Situation in Tampa Bay only getting worse

Good Morning, Broncos fans! There are two stories of note from last night, and both come from the NFC South.

First, the Saints (4-0) asserted themselves in a 38-17 annihilation of the visiting Dolphins (3-1), who suffered their first loss of the season.

Drew Brees dropped 413 yards and four touchdown passes on the team that chose not to sign him in 2006, thus setting up his storied New Orleans career.

It was Brees's 10th time throwing for more than 400 yards, which is second only to Dan Marino in league history.

The Saints will head to Chicago to take on Jay Cutler and the Bears (3-1) on Sunday, while the Dolphins host the Ravens (2-2).

Ben Stockwell and Chris Burke recap the game; KSK sums it up in GIFtastic fashion; Peter King suggests that Week 13's MNF matchup of Saints @ Seahawks could be the top NFC matchup of the season; Ashley Fox says the return of Sean Payton has lifted the Saints to SB contention.

Josh Freeman

The other big story is the highly suspicious leak of Josh Freeman's presence in Stage 1 of the NFL's drug testing program. Of course, this information is supposed to be confidential, so the timing of this report seems rather convenient, given that the Bucs were already trying to run Freeman out of town on a rail.

Here's Freeman's explanation in a statement made to PFT:

Like millions of Americans, I have ADHD and I have been prescribed and permitted to take medication to treat this condition for the entirety of my NFL career.  Well over a year ago, I took a different medication for the same condition (Ritalin rather than Adderall) , and to assure everyone that the error was a one-time mistake, I agreed to be voluntarily tested in the “NFL Program”.  Since that time, I have taken and passed all 46 drug tests I’ve been given, which test for every drug and banned substance imaginable. I agreed to allow such testing to be done at my workplace (team facility) because I spend all of my time there and I have nothing whatsoever to hide or be embarrassed about.

Chris Mortensen's report says Freeman does have a temporary-use exemption, which would appear to validate Freeman's claim.

The assumption here is that someone with the Bucs is behind the leak, which would be a serious breach of NFL policy. What are the chances that the Ginger Hammer investigates the issue and metes out proper punishment? We'll go with slim to none...

Freeman has reportedly requested that Tampa Bay either trade or release him. According to Ed Werder, the Bucs will have shopped Freeman to each of the other 32 31 teams by sometime today.

Broncos News

Jack Del Rio has apparently told the Broncos that he could never find it in himself to leave them midseason.

Incredibly, Eagles DE Fletcher Cox thought on Sunday that it would be funny to mock Peyton Manning's pre-snap gesticulations, right before Knowhon Moreno ran the ball 10 yards in Cox's direction.

Tony Dungy thinks his 2005 Colts provided Peyton Manning with better weapons than the 2013 Broncos, and he thinks a Denver SB win would cement Peyton as the greatest QB ever.

FWIW, Champ Bailey and Lindsay Jones thinks otherwise regarding that talent comparison.

Broncos Analysis

Arnie Stapleton says that Peyton Manning has been even more focused and motivated than usual since the crushing playoff loss to Baltimore.

Joan Niesen warns that at some point, a Broncos game is going to come down to a single play.

Jeff Legwold thinks Philly's use of Chris Polk caught Denver by surprise, and he thinks the Cowboys will take a cue from the Eagles and get DeMarco Murray involved in the passing game.

Pete Prisco isn't sure that anyone can beat these Broncos, while Jason La Canfora calls Knowshon Moreno Denver's unsung hero.

Cowboys

Defensive ends DeMarcus Ware and George Selvie suffered injuries Sunday that could affect their status for this week.

Greg Bedard examines the 56-yard touchdown allowed by Sean Lee while trying to cover Antonio Gates. Let's hope he fares no better against Julius Thomas on Sunday.

News

An investment group is looking to develop the area around the Oakland Coliseum into a sports and entertainment complex that would include a new stadium.

Tampa Bay cut WR Kevin Ogletree and S Ahmad Black.

St. Louis is expected to re-sign LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar now that his four-game suspension is ending.

Analysis

PFF's best (Demaryius Thomas, Orlando Franklin, and an honorable mention for Louis Vasquez) and worst (Philly's Cary Williams) players of the week.

Several excellent matchups loom in Week 5, with Seahawks/Colts probably the best one; Mike Tanier explains how the Colts can take down the unbeaten visitors.

Frank Schwab moves the Broncos atop his power rankings; Will Brinson gives them an 'A' for their effort Sunday.

Maths

According to Chase Stuart's data, the Broncos were tied for the highest Game Script score (an average lead of 15.5 points (!) on each snap) and were second in fied position in Week 4.

FO's Week 4 DYAR ranks Peyton Manning and Knowshon Moreno at #2 for their respective positions, and Demaryius Thomas at #5. Surprisingly, Peyton is the only QB to have had such a hot start through four weeks and actually follow through with a SB championship.

GIFtastic Schadenfreude

Does it really get much more satisfying than seeing the unquestionably dirty player Ndamukong Suh land on his ass during a celebration with Nick Fairley? The answer is no.

After Sunday, we may have to start referring to Mark Sanchez as Buttfumble #1, and Geno Smith as Buttfumble #2.

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

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