Measuring expectations for Anderson

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Undoubtedly, the big on-field news for tomorrow is that Wesley Woodyard will be back in the starting lineup.

But another relatively notable story is the debut of undrafted running back C.J. Anderson, who is expected to dress in place of the fumble-prone Ronnie Hillman.

Since you're wondering, Hillman has two fumbles in 52 touches, after two fumbles in 119 touches as a rookie, including the playoff game. Montee Ball has two fumbles in 45 touches. Each of these are examples of too-frequent fumbling.

Knowshon Moreno has one fumble among 118 touches, which is a much more palatable figure. Yes, with samples as small as these, the difference between one fumble and two is quite large.

Obviously, it remains to be seen whether Anderson is any more surehanded, or if he even sees the field very much tomorrow.

It's easy to forget that we've only seen Anderson suit up once - during the preseason at San Francisco, when he racked up 69 yards on 15 carries (in 25 snaps).

FWIW, PFF had him down for four snaps in pass blocking (+0.3) that night, with a +0.7 grade carrying the ball, and +0.9 overall.

And while he looked like an excellent option for Denver - especially in short yardage, with his stocky build - let's not forget that his positive impression came during the second half of a preseason opener. Those memorable carries came with a backup offense and against a backup defense.

What's undeniable is that Anderson brings more size to the position (224 pounds), outweighing Hillman by 29, Ball by nine, and Moreno by four.

We just don't have a lot of information on which to base our expectations. But at least Matt Waldman liked what he saw from Anderson at Cal and during training camp:

Anderson is a hard runner with a good burst, skill as a pass protector, and capable of starting for a team if called upon. I think he could surprise in the NFL as a lead back in a committee and even be the full-time starter if called upon.

Be sure to read the full scouting report from Waldman, who, most importantly for the Broncos and Peyton Manning, says Anderson's pass blocking "is good and can get better."

Broncos News

Big Play Shay apparently won $1,200 playing pick-four lottery the other day.

Thom Brennaman and Troy Aikman will call tomorrow's game for FOX; we're spared the awfulness of Joe Buck, who will be performing his most familiar gig - fluffing the Cardinals on national television.

Broncos Analysis

Greg Cosell says the Colts didn't do anything fancy on defense last week, but that's easier to do when you have Robert Mathis going up against backup tackles and tight ends who currently can't block.

The NFLN Playbook guys discuss Sunday's matchup (video).

Benjamin Hochman discusses some of the unfair arguments presented against Mike Shanahan's case for HOF induction.

News

The Ginger Hammer says the NFL wants franchises in both London and LA (not either or), and that Niners LB Aldon Smith's decision to enter rehab will factor in his favor when it comes time to consider whether a suspension is appropriate.

Colts punter Pat McAfee was not fined for his hit on Trindon Holliday last week; Tampa Bay WR Mike Williams says he has a torn hamstring.

Noted dickhead Greg Schiano claims he hasn't lost the Bucs locker room, and that players are still listening to him.

Terrell Owens is trying to become a professional bowler, and if there's anyone who should be playing an individual sport rather than a team one, he's it.

Head Injuries

Sadly, Brett Favre, the NFL's all-time most sacked player, says he's already experiencing memory loss at age 44.

Nobody should be surprised that the NFL's PR flacks would take the results of a survey titled "Youth Football Takes Hard Hit," and interpret it to mean that parents aren't concerned by the sport's dangers.

Analysis

Robert Mays says Ron Rivera's defense and Cam Newton's improving pocket calmness are turning the Panthers into a quality team.

Bill Barnwell discusses the Cowboys' comically disastrous salary cap situation as created by one Jerrah Jones, and considers a way out of it.

Drew Magary previews the week's games.

We can only hope that the NFL learns from MLB's example and eventually puts highlights on YouTube, and in an embeddable format.

Maths

Kansas City (12) leads the league in long defensive sacks; Denver (8, tied 4th) isn't all that far behind.

Chris Burke examines a bunch of single-season records that could fall this year.

As measured by yards per attempt through 400 carries, the career of Colts RB Trent Richardson is off to a rather dubious start.

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

The Lard

Recent Game Coverage

All Game Coverage