Look for Cannon to be fined, not suspended

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! New Orleans (9-2) continued the burial of division rival Atlanta (2-9) with a 17-13 road win on Thursday night.

Rob Ryan's defense sacked Matt Ryan five times, and two first-half touchdown passes from Drew Brees proved to be enough to down the reeling Falcons, who have lost five straight games.

His second scoring throw went to Jimmy Graham, whose thunderous TD celebration nearly destroyed a goalpost.

As he's done many times before, Falcons coach Mike Smith wimped out on a late decision, opting for a FG attempt while down four points with just 2.5 minutes remaining.

It hardly matters that his kicker missed the try, because his team never got the ball back anyway.

With that, the Falcons are now a half-game behind the Bucs, and only the Jaguars have a worse record.

Ben StockwellSam Monson, and PFT Commenter analyze the game.

Broncos

Videos: NFL Films previews the matchup; rivals from other sports talk about Manning/Brady; NFLN's Total Access crew discuss the teams' SB chances; Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison talk about the clutchness of the QBs.

As he recovers from surgery on his leg, Rahim Moore was released from the hospital on Wednesday.

Jack Del Rio says the loss at Foxboro last season was a bit of a wake-up call for Denver.

Shaun Phillips says he's taken motivation this season from the lukewarm interest he received during free agency.

Peyton Manning's 19 red-zone throws to Wes Welker have resulted in a ridiculous 17 completions for eight touchdowns.

Lindsay Jones discusses Welker's move from New England to Denver.

While most of the attention will be on the QBs and Welker, Joan Niesen reminds us to watch the freak tight ends.

Patriots

Bill Belichick discusses the importance of disguising coverages against Manning; here's a transcript of his comments.

RT Marcus Cannon figures to be hit with a fine today for his leg whip on Carolina's Charles Johnson.

Not that it's particularly suprising, but the concept of a time machine is apparently lost on Rob Gronkowski.

It's not clear they have the personnel to pull it off, but obviously, the Pats defense needs to get physical with Denver's receivers.

Andrew Mason breaks down the New England defense; Mike Reiss recommends they move Devin McCourty to safety and promote a corner from the practice squad.

Reiss predicts a Patriots win, while Jeff Legwold is taking the Broncos.

News

The Fritz Pollard Alliance is calling for NFL players to stop using the n-word amongst themselves.

Kansas City lost WR/KR Kyle Williams (whom they'd just claimed from San Francisco) for the season to a torn ACL; they've re-signed WR Chad Hall to replace him.

Seahawks owner Paul Allen is funding a two-year, $2.4M study into possible links between head injuries and diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Analysis

Brett Michael Dykes, John Clayton, and Drew Magary preview Week 12.

Mike Tanier proposes a solution to the HOF's logjam - letting in all 27 of the remaining candidates. It's not as crazy as it sounds...

The stellar contributions of David Bruton and Kayvon Webster in particular have the Broncos' special teams graded second best to only those of the Seahawks.

Ben Muth explains how the Bears offensive line has gone from atrocious to respectable in just a year.

Robert Mays goes over the most dire needs facing the league's worst teams.

Maths

Denver's win over KC further cemented their chances of taking the division (87%), a first-round bye (86%), and home-field advantage (81%).

While the Broncos were comfortably ahead for most of the game, they didn't have the benefit of very good field position.

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

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