Good Morning, Broncos fans! Here we go - it's been a tumultuous 12 months for our team, what with the firing of Josh McDaniels, John Elway taking over the organization, the hiring of John Fox, the lockout, yet another scandal (the arrest of Perrish Cox and the prospect of Broncos players having to testify against their ex-teammate) and something about a pair of quarterbacks whose names I'm struggling with at the moment. It felt like the longest offseason in history, but finally we get to see the 2011 Broncos for really real tonight, and against our most hated rivals, nonetheless.
Andrew Mason believes tonight will be for Denver all about stopping the Raiders' screen game and winning the battle for time of possession, overcoming the "loss" of D.J. Williams, getting revenge for the recent debacles against Oakland, and the three rookie starters (Von Miller, Rahim Moore, Orlando Franklin) not playing like rookies. On a programming note, be sure to read Ted and TJ's thorough scouting reports on the matchup if you haven't already. Doc will be by a bit later with his take (and a fascinating story about Elway), and of course we'll have an open thread during the game and TJ's incomparable Gut Reactions following its conclusion.
Lindsay Jones writes that Dennis Allen is bringing intensity and discipline to his new gig as Denver's DC, and that John Fox is giving him the latitude to run the defense in his own way.
YES! What we've all been waiting for - the DP's first scanerrific preview of the year!
For some reason, Dusty Saunders got Trent Dilfer's take on the Broncos, and unfortunately Dilfer will be providing analysis of tonight's game for the Worldwide Leader. Of course, Dilfer is the guy who thinks it's insulting to your own defense to go for it on fourth down and that he's smarter than Bill Belichick. What more do you need to know about this guy?
BroncoTalk landed an interview last week with former Denver GM Ted Sundquist, who reflected upon the tug-of-war between satisfying long-term goals and filling short-term needs in the draft.
Monte Poole says Jason Campbell is used to having his QB talent questioned.
San Diego came back from a 10-point halftime deficit to beat the Vikings 24-17, but they lost Nate Kaeding to what is feared to be a torn ACL and DE Luis Castillo to a broken leg. Both could be out for the season.
The Bengals (Denver's opponent next Sunday) came back to beat the Browns 27-17 but lost QB Andy Dalton to a wrist injury - there's a chance he'll be out and the Broncos will face Bruce Gradkowski instead.
The Jets overcame a 14-point Q4 deficit to beat the Cowboys 27-24 on a blocked punt, a late pick of Tony Romo, and a 50-yarder by Nick Folk; Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick is out 3-4 weeks with an ankle injury
The Texans wrecked the Peyton Manning-less Colts 34-7. Welcome to your new reality, Colts fans! Meanwhile, Peyton Manning collected a $3M roster bonus on Saturday and will make $26M this year. Indy can opt out of the rest of his new deal next year though, as Manning apparently told his agent to give the team an out in case his neck did not heal properly.
Jacksonville squeaked out a 16-14 victory over the Titans.
Chicago dominated the Falcons 30-12 as Jay Cutler rolled.
The Eagles thoroughly beat the Rams 31-13.
San Fran beat the Seahawks 33-17 and got two late TD returns from Ted Ginn to seal it.
Bus Cook says no teams called for Brett Favre this offseason.
Andy Benoit, Jonathan Comey, Eric Edholm, Nolan Nawrocki, Mike Silver, Peter King, Don Banks and John Clayton wrap up the day's games, while Andrew Das checks on the big injuries and PFW offers their Insider notes.
Pat Kirwan says Week 1 was something of a carryover from the preseason across the board.
Brian Burke says the NFL's new kickoff rules will likely make only a nominal impact on player safety.
Brian McIntyre shows how much money teams have saved against the 2011 cap by extending the contracts of the players they had used their franchise tags on.
Some prospect notes from Bucky Brooks after the second weekend of college football.
Apparently, ESPN GamePlan sucks bigtime.