The Daily Lard 11-21-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The AFC West games went about as expected, as the Raiders defeated the Vikings 27-21 and the Chargers lost to the Bears 31-20. Oakland is now 6-4 and a game up on the 5-5 Broncos, who are now one game ahead of San Diego. Denver remains a half-game ahead of the Chiefs, who face the daunting task of playing at Foxboro tonight with Tyler Palko starting for them at QB. Carson Palmer threw and ran for a score, while Michael Bush racked up 129 total yards and a TD for Oakland. Christian Ponder rallied Minnesota back from a 27-7 hole with two TD passes but was also picked off three times.

Meanwhile, Jay Cutler got a measure of revenge on the Chargers and his old nemesis Phil Rivers, but the satisfaction was shortlived and overshadowed by the fact that Cutler broke his right thumb late in yesterday's game, will have surgery to repair it, and will not be playing when the Bears come to town on December 11. It'll still be a big QB homecoming, just not for the Broncos - they'll instead be facing Cutler's backup, former CSU Ram Caleb Hanie. So, all Tim Tebow will have to do that day is outscore Devin Hester. Piece of cake, right? Matt Bowen breaks down the Bears' victory, plus he considers the Bears' plight without Cutler.


Jeff Legwold focuses on the dynamic duo of Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller.

Legwold hit up his Rolodex to get opinions on the Broncos' zone-read running game, and obviously everyone is expecting defenses to continue adjusting.

Kevin Acee recaps the loss for San Diego.

Chris Jenkins focuses on Ryan Mathews' two costly fumbles.

Apparently, Norv Turner has been attending the Andy Reid School for Clock Management, and Jay & Phil are now BFFs.

Don Banks says the Chargers' loss to Chicago means they will be desperate for a win against Denver on Sunday.


Baltimore held off Cincinnati 31-24; a potential game-tying drive by the Bengals stalled out at the 7-yard line and the Ravens picked off Andy Dalton three times.

Cleveland eked out a 14-10 victory over Jacksonville as Blaine Gabbert's pass into the end zone fell incomplete to end the game, and MJD celebrated a TD run by hilariously reprising LeBron James' chalk-throwing act.

Detroit overcame a second quarter 24-7 deficit and Matthew Stafford bounced back from two early picks to throw five TDs and help defeat the Panthers 49-35 in a wild shootout. Cam Newton accounted for three total TDs but threw four INTs.

Green Bay got a scare at home, but they held on to defeat Tampa Bay 35-26 as Aaron Rodgers threw three TD passes and NT B.J Raji punched in a 1-yard run to open the scoring. For the Bucs, LeGarrette Blount broke free from eight different Packers defenders en route to an insane 54-yard TD run.

Miami smoked the reeling Bills 35-8 as Matt Moore threw three TD passes and Ryan Fitzpatrick was picked off twice; the Dolphins have won three straight, while the Bills have dropped three in a row.

Shanny's Redskins have now lost six straight games as the Cowboys beat them 27-24 in OT; Tony Romo threw three TD passes, while Rex Grossman accounted for three scores including a pass to old friend Jabar Gaffney, who racked up 115 yards on seven catches.

The Niners took it away five times in smothering the Cardinals 23-7, outgaining them by 202 yards and allowing just 11 first downs.

Meanwhile in the other NFC West matchup, the Seahawks beat the Rams 24-7 and forced three turnovers by Sam Bradford - one of them a slick INT by 330-pounder Red Bryant. St. Louis placed T Roger Saffold on IR.

Jake Locker took over for an injured Matt Hasselbeck and threw two second-half TD passes, but the Titans fell short of their comeback bid against the Falcons, who held on for a 23-17 win. Howeverm, Mike Munchak says Hasselbeck will remain the starter if he's healthy enough to go against the Bucs.

Go figure - Vince Young led the Eagles on a late 80-yard drive to beat the Giants 17-10. Christmas Ape says VY is the original Tebow. Remember when Young used to simply be "a winner"?


Andy Benoit, Pat KirwanJonathan ComeyNolan NawrockiWill Brinson, and Eric Edholm analyze the day's action, plus Matt Bowen's notes on the early and late games.

Mike SilverJason Cole, Clark JudgeDon Banks, and John Clayton recap Sunday's games, and MJD's most and least valuable players of the day.

The NFL is expected to hit Sexy Rexy with a fine as high as $100K for his F-bomb directed at a fan during the Jets' loss to the Pats.

Sadly, the NFL took the ludicrous tact of threatening to pull Bears WR Earl Bennett from yesterday's game if he wore the orange shoes he'd been getting fined for of late.

Retired Panthers and Jets NT Kris Jenkins offers a revealing glance at the brutal toll an NFL career inflicts upon the body. Makes one wonder: if you could make tens of millions playing football but suffer physical ailments for the rest of your life, the expected length of which would be shortened by decades, would you do it? Within the interview, Jenkins says John Fox is a master of cliches but bizarrely told his players not to follow his own example.

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

The Lard