence that they're taking concussions more seriously.
Heading to IR are Raiders LB Travis Goethel, Packers T Bryan Bulaga, Cowboys DE Kenyon Coleman, and two Colts players - CB Jerraud Powers and DT Drake Nevis; Pittsburgh waived NT Alameda Ta'amu; Detroit claimed ex-Raiders CB Pat Lee and again dumped the bust-tastic Alphonso Smith to make room for him.
The NFL is making a PR push in China with hopes that the sport will eventually rival soccer and basketball there.
In their recaps of Sunday, Will Brinson says Ron Rivera likely felt an extra sting from John Fox's Broncos piling onto his team, while Pat Kirwan expects Peyton Manning to eventually break Brett Favre's touchdown record, plus the Shutdown Corner guys list their best and worst (Philip Rivers) players from Week 10.
Deadspin explores the Worldwide Leader's descent from legit journalistm into story-fabricating Tebow fluffery; notably missing from this otherwise excellent piece are ESPN's hacktastic pursuit of the Bernie Fine and Saints wiretapping stories.
OcotoDad says the Zombies calling for Teebs and his slow-motion quarterbacking to start over the flailing Sanchize can kiss his butt; Pete Carroll says Timmy's presence is disruptive and a distraction for his former USC quarterback.
Bucky Brooks says the remarkable performance by Johnny Manziel in leading A&M to a big upset over Alabama shows that the young QB and players of his ilk have a big future in the NFL.