NFL admits defensive holding should have been called on Cowboys

Good Morning, Broncos fans! As their participation in Monday's practice suggests, Brandon Marshall and T.J. Ward are expected to play in Sunday's divisional round matchup with Indy.

Peyton Manning also returned to practice, while Orlando Franklin and David Bruton did conditioning as they work back from concussions.

The bye week also helped Julius Thomas, who says his injured ankle continues to improve.


DeMarcus Ware's impact waned down the stretch, which is something to consider when claiming he's still better than Elvis Dumervil, who had two huge sacks against Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Of course, one point of confidence relative to last season is that Denver enters the playoffs with far fewer key players on IR, including Von Miller, Ryan Clady, Rahim Moore, and Derek Wolfe. Chris Harris was injured during the playoffs.

Cecil Lammey says these Broncos are better than the squad that defeated the Colts in Week 1.

Denver signed former Texas A&M-Commerce linebacker Danny Mason to a future contract.

Thankfully, the Broncos will again escape the possibility of being featured on HBO's Hard Knocks next summer.


Indy's current roster enters the week in pretty good shape as far as injuries go, but the team has lost many linemen along the way.

Although Daniel Herron produced 141 yards from scrimmage on Sunday, his performance was marred by two fumbles.

Over at the Colts' official site, a breakdown of Andrew Luck's insane 36-yard touchdown throw to Donte Moncrief.

Given that his only previous halfway decent playoff performance featured three interceptions, it's not really going out on a limb to say Sunday was Luck's best playoff game. A more ballsy declaration is that Luck will have a better career than Manning.

Gregg Doyel says a Colts win is unlikely, but would just be gravy on what's already a successful campaign.


New Orleans signed former Washington RB Tim Hightower to a future contract; 

Adam Teicher says the Chiefs are likely to cut wideout Dwayne Bowe if he's unwilling to negotiate his contract downward.

Coaching Carousel

According to Ian Rapoport, the Bears will interview Mike Shanahan, but not before they hire a new GM.

Doug Marrone's interview in New Jersey didn't go nearly as well as expected, and he's now getting trashed publicly, including by an ex-assistant who says of the ex-Bills coach, "When he takes a job, he already has his plan in place for his next job."

The number of candidates to turn down the LOLJets for a GM interview is up to four.

Lions/Cowboys Non-call

The NFL's head of officials says it wasn't clear whether pass interference occurred on the big play from Sunday evening, but he admits that at a minimum, defensive holding should have been called.

Some, like Greg Bedard, are claiming that the one play did not cost the Lions the game, because they had many other opportunities to make a play. At the most technical level, Bedard is right. But anyone who argues this angle is basically saying that the outcome of any football (or any other sport, for that matter) game can never be boiled down to a single play.

Now, that's not to suggest that one non-call definitely turned the outcome of this game (it was just one of several big plays), but it certainly might have.


Bill Barnwell, Robert Mays, Don Banks, and PFT Commenter wrap up the Wild Card weekend; Christmas Ape translates PK's MMQB column.

Doug Farrar examines the offseason questions facing last weekend's four losing teams.

Bucky Brooks thinks there are nine teams likely to be in search of a quarterback this offseason.

Stevie Johnson is among PFF's All-Pro special teamers for his work in kick coverage.

Peter King sings the praises of Baltimore's John Harbaugh, who he thinks is on a Chuck Noll-like path.

Brian Kenny and Keith Olbermann share some thoughts about the passing of their old colleague, Stuart Scott.


Mike Tanier explains how the Colts and Seahawks should go about extending the contracts of their young star quarterbacks.

When adjusting for era and opponent, Chase Stuart finds that Ryan Lindley had the ninth-worst playoff performance of any QB in history.

Jason Fitzgerald looks at Washington's caponomic situation heading into the offseason.

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

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