Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Unsurprisingly, San Francisco and Seattle waged quite the defensive battle last night.
The Niners emerged from the run-heavy physical matchup with a 13-7 victory which put them atop the surprisingly strong NFCW with a 5-2 record. The division, for many recent years the worst in the league, is currently the only one sporting four teams at or above .500, and no other division has three teams with winning records.
A pair of late decisions by San Francisco raised eyebrows: first, they ran the tentative Alex Smith on a draw while facing a 3rd-and-7 at the Seattle 13-yard line, which for some evinced a lack of confidence in the QB. The play gained just three yards, and the Niners kicked a short FG to extend their lead to 13-6.
A few minutes later, with the score the same, and the Seahawks facing 4th-and-17 from their own four-yard line, Jim Harbaugh eschewed a safety and two points to instead take over on downs at the Seattle 20. It was undoubtedly the correct football decision, as it allowed the Niners to kneel out the clock, rather than give Seattle a chance to go onside (albeit twice to have a chance). But anyone who had bet on San Francisco and laid the 7.5 or 8 points? They're not happy.
But perhaps it's Smith at whom bettors should be directing their ire, not Harbaugh.
Keith Brooking is expected to remain the starter at Mike over Joe Mays following the bye week, to the surprise of nobody.
Jeff Legwold thinks the Broncos' frequent large deficits have contributed to a lopsided pass/run balance, and he's probably right.
Can't say we expected this refrain following Monday's comeback, but even in the Whale's Vagina, they're saying, Thank You, John Elway.
Mark Kiszla says talent trumps luck. Gee, where was this column 10 or 11 months ago, Kiz?
Sam DeWitt considers the bye week a good time to express gratitude for the 2012 Broncos.
Leave it to the objective Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith to ask (video) Von Miller to compare PMFM with the lefty who throws like a righty.
The NFLPA's latest challenge to the league's handling of the bounty scandal is to remind the NFL that it publicly condoned player-funded incentive programs as recently as 1996.
Among the changes made by Oakland during their bye was to reduce the role of Rolando McClain in their sub packages.
Stefan Fatsis doesn't yet see material change in the manner with which the NFL community handles concussions.
Taking a QB in the first round is often a good long-term choice for a team; for coaches and their future employment, not so much.
We enthusiastically applaud the decision of the Washington City Paper to not refer to their local football team by the traditional name.
Rex Ryan says Tim Tebow might play a position he's actually suited for on Sunday.
Detroit beat out nobody for the services of Alphonso Smith, whom they re-signed yesterday to shore up an injury-laden secondary.