Good Morning, Broncos fans! It's been quite a week in the hubris-filled, awareness-free alternate reality occupied by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Paul Tagliabue's smackdown of the Ginger Hammer's disastrous handling of the NFL PR department-crafted Saints bounty scandal showed how a quality commissioner should perform his job, and called into serious question whether Goodell deserves to keep his.
At least Tagliabue did Rog the favor of providing closure for the scandal and maintaining the power of the commissioner's office, even if it came with a sharp rebuke of Goodell's methods.
Were Goodell a reasonable person, this would have been a humbling, chastening experience - one prompting self-reflection and a reconsideration of one's tactics.
But of course, this is the Ginger Hammer we're talking about here.
So how did he respond? By saying he's not going to change a thing, at least as it pertains to how he metes out discipline.
He didn't stop there, though - Goodell mustered up the nerve (really, he has an endless supply) to claim that Thursday night football doesn't put players at any more physical risk, even as players and coaches alike profess their disdain for the gimmick.
The cherry atop the Hammer's tone-deaf sundae? He says the league is now considering an expansion of the playoff field to 14 or 16 teams, which in this year's case would place the LOLJets into current playoff position, and the Chargers, Bills, Browns, and Dolphins just a game behind. Even the league's own website calls this a counterproductive idea.
Goodell's oversight of this country's greatest sport has been so abominable that people who earn a living off that very product are now suggesting we boycott the league.
Can someone please fire this man?
Mark Kiszla considers the similarities between Manning and Ray Lewis; Jeff Legwold expects a heavy dose of Ray Rice come Sunday; Mike Klis says it's nice to see Denver's opponent be the team undergoing loads of drama, rather than the Broncos.
As he's maintained for many weeks now, Chase Stuart thinks the Broncos will run the table and end up 13-3. Perhaps the only person to come to this conclusion earlier was Shannon Sharpe.
Gil Brandt thinks Peyton should be MVP, but that J.J. Watt should edge out Von Miller for DPOY.
Baltimore has already ruled out starting middle linebacker Jameel McClain due to the neck injury he suffered at Washington, and G Marshal Yanda will probably join him on the inactive list. Key inside backer Dannell Ellerbe says his injured ankle is improving, but he also missed practice and it's apparently unlikely he'll be back Sunday after having missed Baltimore's two losses.
Ray Lewis didn't practice either, raising doubts that he'll make his return this week.
Joe Flacco claims to be stunned by the firing of Cam Cameron, even as his teammates notice that the QB has been smiling more since the axe fell.
Jeff Zrebiac and Aaron Wilson say opposing receivers have found the middle of the field uncharacteristically welcoming against the Ravens defense.
Despite John Harbaugh's protests, Kevin Cowherd sees a Baltimore franchise nearing a state of chaos.
Matt Bowen studies the Ravens' struggles against play action last week; things don't figure to improve for them with PMFM coming to town.
The NFLPA filed a grievance over team doctors having players sign waivers before receiving shots of the potentially dangerous painkiller Toradol. But, you know...player safety is priority #1!
Transcripts of the bounty hearings show that Gregg Williams says he tried to put an end to the Saints bounty system, but that Joe Vitt overruled him; Sean Payton is trying to get reinstated prior to the Super Bowl.
San Diego signed LB Gary Guyton and RB Curtis Brinkley to replace S Darrell Stuckey and DT Vaughn Martin, who were placed on IR; Rolando McClain returned from suspension to practice with Oakland as a backup and special-teamer.
Dallas placed Josh Brent on its reserved non-football injury list; New England re-signed WR Deion Branch; Chicago again re-signed DT Amobi Okoye; Arizona placed QB Kevin Kolb on IR, potentially ending his Cardinals career.
Eagles DT Mike Patterson will file a grievance against the team after they cut his pay for a second time while he recovers from offseason brain surgery and a recent bout with pneumonia which landed him in the hospital.
NFL VP of officiating Carl Johnson is stepping down and will return to the field as the league's first full-time referee.
Andy Benoit reviews tape from last week's games; Matt Bowen breaks down two of Philip Rivers's touchdown passes against Pittsburgh; Sam Monson examines the use of stunts and twists to generate pressure.
Bill Barnwell says one doesn't need to look far beyond their 9-4 record to learn the Colts aren't that good of a team. Cue the "you are what your record says you are" garbage...
The 2013 Draft is said to feature a strong to very strong group of defensive tackle prospects; anyone know a team that could use a young DT?