Scabs love home cooking Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Make sure you've cleared more than three hours from your afternoon for today's game. If you're recording it, set the DVR to go longer than you normally might.

If the season so far is any indication, a potential overtime game could approach four hours.

As we all learned in painful fashion Monday night, one of the many negative outcomes of the officiating lockout is that games are stretching even longer than normal. Broncos/Falcons went 3 hours 27 minutes, while the average game in Week 2 lasted for 3 hours 14 minutes - tied for third longest in the past 20 years. Brutal.

There is one bright spot here for the Broncos - at least for the next two weeks. Home teams have been faring much better in terms of winning games (an unprecedented 14 of 16 were victorious last week), penalty counts (road teams have faced 23% more flags than have home teams), and an unheard of 61.3% of them have apparently covered the point spread.

Denver faces Houston today and Oakland next week, before heading on the road to face the Patriots and Chargers.

Given the above information, perhaps we should all be rooting for the lockout to continue through next week before the real guys come back?

Broncos

The NFL plans to fine John Fox and Jack Del Rio $20K each for their treatment of the scab refs on Monday, and the league office even called the Georgia Dome at halftime to tell them to tone down their acts. To be clear, GFY Roger Goodell and Ray Anderson.

So, the latest failing analysis meme is talk that Elvis Dumervil is now losing snaps to Robert Ayers due to ineffective play. But he played 64 snaps on Monday, which is almost exactly what he averaged when healthy last season (63.9 snaps, not including Week 1, when he only played 17 snaps). In 2009, when he led the league in sacks, Doom averaged 55 snaps per game. Anyway, back to reality.

Andrew Mason thinks that if Ronnie Hillman suits up today, Knowshon Moreno will lose his spot among the active 45, and he predicts a narrow Texans victory.

There's no concern about Peyton Manning's arm strength at Dove Valley, where everyone understands Peyton had a bad quarter - not a bad game, as is being written nationally.

Mike Klis expects Manning to respond to recent doubts and criticism similarly to how Joe Montana did in his legendary MNF showdown with John Elway's Broncos in 1994.

Matt Bowen expects a cleaner game from Manning today, and he thinks Jacob Tamme will be key in defeating Houston's pressure.

For the third week in a row, Legwold thinks the run defenses, pass offenses, and Denver's special teams hold edges in today's matchup.

Despite growing up in New Jersey, Mike Adams says he was a Niners fan, with Jerry Rice and Roger Craig his favorite players.

Woody Paige goes over the many Colorado and Broncos connections within the Texans organization.

Texans

The Texans are 2-16 against Manning, so they're of course repeating the (true) mantra that their team is not what Peyton had grown accustomed to facing in them.

John McClain thinks the Texans should test Champ with Andre Johnson early and often, but he predicts a Denver blowout victory; Randy Harvey predicts a Texans victory.

Trimmings

The NFLPA's executive committee sent a letter to NFL owners accusing them of being motivated by greed in the refs lockout.

Among notable injuries, Chargers RB Ryan Mathews is expected to play today, while Washington WR Pierre Garcon will be out.

Ben Roethlisberger and Handshake Haley apparently had something of a run-in Week 1 in Denver, but Big Ben says he chose to just walk away.

San Diego again cut Reggie Wells to bring CB Greg Gaston up from their practice squad; likewise, the Jets cut LB Bryan Thomas and promoted CB Donnie Fletcher from their practice squad, and Dallas promoted LB Orie Lemon from their practice squad and cut CB Mario Butler.

Titans RB Chris Johnson again is off to a painfully slow start this year, and the Titans will again face a big salary decision on him next year. CJ2K, who has been critical of his teammates and linemen, has nobody to blame but himself, according to Doug Farrar.

Our thoughts go out to the family of Ravens WR Torrey Smith, whose younger brother died in a motorcycle accident.

Scrapple

FWIW, Brett Favre doesn't think the league has enough evidence to suspend the players accused in the Saints bounty scandal.

Punt distances are up, but returns have also become more and more sucessful. Of course, there's a good chance that the scabs missing illegal block calls has something to do with it.

In their Sunday columns, Ian Rapoport says he likes that defensive backs have been permitted more contact with the replacement officials, while Dan Pompei focuses on the height of NFL cornerbacks. For the Broncos, Champ Bailey is listed at 6-0, while the other four corners are shorter.

In honor of the late Steve Sabol, some NFL Films music:

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

The Lard

2014 Offseason

Offseason coverage